I’m not talking about frozen precipitation, garden flowers or silly people, I’m talking about desserts! Since the earliest Tudor times, Eng;and’s reputation as the master (or mistress) of cold sweets and desserts was renowned throughout the ‘known’ world.

Snows, tansies, fools, creams, flummeries, syllabubs, creams, possets, sorbets, iced creams, and even lemon solid and whim-wham, aren’t they just names to conjure with – oh, and not forgetting Scotland’s famous atholl brose?!

One of the simplest and most popular cold desserts in our family, which I always associate with my Aunty Audrey as she first made it for one of her parties, is orange and lemon boodle. it is the sort of recipe which is infinitely adjustable, according to what you have and what quantities of each ingredient is in your cupboard or fridge.

The most basic for of orange and lemon boodle involves sponge fingers (or any other sponge you have) double cream, a little sugar, oranges and lemons (or of no lemons, at least some lemon juice) You just mix it all together – there, that is it! The quantity of cream to sponge is up to you, our family likes it quite creamy. The zest of the fruit as well as the juice gives it a real zing, and we have less sugar so it is quit sharp and refreshing, despite being so creamy.

Here is an actual recipe:

  • 4 trifle sponges
  • 4 oranges – zest and juice
  • 1 lemon – zest and juice
  • 2 oz icing sugar (we use castor, and less sugar)
  • ½ – 1 pint double cream (according to taste)
  • cointreau or limoncello (optional)
  1. break the sponges into small pieces and put in a bowl
  2. pour over the juice (and spirits if using) and zest of the fruit and leave to soak – add the liquid cautiously, you don’t want it sloppy – you can always add extra sponge if it gets a bit too soft
  3. beat the cream and add the sugar to taste – you can always add more later
  4. very carefully stir the soaked sponges into the cream – you don’t want to break them up so they disappear, you want some texture (although if it all just mixes together it still tastes jolly good!)
  5. leave to set and chill in he fridge, then decorate as you like – candied citrus peel, toasted almonds, toasted nibbed hazelnuts, a sprig of mint… however you like

6 thoughts on “Snows, tansies and fools…

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