My book begins and ends at a dinner party.
There are, in fact, a series of dinner parties. And, naturally, as anyone who’s ever been to a dinner party will know, there’s lots of sexual tension, hurt feelings, and cutlery.
I’m not putting the recipes into my book. It’s fiction, not a cookbook. Oh, I might allude to some of the ingredients but I don’t specify method or quantities. But I will here…
This is the recipe for the pudding my main character makes in chapter one.
For the posset –
600ml double cream
200g golden caster sugar
Zest of 3 lemons, plus 75ml juice
For the shortbread –
140g cold butter, diced
140g plain flour
85g golden caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
50g ground rice, or more flour
85g flaked almonds
- Make the posset first. Put the cream in a big saucepan with the sugar and gently heat, stirring until the sugar has melted. Bring to a simmer and bubble for one minute. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice. Divide between pots or bowls, cool to room temperature, then carefully cover and chill for at least three hours.
- To make the shortbread, heat the oven to 160℃. Rub the butter and flour together until no lumps remain in the mixture. Tip into a bowl, and add the sugar, ground rice and almonds. Line the base of a 22cm square tin with baking parchment. Tip the mixture and press it down firmly, making it as flat as you can. Dredge with more sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes, until pale golden in colour. Cool in the tin.
(Alternatively, buy a packet of shortbread, hide the packaging, and take the credit.)
- Cut the shortbread into shards and serve with the possets and little spoons.