Tag Archives: custard

The body knows what it needs

One of my very own lymphocytes taken using a Box Brownie. Incidentally I was delighted to discover that when I downloaded this image my computer 'scanned it for viruses'

I do think that often our bodies know what food they need and sometimes crave something that will rectify a deficiency.  A yearning for milk or nuts or oranges can be an instinctive way of topping up our minerals, Vitamin C, salt or protein.  A craving for chocolate and Richard Armitage is a sure sign of the body’s need for endorphins. I expect.

Last week both the boys had three days off school with diarrhoea and vomiting. Boy the Elder vomited occasionally but loitered palely on the sofa with a volume of Keats and a lace handkerchief, whilst Boy the Younger positioned himself on the lavatory with a bucket between his knees.

I rarely get actual symptoms of anything, but feel like death as my body goes into battle with whichever primordial set of viruses the boys bring home, probably generously donated by the parents who refuse to let their children stay at home when they’re poorly.

This week, I was clearly not only awash with lymphocytes but I had also run out of my migraine tablets.  This resulted in my spending all of Sunday night, and most of Monday, moaning in pain as the rainbow triangles darted in front of my eyes whilst trying to decide whether I was going to vomit because of the virus or the migraine and whether the stomach cramps were going to confine me to the bathroom indefinitely.

As it was, I was spared the bog and bucket fandango, and the application of boiling hot water bottles to the back of my neck and head alleviated the migraine sufficiently for me to drive the boys to school.

However, it is now Tuesday night and, although I was fine this morning, I was obliged to lie down for an hour before Scouts to re-charge as the nausea had set in again.  My giblets were gurgling and rumbling like a dysfunctional lava lamp and I felt as though I needed to eat something to appease the God of Wind.

As I collected Boy the Elder from Scouts, I was handed a small piece of apple cake which they had made during the session.  The smell of freshly cooked apple called to me, the light, fragrant sponge sang to me and I knew that the only thing that would make me better was a piece of apple sponge and custard.

I ran into the Co-op, grabbed an Eve’s Pudding for One and a tin of Ambrosia Custard, shoved it into the microwave and chowed it down.

I am cured.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.  You’re never alone with custard.


Filed under Food, Health and Fitness, Nutrition & Sensible Eating

Baked Apples stuffed with Mincemeat

Like me, I bet you have at least half a jar of mincemeat left over from Christmas.  Now’s the time to use it up.  Baked apples are a wonderfully comforting pudding and can be served with fresh cream, crème fraiche, custard made with custard powder or Creme Anglaise (made from scratch).  This recipe is dead easy and quick to make.


1 x ovenproof dish
1 x apple corer or sharp knife

1oz / 30g butter
4 cooking apples
4 Tablespoons of mincemeat
2 tablespoons of honey or golden syrup

Preheat the oven to 180 / 360 / 4
Grease the dish with a little butter
Remove the cores from the apples
Place the apples in the dish
Fill the centre of the apples with the mincemeat
Dribble the honey or syrup over the apples
Put a little blob of butter onto each one
Put a couple of tablespoons of water into the dish
Bake for about 45 minutes or until the apple is nice and soft


Filed under Christmas, Food, Leftovers, Recipes

A Very English Dinner Party in Three Parts. Part 3 Treacle Tart

And finally the pudding!

TREACLE TART – serves 6 gentlefolk or 4 gluttons

1 x 8″ flan dish
1 x mini chopper
1 x small saucepan
1 x rolling pin

8oz / 240g golden syrup
1 tblspn lemon juice
2oz / 60g fresh white breadcrumbs
1 packet of shortcrust pastry
butter and flour for greasing and rolling out

Pre-heat the oven to 190 / 375 / 5
Grease and flour the flan dish
Roll out the pastry onto a floured surface and line the flan dish, trimming off the excess and dampening the edges
Roll out the excess and cut out 8 strips about as wide as your little finger to decorate the tart
Warm the syrup and lemon juice in the pan then thoroughly mix in the breadcrumbs
Pour into the flan case – remember this syrup mixture will be very hot, so don’t dip your finger in!
Arrange the strips of pastry into a lattice on the top
Bake for approximately 35 minutes

Serve with custard or cream. 
For instructions on how to make Real Custard, see the post ‘Custard Continuum.’


