Recipe: Potty about my yoghurt

'I HAVE been making my own yoghurt for about 30 years,' writes Miriam Blair of Sevenoaks, Kent. Below, to continue our series on cooking with cream, sour cream, creme fraiche and yoghurt, we give her simple formula, followed by two more recipes submitted from readers in Devon and Durham. Each contributor will receive a bottle of 1990 Givry Champs Pourot Domaine Ragot, a chardonnay from the Cotes Chalonnaise.

Ms Blair writes: 'I start with either a packet of dried culture or a pot of real yoghurt from a health food shop. Into an open-necked, scalded vacuum flask I put one tin of Carnation milk and then the same tin full of boiling water. Add 4tbs yoghurt (or culture, following directions) and stir. Cover and leave for about three or four hours. . . . It doesn't taste of Carnation milk, but it's nice and creamy. I have also made it in a bowl set in a warm sunny place, or on top of the boiler.'

I tested her recipe the latter way, using a 14oz (410g) tin and, as starter, a 5oz (140g) tub of Loseley live yoghurt. It yielded 1 3/4 lb (800g) of perfectly good yoghurt, which I decanted into an old yoghurt tub and stored in the fridge.

The next recipe is Turkish but was submitted by a Norwegian, Arnhild Skre, a newspaper editor and author living in Durham. It comes from a book the contributor wrote on the immigrant kitchens of Norway.

Carrot salad

Serves 4-6

Ingredients: 1 1/2 lb (685g)carrots

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

salt

1tsp olive oil

15oz (425g) yoghurt

black olives, split and pipped

Preparation: Wash, peel and boil the carrots until tender. Dry and grate them. Mix with garlic, salt, olive oil and yoghurt. Serve dotted with black olives.

THE final recipe, for a lemon yoghurt flan, is blessedly simple. Rachel Hilliard writes from Exeter, Devon: 'I learnt this recipe from the family housekeeper when I was an au pair in France.'

Lemon and yoghurt flan

Serves 6

Ingredients: 4 1/4 oz (125g) pot of yoghurt

same pot of plain flour (3 1/2 oz)

same pot of caster sugar (4 1/2 oz)

2 medium eggs

1 level tsp baking powder

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350F/180C/gas mark 4. Sift together flour and baking powder. Whisk eggs, add remaining ingredients, pour into a greased flan dish and bake 20-30 minutes, until golden. Serve hot or cold.

Next week: Irish yoghurt. Recipes, stating the source, for our series on Italian food in the British kitchen are still welcome. Send them to: Emily Green, Recipe, Weekend Features, the Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. Those whose recipes we print will receive a bottle of intensely flavoured Tuscan sangiovese 1990 Cepparello Isole e Olena.

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