Lady Clarke of Tillypronie wrote a wonderful cookery book in 1909. I once asked the late great Elizabeth David what was her favourite book and she replied ‘Lady Clarke’s’. Today I am honoured to possess Elizabeth David’s copy as a present from her family. It is well used and annotated in her familiar hand. Southover Press have produced a facsimile edition, and I do recommend it to you. I copy the orange fool exactly here–it is so easy and simple, and very, very good:
‘Take a pint [600ml] of cream, beat 3 eggs well into it; and add the juice of 6 sweet oranges and the grated rind of a Seville orange; sugar to your taste and stir well over the fire till it thickens.’ I cook it in a double boiler, then turn it out to cool and serve with the shortbread.
Annie Bell’s food is responsible for my career as a cookery book seller. It is a long and complicated story, but suffice it to say that I ate her food enthusiastically every day for six months and could never fault it. If you remember that she is a vegetarian, which I very much am not, I can find no higher praise. Today she is a much-acclaimed food writer, and in her book, Feast of Flavours, she has transformed my old shortbread recipe with the addition of orange rind.