Filed under Entertaining, Food, Recipes

Custard Continuum… Creme Anglaise

Yesterday, I had a piece of rather shocking news.  Apparently Bird’s Custard is not The Real Thing. 

Now before you all start writing in, and ‘phoning your therapists, I have undertaken some serious academic research on the matter and it turns out that there is something rather marvellous out there called Creme Anglaise.

Creme Anglaise is what used to happen before Bird’s Custard was invented and is what you will get if you go into a decent restaurant and order something with custard. 

I am teasing you all mercilessly of course, because I am perfectly aware of the existence of Real Custard (not be confused with Real Tennis or the Real IRA) and it’s actually not difficult to make and tastes wonderful.  This recipe calls for 2 egg yolks, so remember to keep the egg whites to make meringues.  

In fact, if you are terribly smart, you could float a meringue in the Real Custard and drizzle some Rosehip Syrup  (or similar) over it to make a seriously posh pud.  You see how I pull it all together my dears? 
This is how you make Creme Anglaise:-


1 x large bowl
1 x whisk
1 x medium sized heavy based saucepan *
1 x sieve

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2oz / 60g caster sugar
8floz / 250ml double cream
8floz / 250ml full fat milk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

Beat the egg yolks and eggs together with the caster sugar until really well blended
Pour the cream and milk into a heavy based saucepan
Add the vanilla pod
Bring the milk, cream and vanilla mixture almost to the boil, stirring constantly to stop it browning the bottom of the pan.
Remove the vanilla pod and pour the milk and cream into the eggs, whisking vigorously all the time
Pour the mixture back into a heavy based saucepan and heat over a low heat, stirring gently but continuously until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon
Take it off the heat but keep stirring it for a couple of minutes.
Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl or jug and serve

* To absolutely avoid any chance of burning the bottom of the pan, use a bain marie if you have one, as this prevents direct heat getting to the custard.


Filed under Food, Recipes, Storecupboard

Cheese Pie

Cheese Pie - wholeCheese Pie made a regular appearance on the dinner table when we were children, but my grandmother, as far as I remember, made it simply with layers of cheese and potato with a crust on the top and I don’t remember ever being given vegetables with it.  My scurvy has very nearly cleared up.

The Wartime Housewife and her sisters (in whom she is well pleased) enhance this dish in different ways to make it a bit more interesting.  The great thing is, that like the best of home cooking, one can improvise depending on what is in the storecupboard

Cheese Pie portionThere will be half a pack of shortcrust pastry left over which could be well wrapped and frozen, or better still, while the oven is on, make some jam tarts or a few little apple pies to have with custard for pudding tomorrow. 

A note about pastry, before anyone pounces on me.  Obviously, it is always better to make your own pastry, but don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself if you’re a busy person.  Shop-bought pastry is perfectly good.    Before I had my children, my hands were always icy cold and I made the best pastry in the world.  Sadly, the hormonal assault of pregnancy has permanently warmed me up and I ruin every bowl of pastry I attempt, so I buy it.  Life is too short to fret about these things.

This evening I made Cheese Pie for me and The Boys  and it will easily stretch to another meal, perhaps with some extra vegetables or salad.  This is what I put in:-

Heat the oven to 200/ 400/ 6


1 x medium casserole dish
1 x medium saucepan
1 x chopping board


2lb / 1kg potatoes – thinly sliced and par boiled
½ onion – finely chopped
A few florets of broccoli cut very finely
½ tin of chopped tomatoes or 2 fresh tomatoes
1lb/500g Cheddar cheese – sliced
¼ pint of cream or full fat milk
1 tspn mixed herbs
1 packet of ready made shortcrust pastry


Place a single layer of potatoes in the casserole dish.
Alternate the layers eg onions then cheese then potatoes, then broccoli, cheese, potatoes, tomatoes, cheese, potatoes etc, finishing up with a layer of potatoes
Sprinkle the herbs on the top and pour the cream or milk over the whole thing.
Roll out the pastry to about ¼” / 1/2cm and cut to fit the dish.
Place the pastry on top of the layered potatoes
Cut three slits in the pastry to let the steam escape and brush with milk
Bake for about 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown


Filed under Food, Recipes, Storecupboard