Published in April 2013, Food For Friends by Edward Hayden is well timed for summer parties and home entertaining. I was sent a copy of the book for review and here’s my thoughts:
With chapter titles ranging from “Children’s Birthday Party” to “All The Big Occasions” this bright hardback book shouldn’t be confused with a regular cookbook. Each recipe has a minimum serving size of 6 portions (sometimes more), which makes catering for larger groups easier.
The recipes are full of simple, clean flavours which are certain to appeal to even the pickiest of eaters. There’s nothing worse than a full serving plate at the end of a party!
The highlights of the book are the little “handy hint” sections which can be found at the bottom of most recipes. They contain gems of food knowledge and tips on how to improve a recipe and save you time.
If you’re planning a gathering at home, Food For Friends is a great reference to have to hand and can be purchased directly from O’Brien Press for €22.99 and all good bookshops nationwide. I also know there is at least 1 copy in my local library available for loan. I can see this book working for a wide range of occasions from Summer BBQ’s to First Holy Communion parties.
- 4oz/110g butter
- 4oz/110g caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 9oz/250g plain flour
- 1/2 vanilla pod
- 10floz/300ml milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon flour
- Selection of fresh fruit (kiwi, peaches, strawberries, grapes, apples, pears, blackberries)
- Place the flour, butter, caster sugar and egg into an electric beater and mix for a couple of minutes until the pastry comes together. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest. After at least an hour in the fridge, roll the pastry out on a floured work surface and use it to line a greased 8 inch/20cm loose-bottomed flan ring. Blind bake the tart.
- Using a sharp knife scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod. Place the vanilla pod and seeds into a large suacepan with the milk and bring the milk to the boil. Mix the caster sugar and egg yolks together and whisk until pale and creamy. Add in the flour and mix to a smooth paste. Pour the boiled milk onto the mixture and return the mixture to a clean pan. Return to a very low heat and cook the mixture thoroughly, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened. Place in a clean bowl and allow to cool down completely. Cover and store in the fridge until required.
- Here I skipped on the glazing part (which you can find in the book) and simply assembled the tart by spooning the cooled pastry cream into the pastry shell, then I cut fresh strawberries in half and popped them on top.
- Edward has a great "handy hint" at the bottom of this recipe but you'll have to get the book to find out!