Easter this week, or next – if you’re of the week-starts-on-Sunday persuasion – and I hope everyone will be baking. That’s the best part of the holiday for me; both the activity and the fact that we can bake things that never turn up during the year, except for Christmas or a birthday.
The traditional Italian Easter cake is a challenge, as you might expect from the standards of panettone: colomba di pasqua, or Easter dove, is yeast-leavened like panettone and baked in special bird-shaped cases. Hot cross buns are much less hassle and I strongly encourage everyone to try their hand at baking them at home; incomparably better than any shop-bought. And if yeast-risen dough is not your element, a simnel cake with marzipan and lots of fruit might be the thing.
Perhaps you want to put your feet up and make just a nod towards baking – or delegate it to the kids? Greek koulourakia cookies are easy and fun to make, as are Sedgemoor biscuits. Or how about making your own, artisan, DIY creme eggs?
Lamb or ham is traditional choice for the Easter Sunday brunch but there’s no reason why you couldn’t cook braised pork or go for roast sirloin at low temperature (simply exquisite). Or even a roast chicken. Or a roasted spice rubbed duck. Make sure there are some roast potatoes; lucky us in England will sample first Jersey Royal, maybe sautéed with a bit of spinach? Or just boiled and lightly crushed with a touch of seasoning. And asparagus: the simpler cooked the better.
Have a look through the content pages for inspiration, and subscribe to the newsletter to get ideas in your inbox. Have a great holiday everyone!