“What good are wings without the courage to fly?”
‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, Harper Lee
The first day of a holiday, when Grace was much younger, she bounded up to me at the poolside, whilst I was helping Lara put on her rubber armbands. Taking off her summer dress to reveal her beautiful new swimming costume, she took herself to the side of the pool. “Grace, can you swim?” I asked her. “Yes, Aunty Anna, I can now.” So, she jumped in. Within a second, Paul was in there too, fully clothed. He managed to pull her from the bottom of the pool to where she had sunk! “She said she could swim!” I shrieked at Paul. “She can. With armbands!” he cried.
Another one of Grace and Lara’s favourite desserts to make. It is tricky to master, but have the courage to try it out.
115g (4oz) caster sugar, for the caramel * 650ml (1¼ pint) full-fat milk * 1 vanilla pod * 140g (5oz) caster sugar * 3 egg * 3 egg yolks
Make the caramel: put the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and heat until it dissolves and starts to caramelise. Tip the saucepan from side to side as the sugar cooks to keep the colour even. Remove from the heat and carefully add 2 tbsp water to stop the cooking process. Pour into six 125ml/4 floz ramekins and leave to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 180oC/350oF/Gas 4. Put the milk and the vanilla pod into a saucepan and bring just to the boil. Mix together the sugar, eggs and egg yolks. Strain the boiling milk over the egg mixture and stir well. Ladle into the ramekins and place in a roasting tin. Pour enough hot water into the tin to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
Cook for 40 minutes, or until firm to touch. Remove from the tin and leave for 15 minutes. Unmould onto plates and pour any leftover caramel over it.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
There are more recipes in the section THE FRENCH COLLECTION, a selection of authentic French recipes.
Perfect after: click on image