Custard pies always remind me of school, where they were a tuck shop treat; this is a far more sophisticated version. If you would like your rhubarb to keep its shape, check after about 15 minutes as it will go from firm to mushy quickly.
You can serve this on bought flatbread such as pita, but the gluten-free chickpea pancakes add a lovely flavour. They are nicest made fresh but you can make them in advance and heat them up for 5 minutes wrapped in foil in the oven. Click here for the pancakes
Kung pao chicken with mouth-numbing Sichuan peppercorns and plenty of chilli is one of my favourite things. I’m also partial to chicken wings and felt that they were made to go together especially with a messy, sticky and spicy sauce. You’ll just need to provide plenty of serviettes or finger bowls. If the numbing qualities of Sichuan peppercorns aren’t really your thing you could omit them from the sauce.
My sister-in-law will no doubt say this is her recipe, my sister will say its hers and we will all verbally fight it out in the various kitchens of future family events. One says it’s about the apples – the tangy mix of good Braeburns and Granny Smiths – while the other’s trick is the booze and gentle folding in of the melted butter. Mine is the spiced fragrant almonds I sprinkle on the top to offset the floral notes of the cardamom and caramel fruit and add crunch to the cake’s spongy texture. Click here to see the spiced candied almonds recipe.