We don't make that big a deal of Father's Day in my house, mostly because my wife's birthday is just before Mother's Day and mine just before Father's Day, so if I want a fuss to be made of me on Fathering Sunday, I need to take the lead in making it happen. I treat it as an excuse to have a long, leisurely brunch that stretches well into the afternoon.
Brunch in my house can go one of two ways. Sometimes, we'll be terribly organised and only sit at the table once the fritters are being cooked – with a big bowl of granola with yoghurt and fruit and a cake already waiting at the table. Or, if the girls are being impatient, we'll get the cake in the oven, have the granola, then wait an hour or so to fry the fritters.
I guess purists would call that breakfast followed by lunch, but if you never leave the room and just lounge, flicking mags between one course and another, you can still call it one meal, can't you?
Granola with vanilla cherries and Greek yoghurt
I often find shop-bought granola too sweet for my palate and there always seems to be one seed or nut in there that isn't to my liking. Instead of moaning about it, I always make my own.
100g/3½oz jumbo porridge oats
50g/2oz mixed seeds
50g/2oz blanched almonds, roughly chopped
50g/2oz pecans, roughly chopped
25g/1oz desiccated coconut
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp light-flavoured oil
2 tbsp runny honey
Greek yoghurt, to serve For the cherries
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
½ vanilla pod, seeds scraped, or ½ tsp vanilla paste
300g/10oz cherries, pitted
First get the cherries macerating. In a large bowl, mix the caster sugar with the vanilla until combined, then add the cherries and stir to coat in the vanilla sugar. Lightly crush with a fork to break up some of the fruit, cover and allow to stand for at least 30 minutes to become really juicy.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. In a large bowl, mix all of the granola ingredients together. Tip out on to a lined baking sheet and spread out to form an even layer. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times until the nuts are toasted and golden-brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
Serve with the vanilla cherries and thick Greek yoghurt.
Pea fritters with crispy bacon and poached eggs
If we were eating these pancakes on their own, I'd probably make a light herby dressing to spoon over the eggs, but because there's going to be some yoghurt already at the table, I've opted to keep things simple.
150g/5oz self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g/5oz fresh or frozen peas
1 green chilli, seeded and finely chopped
6 spring onions, finely chopped
Handful mint, leaves picked and chopped
3 eggs, lightly beaten
200ml/7fl oz milk
8 rashers smoked streaky bacon
Light-flavoured oil for frying
4 eggs, as fresh as possible
Greek yoghurt, to serve
In a large bowl, mix the flour and baking powder, then set aside.
Cook the peas in boiling, salted water for 3 minutes, drain and cool under cold water, drain again. Tip the peas into a large bowl, roughly mash with a fork. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir in the chilli, spring onion and mint. Mix the egg and milk together and add to the peas. Stir to combine. Make a well in the centre of the flour, add the wet mixture and stir to a thick batter.
Preheat the oven to 200C/ 400F/Gas6. Lay the bacon on a non-stick baking sheet and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until really crisp.
Meanwhile, heat a drizzle of oil in a large, non-stick frying pan, scoop heaped tablespoons of the fritter mixture into the pan and cook for 2 minutes; once small bubbles appear on the surface of the fritter, flip over and cook for a further minute. Transfer to a plate and keep warm while you cook the rest of the fritters.
Crack an egg into a small ramekin. Bring a pan of water to a rolling boil, turn down the heat, swirl with a spoon and drop the egg into the centre of the pan. Cook for 3 minutes for a soft yolk. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Repeat this process to cook the remaining eggs. Just before serving, drop the poached eggs back into the boiling water to heat through.
Serve the fritters topped with bacon, a poached egg and a dollop of thick yoghurt.
Gooseberry and elderflower cake
This is the little black dress of cakes – a simple classic that can be accessorised with cream or custard for the evening, but is perfect just as it is during the day.
200g/7oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
150g/5oz caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp for dusting
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp elderflower cordial
220g/7½oz self-raising flour
50g/2oz granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Grease and line the base of a 20cm loose-based cake tin. In a large bowl, beat the butter and caster sugar together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs and elderflower cordial. Add the flour. Use a spoon to carefully fold in three-quarters of the gooseberries, scrape the cake mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Toss the remaining gooseberries with the granulated sugar and pile on top of the cake.
Cook for 45 minutes, covering loosely with foil if it starts to take on too much colour. Remove from the oven and dust with 2 tbsp of caster sugar. Allow to cool in the tin before serving.
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com
Food preparation: Marina Filippelli and Rosie Reynolds. Props merchandising: Rachel Jukes