Easter Weekend is fast approaching!
Four days of entertaining friends and family can put the pressure on any host, so why not take the stress out of it all and let Barton House do the hard work?!
As an exclusive hire venue exuding the warmth of the Sherry family, a stay at Barton House enables you and your guests to truly relax and simply enjoy spending time together.
Families can come for the day and enjoy a delicious Easter lunch in the Garden Room before making the most of the house and ample grounds. Groups of friends may opt for an evening affair, with a chic private dinner in the more intimate Dining Room space. With 9 bedrooms available, those wishing to extend the celebrations across the Bank Holiday can stay overnight.
Whether it’s playing board games, exploring the local countryside or taking a cookery class with Chef Tom, Barton House provides a home-from-home environment for guests to relax, unwind and re-connect.
But if you can’t get away for the weekend, check out Chef Tom’s tips below for creating some Easter dishes to impress!
Hot Cross Buns
Often eaten in the U.K. on Good Friday, these yeast dough buns with currants and raisins in them were originally eaten all year round in pagan, pre-Christian times. At that time, the bun represented the moon and the four quarters represented the four seasons. Christians later took over this tasty tradition and changed the meaning so the cross represented the cross that Jesus died on.
“Include spices and fresh fruit to add some serious flavour. Cinnamon, apples, zest of lemon and orange work really well together.”
“Brushing the tops with glaze creates finger-licking stickiness and a shiny, professional finish. Make sure the glaze is warm – as it cools it will thicken, so it won’t coat the hot cross buns properly.”
Another popular UK food at Easter in the Simnel Cake. This is a rich fruit cake covered with a layer of Marzipan. There are 11 marzipan balls put around the top of the cake that represent the 11 faithful disciples of Jesus. The cake is also has a layer of Marzipan in the middle of it!
“Toasting the marzipan, brings out its flavour, but keep a close eye on it as it burns easily”
“Make sure you cover the top of the cake to prevent it burning before the center is cooked.”
The tradition of eating lamb on Easter has its roots in early Passover observances before the birth of Christianity. According to the biblical Exodus story, the people of Egypt suffered a series of terrible plagues, including the death of all firstborn sons. Jews painted their doorposts with sacrificed lamb’s blood so that God would “pass over” their homes while carrying out the punishment. Accustomed to eating roast lamb on Passover, Jews who converted to Christianity continued the tradition at Easter. Additionally, Christians refer to Jesus as the “Lamb of God,” so it makes sense that the food shows up at the Easter table.
“If you want a joint of lamb that you can carve at the table, a leg joint is a winner. Lamb Shoulder is great for slow-roasting and is easier to cook but can be harder to carve.”
“Rosemary and garlic are a classic flavour combinations for lamb, but there are other flavours that cook well with it. Salty anchovies, lemon and even dried camomile pair really well with lamb’s sweetness.”
“A crust adds a layer of deliciousness to roasted meat, looks really professional and is easy to make.”
“Mint sauce is the classic accompaniment. I use fresh mint from our Kitchen Garden and would always advise keeping it in a pot or hanging basket, simply because it really will spread everywhere if allowed to!”
Eggs have been a symbol of rebirth since ancient times, but it was Mesopotamian Christians who first adopted them as an Easter food. They were also the first to dye eggs, turning them bright red to represent Christ’s blood. As egg decorating grew more popular, dishes like deviled eggs and hardboiled eggs became associated with Easter as a way to avoid wasting valuable food. The custom of giving chocolate eggs for Easter, first appeared in the Victorian age. New technology, developed by the famous Cadbury factory in England, allowed manufacturers to create hollow sculptures made of chocolate, instead of painstakingly applying layer after layer of chocolate to individual moulds as they had before. These new processes meant that higher-quality eggs were available for a cheaper price, and the market quickly boomed: by 1893 the Cadbury company alone offered a whopping 19 different product lines for the Easter market.
“Forget big plastic boxes and cheap chocolate – make your own homemade Easter eggs for maximum taste (and fun!)”
“Use good quality chocolate (ideally 80% cocoa or above) as it will melt and set better to give a more professional finish.”
“Making your own piping bag from baking paper is really easy. Use icing or cooled chocolate to put your artistic skills to the test and personalise your egg with a name or message.”
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