We think Easter is pretty underrated as a holiday. It plays second fiddle to its flashier sibling, Christmas. But there are so many perks to Easter, not least where food is concerned. Here are four delicious things to look forward to over the long weekend…
Hot Cross Buns
The cross atop these seasonal treats is to signify Christ’s crucifixion and are traditionally eaten on Good Friday.
We rate this recipe by Nigella, not just because it results in beautifully aromatic confections thanks to cardamom, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon flavours, but also because her buns are slightly smaller than normal making them perfect as small snack for the peckish rather than as a meal in their own right.
We love ours toasted and dripping in butter, accompanied by a nice cup of tea.
The traditional dish for Easter Sunday is of course, spring lamb. Leg, shoulder or loin is up to you but make sure you are getting fresh seasonal lamb.
Having salt, pepper and a little oil are sufficient ingredients for such flavoursome meat but additions of garlic, thyme and rosemary are all going to complement. The thing you need to pay close attention to when cooking lamb is temperature and timing, as well as basting. It can go horribly wrong if things aren’t done accurately.
Raymond Blanc hits the nail on the head with his recipe for slow roasted shoulder of spring lamb.
Of course, you can get mint sauce from the supermarket but making it from scratch at home will transform the meal and is less expensive, particularly if you have a flourishing herb pot or patch.
It’s super simple: take the leaves from a small bunch of fresh mint and place in a bowl with a tablespoon of caster sugar. Pour a tablespoon of hot water over the top and stir. Once cool, stir in a tablespoon of vinegar. Done!
Home-made chocolate eggs/painted eggs
Eggs are synonymous with Easter partly because in European countries it takes place in spring, a time of rebirth, growth and newness. But also, in Christianity because, as a symbol of new life, the egg represents the emergence of Christ from the tomb.
The first chocolate Easter eggs are thought to have been made in Germany and France at the start of the 19th century but in the UK, JS Fry of Bristol is believed to have made the first one in 1873. A couple of years later Cadbury followed suit and the market boomed.
Making your own chocolate eggs will propel you into show off territory but don’t let that stop you. You’ll need an accurate thermometer as tempering the chocolate is key to an Easter egg’s success and will result in a glossy high shine. We think this step-by-step guide from Independent is the best place for fledgling egg-makers to start.