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EASTER BAKING

Even if you haven’t been giving up those luxuries for Lent, the bank holiday is still a fine time to bake something more adventurous. Debbie Major’s innovative recipes will go a long way to guaranteeing a happy weekend for all

THE COUNTRY COOK’S GUIDE TO…

Whisky and pistachio simnel cake

RECIPES DEBBIE MAJOR PHOTOGRAPHS ANDREW MONTGOMERY FOOD STYLING ELLA TARN STYLING MORAG FARQUHAR

Hot cross buns, simnel cake, chocolate eggs… There are certain foods without which Easter wouldn’t be the same. Hot cross buns were originally made with dough left over from baking the sacramental loaves for Good Friday church services. Being such special cakes, they were marked with a cross. The egg has long been recognised as a symbol of fertility and new life. We now associate Easter with chocolate eggs, but in the past, hen’s eggs were traditional for Easter breakfast – all the more welcome after the 40 egg-free days of Lent. Sometimes eggs were dyed red and used to decorate bread loaves or given as gifts. In my house, the baking is done in advance of the feasting. I love to get into the kitchen on the days leading up to Good Friday, beaters in hand and the oven on, and cook up a few things to stash away in my cake tins.

Florentine shortbread fingers

MAKES 12 BISCUITS. HANDS-ON TIME 25 MIN, OVEN TIME 55 MIN

MAKE AHEAD

The shortbread will keep for up to 1 week, stored in a sealed airtight container.

FOOD TEAM’S TIP

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About Delicious Magazine

The April issue of delicious. is packed full of Easter fun: a prep-ahead feast with timeplan, Nathan Outlaw’s outrageously good pies, Mary Berry’s perfect scones, seasonal bakes and a family quiz. And what would Easter be without chocolate? Try our dreamy choc puddings and make your own designer eggs. After all the fun, relax with one-pan midweek suppers and ideas for leftovers and money-saving meals. Plus all the tips and techniques to make you a better cook and a free egg recipe supplement.
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