ArchiveMarch 2003

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is tomorrow so this week’s column is for the kids. Lots of ideas for those of you who would like to take over the kitchen for the day or try your hand at cooking a meal. Even one yummy dish to show your super-duper Mum how special she is would be fab.

Can’t tell you how thrilled us Mums are when you surprise us with a little present or an unexpected gesture. Breakfast in bed is always a delight, lay a tray with a pretty cloth or even a gingham napkin, if you can manage a little posy of flowers she’ll get an even bigger ‘oops in her tummy’ when you arrive in to her bedroom beaming from ear to ear.

My Mum still speaks fondly of my first attempt to bring her tea in bed. Years later I discovered that apparently the kettle wasn’t even boiling properly, but at the time she never gave me the slightest hint that the tea wasn’t perfect.

Breakfast doesn’t have to be a full Irish – you’ll need a nice pot of tea or coffee for a start. How about some mini muffins – they’re really easy to make and look adorable – a glass of freshly squeezed orange or pink grapefruit juice is a very easy way to get lots of compliments for a little effort. Just cut the citrus fruit in half around the equator and squeeze out the juice – one of those little plastic juicers works brilliantly (the peel can be dried – makes terrific firelighters).

If you ‘d rather do a cooked breakfast, why not make some sublime scrambled egg. It may not be an option but if you add a few small cubes of smoked salmon at the end, it’ll be even more luxurious – a real Mother’s Day treat.

Find a pot of lovely Irish honey for her toast or make some jam – how cool would that be! Having said that, its not a great time of the year for jam making, no ripe fruit around. Lemon curd would be a perfect solution – fresh tasting and delicious and made in minutes – a real homemade alternative and a change from the usual jams and marmalades.

If you’d prefer to rustle up something for lunch, how about a cheese fondue – so easy and great fun, all the family can tuck in – it’s a one pot meal so the extra bonus is minimum washing-up!

If however, you would like to treat your Mum to the evening off, then how about a full dinner. Here’s a suggestion for a nice easy meal that she’ll love. Try to enlist the help of the rest of the family to lay the table nicely – again a little bunch of flowers, maybe they could be persuaded to do some cards and place names – more the merrier.

Better still run a bath for your Mum to relax in while you are making dinner. Scatter some flower petals into the water, rose petals are best but scarce at this time of year, light some candles and maybe play some soothing music so she can chill out while you cook.

I suggest Carrot and Apple Salad with a sweet ‘n sour dressing for a starter – quick and tasty to make with inexpensive ingredients and non-fattening just in case she’s watching her weight.

Penne with Ginger Mushrooms and herbs for main course would be delicious, almond and chocolate meringue – a little touch of indulgence for pudding. The latter can be made several days ahead and filled on the day. The Mushroom Sauce for the pasta can also be cooked ahead if you really want to be super-organised.

You may want to give her a present of some Darina Allen choccies as an extra special treat and then you can remind her that sharing is fun too!

Good luck and don’t forget to drop me a card to let me know how it went.

Scrambled Eggs

Serves 2
Perfectly scrambled eggs are rare indeed. For perfection really fresh free range eggs are essential.
Really fresh eggs, perfectly scrambled, need no further embellishment, except perhaps a slice of hot thin toast.

4 eggs, preferably free range, organic
2 tablespoons creamy milk
a knob of butter
salt and freshly ground pepper

Break the eggs into a bowl, add the milk and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk well until the whites and yolks are well mixed. Put a blob of butter into a cold saucepan, pour in the egg mixture and stir continuously preferably with a flat bottomed wooden spoon over a low heat until the eggs have scrambled into soft creamy curds. Serve immediately on warm plates with lots of hot buttered toast or fresh soda bread.

Tip: If the plates are too hot the scrambled egg will actually over cook between the stove and the table.

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon

A few seconds before the scrambled egg is fully cooked, add 2-3 tablespoons diced smoked salmon trimmings, stir once or twice, sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Scrambled eggs with tomato

A few seconds before the scrambled egg is fully cooked add 1 very ripe chopped tomato which has been seasoned with salt, freshly ground pepper and sugar, stir once or twice and serve immediately.

