Custard, shortbread and rhubarb compote

Custard filling:

Ingredients (serves six):

6 free-range egg yolks

50-75 golden caster sugar

500ml whipping cream

Freshly grated nutmeg


Preheat oven down to 120c°/gas mark 1.

Bring cream to a simmer in a saucepan.

Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Add the cream, whisking continuously and mix well. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve into a pouring jug. Leave to rest for a minute or two then spoon off the frothy head that has formed.

Place 6 ramekins into a deep baking tray and pour in the custard mix into them.

Place the baking tray into the oven and pour in enough hot water into the tray to come halfway up the ramekin outsides.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the custards are just set but still a bit wobbly in the middle.

Remove from the oven, take ramekins out of the baking tray and grate the surfaces liberally with freshly grated nutmeg. Allow to cool before serving.

Alternatively: pour custard into rectangular baking dish and bake/set as one.



Shortbread biscuits:

Ingredients (serves six):

250g salted butter, softened

110g golden caster sugar,

plus more to sprinkle

250g plain flour, plus more to dust

125g cornflour

Pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 170ºC/fan

Cream butter and sugar

Sift in flours and salt

Roll into sausage, wrap in clingfilm and chill for 30mins

Cut into rounds and bake 15-20mins

Sprinkle with extra sugar and allow to rest.

Note: can be made a day or two in advance and stored in airtight container.


For the rhubarb compote:


500ml water

250ml golden caster sugar

Vanilla pod/ tsp of Vanilla paste

Zest of half an Orange

400g Rhubarb (Cut into 2-3cm chunks)

In a saucepan, add water, sugar, vanilla and orange zest.

Bring to a vigorous boil, add the rhubarb, place lid on and take off the heat.

Leave to stand for 5-6mins with a lid on. With a slotted spoon, remove rhubarb and vanilla and rest in a bowl until needed.

Bring liquid (sugar syrup) back to the boil and reduce to a sticky glaze.

Pour over rhubarb and gently stir through.

Lamb skewers with fig relish and cauliflower cous cous


450g/1lb lamb neck fillets or shoulder, cut into 2.5cm/1 inch cubes
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
30ml/2tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
30ml/2tsp freshly chopped coriander
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
10ml/2tsp ground paprika
5ml/1tsp ground cumin
15ml/1tbsp distilled or white wine vinegar
10ml/2tsp rapeseed or olive oil

For the Fig Relish:

100g/4oz prepared pomegranate seeds
50g/2oz dried figs, finely chopped
1 small handful freshly chopped mint
5ml/1tsp pomegranate molasses (available in the world food aisle of large supermarkets)
20ml/4tsp rapeseed or olive oil
1.25ml/¼tsp ground cumin

For the Cauliflower Couscous:

1 medium cauliflower, outer leaves removed (florets should weigh 350g/12oz) and roughly chopped
30ml/2tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
1 small red onion, peeled and cut into small wedges
15ml/1tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
30ml/2tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
30ml/2tbsp freshly chopped mint


1. Put the lamb cubes in a large bowl and add all the onion, herbs, oil, vinegar and seasonings. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour, or if time allows, overnight.
2. To prepare the fig relish; in a medium-sized bowl mix all the ingredients and set aside.
3. To prepare the cauliflower `couscous’; put the cauliflower florets in a food processor and `pulse’ until the mixture resembles couscous or small grains.
4. Thread the lamb onto 4-6 metal or wooden skewers (previously soaked in water for 20 minutes). Cook under a preheated, moderate grill for 4-6 minutes on each side.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the couscous; heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over moderate heat. Add the onions and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until the mixture turns golden brown.
6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon juice, seasoning and herbs.
7. Spoon the cauliflower couscous onto a large plate or platter, position the skewers on top and serve with the fig relish.