Recipes featured in

Witches at the Wedding

Few things were as enjoyable to Annabelle as dinner with friends. The musical notes of cutlery clinking against plates, the ripple of laughter that followed shared jokes, the passing and sharing of plates, wine, sometimes babies—all enriched some deep part of her soul.
She was especially looking forward to tonight’s dinner. On the guest list was her beloved Father John, her oldest friend Mary, and the rare company of Harper Jones. Mary’s husband, Rafael, was arriving in a couple of days, as was Harper’s. Mike’s absence was a slight disappointment, but Annabelle wasn’t going to worry too much about it. They had a lifetime to dine together..

Witches at the Wedding by Alison Golden

Passionate Plum Charlotte

Approx. 2 oz (60g) butter

6 oz (170g) fresh white breadcrumbs

1½ lb (700g) ripe fresh plums, halved and stoned

4 oz (115g) soft brown sugar

Finely grated rind and juice of ½ lemon

7½ fl oz (225ml) fresh or diluted frozen orange juice

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5. Brush the base and sides of a shallow baking dish with some of the butter. Cover the base with some of the breadcrumbs. 

Put a layer of plums in the dish, sprinkle with some of the sugar and a little lemon rind and juice. Dot with more butter. Continue with these layers until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with a layer of breadcrumbs and dotting with butter.

Pour over the orange juice and bake in a fairly hot oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the Charlotte feels tender when pierced with a skewer and the top layer of breadcrumbs is golden-brown. Serve straight from the baking dish.

Serves 4 to 6.

Book cover of Witches at the Wedding by Alison Golden

Contemplative Custard Tart

For the shortcrust pastry

4 oz (115g) flour

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp sugar

2 oz (60g) butter

1-2 tbsp water

For the custard

2 eggs, beaten

1 oz (30g) sugar

½ pint (235ml) milk

½ tsp grated nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. To prepare the pastry, sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl, then stir in the sugar. Add the butter in pieces and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Gradually stir in enough water to form a soft dough. Form the dough into a ball and wrap in foil or greaseproof paper. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Roll out the chilled dough on a floured board to a circle large enough to line a 18cm/7 inch flan dish placed on a baking sheet. Prick the bottom of the dough. Chill in the refrigerator for a further 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the custard. Put the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat in the milk with a fork until the sugar dissolves. Strain the custard into the chilled flan case. 

Sprinkle with grated nutmeg and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4, and bake for a further 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden and the filling is set.

Serve warm or cold.

Book cover of Witches at the Wedding by Alison Golden

Joyous Jam Roly-poly

4 oz (115g) self-raising flour

¾ tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 oz (60g) shredded beef suet or shortening

2-3 tbsp hot water

8 tbsp jam

Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.  Stir in the suet or shortening, then gradually stir in the hot water until the dough comes together and leaves the sides of the bowl.  Knead until smooth, then roll out on a floured board to an oblong about 0.5cm/¼-inch thick.

Spread half of the jam along the dough, leaving a margin round the sides. Roll up like a Swiss roll from one of the short ends, pinching and sealing the edges with a little water. Wrap loosely in greased foil or a double thickness of greaseproof paper.  Seal well.

Place in the top of a steamer over rapidly boiling water and steam for 1½ to 2 hours, topping up the water level from time to time during cooking.

Just before serving the roly-poly, heat the remaining jam in a small pan. When the roly-poly is cooked, remove from the steamer, unwrap the foil or greaseproof paper and transfer the pudding to a hot serving dish. Pour over the warmed jam and serve immediately with custard, cream, or ice cream.

Serves 3 to 4.

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Witches at the Wedding by Alison Golden
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