Mini Muffins

Makes 12 muffins or up to 36 mini muffins
10oz (275g) plain flour
1 level tablespoon baking powder
3oz (75g) caster sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 medium eggs
8floz (225ml) milk
4oz (110g) melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas mark 6

Place paper muffin cases in muffin tin. Hand whisk together sugar, eggs, milk, melted butter and vanilla. Sieve flour, salt and baking powder. Fold into beaten mixture. It should look like lumpy batter. Add filling of your choice. 

Divide mixture between 12 cases or put just over 1 teaspoon per mini muffin case. Fill almost to the top. Bake at the top of the oven for 25-30 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

Note: Reduce baking time to 15-20 minutes for mini muffins

Add 4 tablespoons of cocoa with 6 oz (150g) mixed chocolate chips (white, milk and plain) 
Add 4 oz (110g) fresh blueberries, roughly chopped 
Add desired amount of chocolate chips 
Add 2 cooking apples, peeled and chopped with 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
Add 2-3oz (50-75g) dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, dates) with ½ teaspoon mixed spice (optional) 

Lemon Curd

4 ozs (110g) castor sugar

2 ozs (55g) butter
grated rind and juice of 2 good lemons
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk (keep white aside for meringue)

On a very low heat melt the butter, add castor sugar, lemon juice and rind and then stir in the well beaten eggs. Stir carefully over a gentle heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Draw off the heat and pour into a bowl (it will thicken as it cools.)

Carrot and Apple Salad with Sweet ‘n Sour Dressing

This delicious salad can be made in minutes from ingredients you would probably have easily to hand, but shouldn't be prepared more than half an hour ahead, as the apple will discolour. Serve either as a starter or as an accompanying salad for ham or pork.
Serves 6
8 ozs (225g) grated carrot
10 ozs (285g) grated dessert apple, e.g. Cox's Orange Pippin if available
Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 good teaspoons pure Irish honey
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

A few leaves of lettuce
Sprigs of watercress or parsley
Chive flowers if you have them

Dissolve the honey in the wine vinegar. Mix the coarsely grated carrot and apple together and toss in the sweet and sour dressing. Taste and add a bit more honey or vinegar as required, depending on the sweetness of the apples.

Take 6 large side plates, white are best for this. Arrange a few small lettuce leaves on each plate and divide the salad between the plates. Garnish with sprigs of watercress or flat parsley and sprinkle with chive flowers if you have some. Season to taste.

Penne with Mushroom and Ginger Sauce

Serves 8
Mushroom and ginger sauce keeps in the fridge for 4-5 days and of course freezes perfectly. May also be used as a filling for vol au vents or pancakes or used as a vegetable.

1lb(450g) penne
8pts(4.5L) water
2 tablesp. salt

1-2oz (25-50g) butter
6 ozs (170g) onion, finely chopped
1 lb (450g) mushrooms
8 fl ozs (225ml) cream
2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
freshly chopped parsley
1 tablesp. freshly chopped chives (optional)
a squeeze of lemon juice
salt and freshly ground pepper
2ozs (50g)(approx.) freshly grated Parmesan

To make the Mushroom and ginger sauce.

Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan until it foams. Add the chopped onions, cover and sweat on a gentle heat for 5-6 minutes or until quite soft but not coloured. Meanwhile slice and cook the mushrooms in a hot frying pan in batches if necessary. Season each batch with salt, freshly ground pepper and a tiny squeeze of lemon juice. Add the mushrooms to the onions in the saucepan, then add the cream, and grated ginger. Allow to bubble for a few minutes. Taste and correct the seasoning, and add parsley and chives if used.

To Cook the Penne

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil to a fast rolling boil, add the salt, add the penne, stir well. Bring back to the boil for 4 minutes. Turn off the heat, keep covered and allow to sit in the saucepan for 10 minutes approximately.

Drain, reheat the Mushroom and Ginger sauce, toss with the pasta.

Sprinkle with a little Parmesan and some flat parsley and serve immediately.

