WARM AND COMFORTING

COOKING FOR CHILDREN: PUDDINGS AND PIES; Annabel Karmel updates some old-fashioned favourites for happy consumption by both adults and children of the 1990s

THERE was once a time when children ate largely the same food as their parents. Nowadays pre-packaged and processed foods tend to win out, but there's no reason not to serve up one of the old-fashioned favourites from time to time. Foods that were, often quite rightly, vilified at school can be brought up to date to give as much pleasure as the most intricate or modern culinary masterpieces. Here are some suggestions for family- oriented food that's relaxing and simple to cook and has a definite flavour of nostalgia.

MULTI-LAYERED SHEPHERD'S PIE

An attractive variation on a traditional nursery favourite. This recipe makes one family-sized dish, or you can prepare several mini portions in ramekins or other small dishes as individual portions for your child.

112 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, finely chopped

12 red pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 tablespoon parsley, freshly chopped

450g/1Ib lean minced beef or lamb

400g/14oz can chopped tomatoes

1 chicken stock cube, crumbled

1 teaspoon Marmite

freshly ground black pepper

450g/1Ib carrots, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons double cream

175g/6oz mixed frozen peas and sweetcorn

750g/112Ib potatoes

30g/1oz butter

60ml/2fl oz milk

salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion, red pepper and parsley in the oil until softened. Stir in the meat and cook until browned. Add the tomatoes, stock cube and Marmite and season with pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook the carrots and the potatoes separately in lightly salted water until tender. Drain and mash the carrots together with the cream and season to taste. Drain the potatoes and mash with the butter and milk until creamy and season to taste. Cook the frozen peas and sweetcorn in a little salted water according to the packet instructions. Spoon the meat into the base of a deep, round ovenproof glass dish (18cm/7in), top with the peas and sweetcorn, cover with the mashed carrots and top with the mashed potato. Dot with a little butter and bake in an oven pre- heated to 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 30 minutes, or until the top is brown and crispy.

ANNABEL'S BREAD AND BUTTER PUDDING

This is the perfect impromptu pudding to make when the cupboard is pretty bare. Stale bread will do for this recipe. It is also delicious made with raisin bread, chola or sliced panettone cake.

Makes 5 portions

275ml/9fl oz milk

275ml/9fl oz double cream

1 vanilla pod, split

6 thin slices white bread, crusts removed

40g/114oz unsalted butter

3 large eggs

60g/2oz castor sugar

60g/2oz sultana, soaked in water and drained

8 tablespoons apricot jam

icing sugar

Place the milk and cream in a pan with the vanilla pod and bring slowly to the boil. Cover and leave for 10 minutes. Butter a large ovenproof dish (approximately 26cm x 20cm/10in x 8in). Butter the slices of bread and cut diagonally into quarters. Arrange in the dish with sultanas between the slices. Whisk the eggs with the sugar. Remove the vanilla pod from the milk/cream mixture and gradually stir into the beaten eggs until well mixed. Pour over the bread and leave to stand for 20 minutes. Bake in a pre-heated oven (160C/325F/Gas 3) for 45 to 50 minutes. Allow to cool down a little. Gently heat the jam, thinning it with two to three teaspoons of water, strain and brush over the pudding. Dust with icing sugar.

APPLE AND BLACKBERRY PUDDING

Makes 5 portions

100g/4oz butter

100g/4oz castor sugar

2 eggs

100g/4oz ground almonds

5ml/1 teaspoon almond essence

450g/1lb cooking apples, peeled and sliced

225g/12lb blackberries, fresh or frozen

Cream together the butter and sugar and beat in the eggs, ground almonds and almond essence. Mix together the fruit, place in an ovenproof dish, spread over the topping and bake in a pre-heated oven (160C/325F/Gas 3) for 45 minutes.

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

art
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick