Recipes from the Bloomsbury Cookbook

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Jelly with summer soft fruits

Serves 4

4 leaves gelatine
1 pt (568ml) sanguinello (blood orange) juice
Varied soft fruit: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries.

Soak the gelatine in cold water for five minutes and squeeze out water. Pour the sanguinello juice into a saucepan, add the soaked gelatine and melt over a very low heat for about 10mins. Do not boil. Pour into mould and add the fruit. Cool and then place in the fridge to set.

Frances Partridge’s creme brulée

Serves 4-5

1 pt (568ml) double cream
4 egg yolks
Caster sugar

Beat the yolks in large bowl. Boil the cream for just a minute or two, then pour onto the yolks. Stir thoroughly, and pour into the ovenproof dish(es) it is to be served in. Sprinkle thoroughly with caster sugar and caramelise under a  hot grill until the sugar is melted and bubbling. Cool for 2-3 hours then place in the fridge  to chill before serving. The top should be hard and brittle and around 1/8th of an inch thick.

Jans Ondaatje Rolls’s Apples: 46 Gordon Square

Makes 46 squares

370g plain flour
4 tbsp caster sugar
240g butter
4 eggs 410g soft brown sugar
120g melted butter
80g dried apples, diced
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp flour

Preheat oven to 180C. Combine first three ingredients until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Pour into 1 or 2 buttered oblong baking dishes and bake for around 13 minutes in centre of oven. While baking, beat eggs and sugar together. Stir in butter, apples, lemon juice, vanilla and flour. Pour into base and bake for 20-25 mins until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

Recipes taken from The Bloomsbury Cookbook by Jans Ondaatje Rolls, Thames & Hudson (2014). To read Christopher Hirst on the culinary skills of Virginia Woolf, Dora Carrington et al, visit