Almond and Chocolate Meringue

Serves 6
12 ozs (45g) almonds
2 egg whites 
42 ozs (125g.) icing sugar

12 oz (45g) good quality dark chocolate eg Bournville
2 pint (300ml) whipped cream
1 tablesp. Rum (optional)
1 tablesp. single cream
5 toasted almonds

Check that the bowl is dry, spotlessly clean and free of grease. Blanch and skin the almonds. Grind or chop them up. They should not be ground to a fine powder but should be left slightly coarse and gritty. Mark two 72 inch (19cm) circles or heart shapes on silicone paper or a prepared baking sheet. Mix all the sugar with the egg whites at once and beat until the mixture forms stiff dry peaks. Fold in the almonds. Divide the mixture between the 2 circles or heart shapes and spread evenly with a palette knife. Bake immediately in a cool oven, 150C/300F/regulo 2 for 45 minutes or until crisp they should peel off the paper easily, turn off the oven and allow to cool.

To make the filling
Melt the chocolate with the rum (if using) and single cream very gently in a very cool oven, or over hot water. Cool and then fold the mixture into the whipped cream.

To assemble
Sandwich the meringues together with the filling. Decorate with rosettes of chocolate and rum cream stuck with halved toasted almonds.

Ireland’s first Slow Food Weekend

 Ireland's first Slow Food weekend is coming up from the 28-30th March 2003.
Slow food members, artisan producers and bon viveurs will gather at the Celtic Ross Hotel in Rosscarbery for a weekend of conviviality - Delicious local food, stimulating conversation and fine wines. The latter will be supplied by Febvre who are the proud sponsors of the weekend.
 Febvre & Co.Ltd. are long established and highly respected wine importers based in Dublin. Wine buffs know that Febvre have an extensive range of wines from quality domaine houses. Their list also features wines from Slow Food producers in Italy and France, so this would seem to be the perfect marriage
of two organisations with a similar ethos and philosophy.

Slow Food is an international movement founded in 1989 in Italy by Carlo Petrini, as an antidote to the Fast Food Culture which is fast enveloping the world.

 It is now a ve in 40 countries worldwide with 60,000 members and 500 Convivia (chapters).
Slow food, whose emblem is the snail, has a cultural, educational, charitable and scientific agenda: It counters the degrading effects of industrial and fast food culture which standardise tastes; promotes the beneficial effects of the deliberate consumption of locally grown and indigenous foods; has taste education programmes for adults and children;
works towards safeguarding and promoting public awareness of culinary traditions and customs, supports artisanal food producers who make quality products; promotes a philosophy of pleasure; encourages tourism that respects and cares for the environment and is dedicated to helping those who need assistance.

There are five slow food chapters, (Convivia) in Ireland – West Cork, East Cork, Kerry, Dublin and Kilkenny.
The Convivia organise regular events and meetings for Slow Food members and the growing number of people interested in the slow food philosophy. 

For details visit the Slow Food website The Slow Food weekend starts on the night of Friday 28th March with a buffet supper, featuring the produce of local West Cork food producers who will join us.

Crostini with St Ola’s goat cheese and Tapenade, locally smoked fish, salad of quail with grapes, Gubbeen smoked bacon and hams, Frank Krycwzk’s salami, chorizo and pancetta, lots of salad and organic leaves, followed by
farmhouse cheese and sweet temptations served with Glenilen clotted cream.

After supper there will be lively music from The Cheesemakers, a West Cork group who play cello, guitar and fiddle. On Saturday morning, a restoring breakfast of Macroom oatmeal, Gubbeen, Caherbeg pork sausages, free-range eggs, Clonakilty black pudding, homebaked scones and soda bread, Arbutus
Lodge breads, farmhouse butter, local jams and honey, will fortify participants for the exciting day ahead.

Sadly, those who have booked to on go one of the ‘excursions’ won’t be able to linger over their delicious repast because they will need to pile onto the buses to depart at 10.00am.

There are three tempting Slow Food experiences to choose from –
John McKenna, food writer, will be taking a group to the Farmers Market in the nearby town of Skibbereen and then on to visit Dunworley restaurant for lunch. Chef Otto Kunze and his wife have an organic farm where they produce most of the produce for their unique restaurant.

Food historian, Regina Sexton, will lead a group to visit the unique English Market in Cork city, and then on to the award-winning Café Paradiso, a vegetarian restaurant, for lunch. The chef, Denis Cotter, is the author of two excellent books.
Darina Allen will take a group to explore the Farmers’ Market in
Midleton in East Cork. 

From there on to the seaside village of Ballycotton, to lunch at the Grapefruit Moon Restaurant (voted best newcomer restaurant by Georgina Campbell in the Jameson Guide), where Ivan Whelan will cook a special Slow Food lunch.

