I love this unadulterated – just endives cooked in buttery juices and a scant crumbling of sage. However, sometimes I do want something a bit more, so I add Marsala and cream as well. It depends on my mood.
You could also substitute endive with fennel, replacing the Marsala with white wine or something aniseedy, and the sage with dill.
Any child can make this — the tricky part is putting it in and taking it out of the oven.
If you have a vanilla pod, cut it in half, scrape out the seeds and add it to the milk at the beginning. This gives it an extra nice flavour. If you like your pudding very smooth, you can add some cream at the end. Eat it either warm or cold.
Ask any chef how to make chips and they will say they need to be fried twice: first at medium heat, then in hotter oil. Now comes a totally different view: you can fry the potatoes once, starting with stone-cold oil.
This is my favourite cake. It was a classic recipe of my late Italian grandmother. Part of its appeal is that it tastes great using both milk or parve — with white wine instead. The oil as an alternative to butter or margarine makes it moist. It is perfect for tea, breakfast or as a snack any time of the day.
4 concorde or conference pears
1 cinnamon stick
Zest of ½ lemon
Juice of one lemon
120g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla bean paste
2 tbsp Amaretto or other almond-flavoured liqueur
For the almond brittle
75g toasted flaked almonds
150g caster sugar
Groundnut oil, for greasing
You can make this in a large pudding dish or, for a sophisticated alternative, in individual ramekins. Grease and line the ramekin base with a baking parchment circle and reduce the cooking time to about 20 minutes. Turn out to serve.