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March 29, 2018

Even if you don't celebrate Easter, this time of year is worthy of family gatherings and celebrations of the Spring. With schools on a break and many of us with guests imminent, we thought we would hunt not only some chocolate eggs in the garden, but some tasty recipes to try. From an exotic way to roast lamb to a twist on hot cross buns, here are 4 Easter recipes to keep tummies filled and people happy over the holidays.

1.Easter Recipes - Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs - Easter Recipes

If you prefer your eggs real rather than chocolate, this is a lovely, simple recipe from the wonderful Heidi Swainson of 101cookbooks that you can rustle up for lunch. Here's how to make them:

Toast 1 tablespoon of dill seeds in a dry pan until gently browned. Cool and crush. Place 12 eggs in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave in the warm water for 10 minutes. Refresh in a bowl of ice, or under a cold tap. When cool, peel and halve the eggs, then scoop out the yolk into a bowl. Mash with 1/4 cup of Greek yoghurt, 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Keep mixing until you have a smooth, creamy filling.

Stir in chopped herbs, like chives, chervil and dill, then fill the egg whites with the yolky mixture. Top with some toasted sliced almonds and the dill seeds, and add a sprinkle of paprika if you like more heat.  Serve with warm crusty bread and a green salad.

2. Easter Recipes - Easter cookies

easter recipes

If you have kids at home over the holidays and want a fun activity to do, making Easter biscuits is perfect. Traditionally made with currants and spices, these are even better if you've got some Easter-shaped cookie cutters (eggs, chickens, bunnies etc). As with most cooking with kids, things can get messy, so arm yourself with a decent apron and plenty of linen tea towels to mop up spills.

This recipe comes from the queen of baking, Mary Berry, and needs no further explanation. Just click here for two alternatives: currant biscuits and pretty iced cookies. These look lovely on a plate if your kids have friends coming over and you have lots of hungry mouths to feed.

3.Easter Recipes - Slow-cooked pomegranate lamb

There is nothing that says Easter Sunday more than the smell of slowly roasting lamb. This recipe is great if you are at home having a lazy day, or if you have visitors and want something you can just stick in the oven and forget about. The addition of exotic pomegranates and sweet honey to the marinaded lamb make this a real crowd-pleaser. Slow-roasting produces meltingly tender meat that will just fall away from the bone when you cut it. Choose the best lamb you can - preferably organic and local. Serve as shown in the recipe with wraps and salad, or with piles of roasted vegetables.

3. Easter Recipes - Vegan hot cross buns

easter recipes - vegan crossed buns

You might wonder why on earth you would want to make your own hot cross buns, but trust us, they taste soooo much better when they are homemade. With many of us reducing or eliminating the amount of animal products we consume, here's how to make vegan hot cross buns (recipe via Dees Wholefoods).

Melt 60g vegan butter or sunflower margarine in a pan with 300g soya milk. Let cool a little and then stir in 7g fast-action yeast. In a separate bowl combine 500g plain flour, 80g sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, zest of 1 orange and one teaspoon of cinnamon. Make a well in the middle and pour in the cooled milky liquid. Bring to a dough and then knead for up to 5 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Prove for around 45 minutes, or as long as it takes to double in size.

Knock the dough back and add in 80g raisins and 50g mixed peel. Combine well and then divide the dough into 8-10 rolls. Set aside somewhere warm to prove until doubled in size again. While they are proving, mix 100g plain flour with 2-4 tablespoons of water to form a smooth, fairly runny paste. Score a cross on the top with the back of a kitchen knife and place the rolls on a lined baking sheet. Pipe or drizzle (carefully) the paste along the scored markings to create the crosses. Bake for 15-20 minutes in an oven preheated to 190 degrees.

4.Easter Recipes - Marmalade cake

We attempted to make marmalade this year but it didn't set, so we are always on the lookout for recipes that will use up the 8 jars of runny orangey stuff sitting in our larder. We're going to give this cake a try over the holidays, but even if you haven't got spare marmalade to use up it's pretty cheap to buy. And it's guaranteed to fill your house with the exquisite, sweet smell of oranges. This cake looks pretty too, so is a good one to take round to friends or relatives if you're visiting. You might need some good linen napkins for the inevitable sticky fingers.

Wishing you all a very happy holiday. For more on Spring styling and Easter activities go here and here. And if you've got any family favourite recipes you'd like to share, do drop us a comment below.

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