All excursions need to be pre-booked because spaces are limited. For those who would rather linger over breakfast, a food lovers guide to West Cork, incorporating a map, is being published as I write, so they can explore at their leisure, and food producers will be waiting to welcome the visitors.

On Saturday night, back at the Celtic Ross Hotel, a Slow Food feast is planned. Rory O’Connell, head chef at Ballymaloe House, has created a tantalising menu, again using an abundance of locally produced food – there will be fun and games and lots of music.

On Sunday morning a variety of workshops, seminars and a market where participants meet the artisan producers and stock up on lots of fresh local produce to take home – there will even be ice packs and suitable packaging available to bring home the goodies.
Sounds like a terrific weekend – for further details contact where you can book on the net, or contact email: or telephone Celtic Ross Hotel, 023-48722,
Lo-call 1850 272737, Fax 023-2348723 

Wild Garlic Soup

Both the bulbs and leaves of wild garlic are used in this soup and the
pretty flowers are divine sprinkled over the top of each soup bowl.

55g (2ozs) butter
140g (5ozs) diced onions
280g (10ozs) peeled diced potatoes
2 cups of wild garlic chopped, use both bulb and leaf
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1.2L (2 pints) home made chicken stock
125ml (4 fl ozs) cream or creamy milk
Garnish: Wild garlic flowers

Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan. When it foams, add the potatoes,onion, and wild garlic and toss in the butter until well coated.

 Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and sweat on a gentle heat for 10 minutes. Add the stock and cook until the vegetables are soft. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a little cream or creamy milk to taste. Serve, sprinkled with a few wild garlic flowers.

Ardsallagh Goat Cheese with Cloyne Honey and Rocket

Serves 2
1 soft fresh Goat Cheese eg Ardsallagh or St Tola
rocket leaves
4 tablespoons pure honey
freshly cracked pepper

Just before serving, chop the rocket leaves coarsely, divide between two white plates. Cut the cheese into irregular cubes about ¾ inch. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the rocket leaves.
Grind on some freshly ground pepper . Serve immediately

Chicken Breasts with Gentle Spices

Serves 6

A gently spiced chicken breast dish made in minutes. Pork fillet or pork leg meat may also be used very successfully. The latter will need longer cooking. Even determined curry haters have enjoyed this deliciously spiced recipe.

6 chicken breasts, free-range and organic
1 heaped teaspoon whole cardamom pods (or ¼ teaspoon seeds)
1 heaped teaspoon whole coriander seeds
1 heaped teaspoon whole cumin seeds
30g (1oz) butter
110g (4oz) onions, chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper
150ml (3 pint) Home-made chicken stock
150ml (3 pint) cream
flat parsley or fresh coriander

Warm the coriander and cumin seeds in a frying pan for a minute or two, just until they become more aromatic. Press the cardamom pods to extract the seeds, discard the pods. Grind to a fine powder with the coriander and cumin seeds in a pestle and mortar or in a spice grinder.
Melt the butter in a sauté pan, add the onion and sweat over a gentle heat until soft. Season the chicken with salt and freshly ground pepper, rub in the ground spices, add the chicken to the onion and sauté gently without browning for 2-3 minutes. Turn each piece so it is sealed all over.

 Add the chicken stock, cover the pan tightly and cook on a gentle heat for 8-10 minutes or until the chicken pieces are cooked but still nice and juicy. 

Remove the chicken to a serving dish and keep warm. Put the casserole back on the heat, add the cream, bring to the boil for 3 or 4 minutes and reduce
a little. Taste and adjust seasoning, add the chicken pieces back into the sauce, allow to bubble for 1-2 minutes, then arrange in a warm serving dish.
Garnish with flat parsley or coriander and serve with Scallion Champ or fluffy rice or orzo.

West Cork Rhubarb Tart

Serves 8-12


225g (8oz) butter
55g (2oz) caster sugar
2 eggs
350g (12oz) flour
450g (1lb) red rhubarb
175g (6½oz) sugar
1 beaten egg with pinch of salt, to glaze

First make the pastry. Cream the butter and sugar together and then add the eggs and beat for several minutes. Mix in the flour, little by little, to form a stiff dough. Chill for at least 1 hour, otherwise the pastry will be difficult to handle.

