Top Five Family Favourite Recipes

Top 5 Family Favourite Recipes


Top 5 Family Favourite Recipes
from Dairy Diary

2015 has heralded an influx of requests for old Dairy Diary recipes. I always do my best to find these for people – they often have such sweet stories attached – but in truth we don’t have any form of filing system for the older books, it is literally a case of climbing a ladder and searching through the old books, so it sometimes takes quite some time!

These stories of much-loved long lost recipes have got me thinking about which recipes I most cherish and will want to pass on to my children. It’s really tricky to select just a few, but these Dairy Diary classics are cooked again and again in my kitchen.

Pear & Ginger Trifle

Pear & Ginger Trifle

1982. It’s a bit/lot before my time with Dairy Diary but after I stumbled across this it became a family classic and is my other half’s favourite dessert.

Serves 6
Time 25 mins plus cooling
Calories 437 per portion
Fat 30g of which 16.9g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Pears 450g (1lb), peeled cored and sliced
Cider 150ml (¼ pint)
Soft brown sugar 50g (2oz)
Jamaican ginger cake ½ loaf, sliced
Custard 450ml (¾ pint), cooled
Double cream 250ml (8fl oz), whipped
Orange and lime 1 of each, finely grated zest to decorate, optional

1 Place pears in a pan with cider and sugar. Simmer for about 10 minutes until soft then leave to cool.

2 Arrange ginger cake in a glass serving dish and pour pears and cider over the top. Top with cooled custard and leave to set.

3 Spoon whipped cream around edge of dish and sprinkle with orange and lime zest, if using. Serve chilled.


Auntie Lous Bread Pudding

Auntie Lou’s Bread Pudding

2006. This moist bread pudding is packed with fruit and perfect for popping in the rucksack before a long walk (with an obligatory flask of course).

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 1 hour 15 minutes
Calories per square 228 Kcal
Fat per square 9.8g of which saturated 5.6g
Makes 16 squares
Suitable for freezing
Suitable for vegetarians

White bread 2–3 days old, crust removed: 225g (8oz), bread torn into small pieces
Milk 375ml (13fl oz)
Oranges 2, grated rind of both, juice of 1
Mixed ground spice 1 tbsp
Seedless raisins 175g (6oz)
Sultanas 150g (5oz)
Mixed chopped peel 50g (2oz)
Ready-to-eat prunes 75g (3oz), chopped
Ready-to-eat dried apricots 75g (3oz), chopped
Glacé cherries 75g (3oz), quartered
Eggs 3, beaten
Butter 150g (5oz), melted
Black treacle 1–2 tbsp
Granulated sugar

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and grease a 23cm (9in) square shallow baking dish.

2 Soak the bread with the milk in a bowl for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the sugar, and mix well. Transfer to the baking dish, spread evenly and bake for 45–50 minutes until the pudding is lightly browned and set in the centre.

3 Sprinkle with the granulated sugar and serve hot with custard. Or leave to cool, cut into squares, cover and refrigerate.

Cook’s tip: If serving warm with custard, stir a little extra grated orange rind and a tablespoon or two of sherry into the custard when reheating.


Gourmet Beans on Toast

Gourmet Beans on Toast

2009. This is so simple, it almost isn’t a recipe, but without it I would never thought of combining these ingredients. It’s perfect for Saturday lunch.

Serves 2
Time 20 mins
576 calories per portion
23g fat of which 8g is saturated

Organic baked beans 400g can
Tuna in spring water 200g can, drained and flaked
Mayonnaise 2 tbsp
Snipped chives 1 tbsp
Thick slices of bread 2, cut horizontally from a small round loaf
Cheddar cheese 50g (2oz), grated
Tomato 4–6 slices
Basil leaves to garnish, optional

1 Preheat grill. On the hob, gently heat baked beans in a small pan.

2 Mix tuna with mayonnaise and chives and season with black pepper.

3 Toast bread on one side, then turn over and just very lightly toast other side. Spread tuna mixture evenly over each slice of toast (right up to edges).

4 Spoon baked beans over tuna, sprinkle with cheese and cook under grill until cheese is melted and lightly browned. Add tomato slices and cook for just 1 minute. Serve garnished with basil and sprinkled with pepper.


Peanut Noodles

Peanut Noodles

2012. When we’re squeezing dinner in between tidying and piano practise and reading stories, this super-quick recipe is easy to prepare but absolutely delicious.

Serves 2
Time 15 mins
Calories 474 per portion
Fat 17g of which 3.1g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians

Sesame oil 1 tbsp
Courgette 1, cut into thin sticks
Carrots 2, peeled and cut into thin sticks
Baby corn 125g pack
Mushrooms 110g (4oz), sliced
Straight-to-wok noodles 300g pack
Milk 4 tbsp
Sweet chilli sauce 1 tbsp
Crunchy peanut butter 2 tbsp
Coriander to garnish

1 Heat oil in a wok and stir-fry vegetables for about 5 minutes.

2 Add noodles to wok and warm through for 2 minutes.

3 Meanwhile, put milk, sweet chilli sauce and peanut butter in a bowl and microwave on full power for 30–40 seconds. Whisk together.

4 Just before serving, stir peanut sauce into noodles and vegetables. Divide between two bowls and garnish with coriander leaves.


Lemon Chicken

Lemon Chicken

2013. I LOVE this recipe. It tastes like something a restaurant would serve, but it’s so easy and pretty healthy too. Win win win.

Serves 4
Time 1 ¼ hours
Calories 426 per portion
Fat 20g of which 6.9g is saturated

Potatoes 4 medium, peeled and cut into wedges
Olive oil 3 tbsp
Lemons 2, 1 cut into 6 wedges and the other cut into 8 slices
Garlic 4 cloves, unpeeled
Thyme sprigs a few
Chicken breasts 4, skin on
Freshly grated nutmeg
Parma ham 4 slices
Chicken stock 150ml (¼ pint)
Crème frâiche 4 tbsp

1 Preheat oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 and heat a baking tray. Boil potato wedges for 5 minutes. Drain well and add to baking tray with 2 tbsp oil. Squeeze lemon wedges over potatoes and add to tray along with garlic and thyme. Roast near the bottom of the oven for 50 minutes, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown.

2 Meanwhile, put chicken in a roasting tin, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, and nutmeg. Place a piece of ham on each chicken breast and put 2 lemon slices on top. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of oil and bake in the oven above the potatoes for 20 minutes, then pour in the stock and bake for a further 20 minutes.

3 Transfer chicken and potatoes to hot plates. Whisk crème frâiche into pan juices and pour over the chicken.


Which classic recipes will you pass on to your loved ones?







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