Roll out half the pastry to about c inch (3mm) thick and line a rectangular tin measuring 7 x 12 inches/18cm x 30.5cm, alternatively use an enamel, tin or pyrex plate.
Slice the rhubarb into 2 inch (1 cm) rounds, fill the tart and sprinkle with the sugar.

Roll the remaining pastry, cover the rhubarb and seal the edges. Decorate with pastry leaves, paint with egg wash and bake in a preheated oven 180C/350F/regulo 4 until the tart is golden and the rhubarb is soft (45 minutes to 1 hour). When cooked cut into squares, sprinkle lightly with caster sugar and serve with Glenilen clotted cream and Barbados sugar.
Note: This tart could also be filled with Bramley apple, gooseberries, Worcesterberries or damsons.

Pancakes, Pancakes, Pancakes

I’ve just realised that Shrove Tuesday is round the corner. Mere mention brings happy childhood memories flooding back – suddenly I’m standing in our kitchen in Cullohill – Mum by the Esse dressed in her pretty flowery apron and her silver grey hair arranged in a neat bun.

All my brothers and sisters are seated around the kitchen table squabbling about whose turn it is to have the next pancake. Mummy is turning them out as fast as she can manage. Sometimes if the wind is in the wrong direction the temperamental old Esse range isn’t as hot as it might be – disastrous when you need a very hot plate for pancakes. We ate them straight off the pan brushed with melted butter, sprinkled with castor sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Can you imagine how many pancakes one needed to feed nine hungry children.

Each had a different ritual, I liked to spread butter all over the speckled side, then add the sugar and lemon juice and roll it up. Then I sparingly cut into thin rounds, one at a time and even unravelled the last ones so they lasted longer – after all eight others had to have their pancake before my turn came around again.

It was a feast, fantastic fun. I presume poor Mum must have been exhausted after the marathon pancake fest, but if she was she never let on.
We also loved when she made us apple fritters, that was usually in Autumn when the cooking apples were ripe on the old tree in the vegetable garden. Thin slices of apple rings were dipped in a batter and then deep fried. They cooked into bizarre shapes which kept us amused trying to guess what it resembled – a dinosaur, amoeba, gorilla, vampire, a rhino ….
Pancakes, or should I say batters are the quintessential fast food, amazingly versatile. At their most basic they are made with ingredients that are practically always to hand even in the galley of a non-domesticated god or goddess – flour, milk, eggs.

The proportions can be varied to make a rich or light, thick or thin batter, depending on use and craving.
A thick batter can be dropped in small or large spoonfuls onto a hot pan and cooked until the bubbles burst on one side before turning over to continue cooking on the flip side. These are delicious served with butter and jam or apple and sweet geranium jelly. Alternatively buttermilk pancakes make an all American breakfast lathered with butter, piled in a stack, drizzled with maple syrup and interleaved with crispy bacon.
A thinner batter produces all manner of crepes or thin pancakes. A lighter lacier result can be achieved by using half milk and water, rather than all milk. If you have little in the way of batterie de cuisine, the batter can be made in a bowl with a hand whisk or even a fork, but I recommend using a liquidiser or food processor for speed if you have one.

A non-stick pan is a real boon for pancakes and means that you can flip the pancakes effortlessly just like a pro. Another tip is to stir a few tablespoons of melted butter into the batter just before you start to cook – this not only enriches the pancakes but also ensures that the batter won’t stick to the pan. Batter can be made and used immediately but if one can allow it to rest for thirty minutes to an hour, the pancakes will be more digestible.

Pancakes can of course have sweet or savoury filling and needless to say, every country has its own version, from the Fazzoletti and Crespelle of Italy, to the Greek semolina pancakes – Simigali crepa and the soft spongy Baghrir pancakes of Morocco. In India we ate a myriad of pancakes, made not just from wheat flour but also rice flour , split peas, mung beans, chickpea flour depending on the region and with names like Utthappam, Dosa, Cheela and Poora. In China there are thin white flour pancakes called Moo shoo row and in Vietnam – Banh xeo and Korea – Pa’chon- both semolina flour pancakes made from a similar type batter but served with different accompaniments.
So don’t just save pancakes for Shrove Tuesday, when you start to experiment you’ll discover there’s probably a pancake for every day of the year.


Whip up a batter with flour and milk and in a matter of minutes you will be flipping delicious speckled pancakes.


Pancake Batter

6 ozs (170g) plain white flour, preferably unbleached

a good pinch of salt
1 dessertsp. castor sugar, (omit for savoury pancakes)
2 large eggs and 1 or 2 egg yolks, preferably free range
scant : pint (450ml) milk, or for very crisp, light delicate pancakes, milk and water mixed
3-4 dessertsp. melted butter

To Serve:
Butter, freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar.

Serves 6 – makes 12 approx.

Sieve the flour, salt, and sugar into a bowl, make a well in the centre and drop in the lightly beaten eggs. With a whisk or wooden spoon, starting in the centre, mix the egg and gradually bring in the flour. Add the liquid slowly and beat until the batter is covered with bubbles. (If they are to be served with sugar and lemon juice, stir in an extra tablespoon of castor sugar and the finely grated rind of half a lemon).
Let the batter stand in a cold place if you have time. Just before you cook the pancakes stir in 3-4 dessertspoons melted butter. This will make all the difference to the flavour and texture of the pancakes and will make it possible to cook them without greasing the pan each time.
Heat a non stick pan over a high heat, pour in a small ladleful of batter or just enough to film the base of the pan. The batter should cook immediately, loosen around the edges with a rubber slice, flip over and cook for a few seconds on the other side. Slide onto a plate, serve with your chosen filling either sweet or savoury.
For Shrove Tuesday the traditional accompaniments of butter, freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar are my favourite.

Other accompaniments for Sweet Pancakes
Bananas and butterscotch sauce
Butter apples laced with mixed spices
Cinnamon butter
Melted chocolate and cream
Home-made jam and cream
Honey and chopped walnuts

Savoury Pancakes

Stir a few tablespoons of freshly chopped herbs into the batter. Well seasoned mushrooms or Mushroom á la creme, bacon, crispy pieces of chicken, mussels, shrimps or whatever tasty bits you come across in the fridge, added to Mushroom á la creme, or Tomato fondue and Pesto make delicious fillings.


Buttermilk Pancakes with Crispy Bacon and Maple Syrup

Serves 10
1 lb (450 g) plain white flour
1 teaspoon bread soda
Large pinch salt
1-2 ozs (30 –55 g) sugar
1 egg, free-range if possible
1 pint (600 ml) buttermilk
Hot crispy streaky bacon
Maple syrup or Irish honey

Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, make a well in the centre, add the egg and enough buttermilk to make a batter of a dropping consistency (it usually takes a full pint). Drop a large tablespoonful onto a non-stick pan, cook for 3-4 minutes on one side before turning over, the pancakes are ready to turn when the bubbles burst. Flip over gently and cook until golden on the other side.
To serve: put one pancake on a hot plate, spread with butter and drizzle with maple syrup and honey and top with another buttered pancake. Put a few pieces of hot crispy bacon on top. Serve more maple syrup or honey as an accompaniment.

Pancakes with Sour Cream and Jam

Serve hot pancakes with jam and sour cream.

Apple and Cinnamon Fritters

Apple Fritters have been one of my absolutely favourite puddings since I was a child – nothing changed I still love them.
Serves 6 approx.

4 cooking apples, Bramley Seedling or Grenadier
4 ozs (110g) plain white flour
pinch of salt
1 egg, free range if possible
¼ pint (150ml) milk
sunflower or peanut oil for frying
8 ozs (225g) castor sugar
1 teasp. cinnamon

Sieve the flour into a bowl, add a pinch of salt. Make a well in the centre, whisk the egg slightly, pour into the centre slowly add the milk whisking in a full circle, gradually bring in the flour from the outside. Continue to whisk until the batter is light and bubbly. Peel and core the apples, cut into ¼ inch (5mm) thick slices. Heat about 1½ inches (4cm) of oil in a frying pan. Dip a few slices of apple into the batter one by one. Fry on both sides until crisp and golden, drain well. Add cinnamon to the castor sugar, toss each fritter in and serve immediately with softly whipped cream.

Banana Fritters

Bananas also make great fritters. Split in half lengthways and then in half again if you would like shorter pieces. Omit the cinnamon fro


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