Give this girl a swirl!

This book ‘Full and Plenty’ by the talented food journalist Maura Laverty belonged to my late grand aunt Peggy. Nearly all of my memories of Peggy feature crusty white bread, slices of butter and real ham. Not a lady that messed about with food. She has loads of recipes written all over the inside cover in her beautiful handwriting and has mass cards and newspaper cuttings marking her favourite pages.

The recipes are so vague, I never really made anything from it before, they all say things like ‘skin the rabbit in the usual way…’ or ‘skim the cream from the top of the bucket of milk’. But I was looking through it at the weekend and found some gorgeous recipes that I had to try.
The first is Strawberry Swirls. A scone dough rolled lovingly around sugared strawberries. I know we’re nowhere near strawberry season but I’m trying to induce Summer around here.

They’re very easy and taste incredible warm from the oven. They’re nicest the day they’re made but they reheated well for breakfast the following morning. Also the whole house smelled so gorgeous, there’s no scented candle can beat freshly baked dough and strawberries. I added a passionfruit icing for some pazzazz, even though I’m not sure Peggy would have approved!

Strawberry Swirls

3/4 lb plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup milk (I used greek yogurt)
I also added 1 egg to enrrrrich the dough as The Two Fat Ladies would say

1/2 lb strawberries, sliced and sprinkled with 2 tbsps sugar
2 tbsp butter


  • Make the dough by rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients, add the milk & egg until it comes together to form a dough.
  • Next roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thick and dot with the 2 tbsps butter.
  • Cover the dough with the strawberries.

  • Roll it all up like a Swiss roll and cut into 12 slices.
  • Sit each one into a buttered muffin pan and bake for 25 mins at 180 degrees.

If you want to make the incredible icing just sieve 50g icing sugar into a bowl. Scoop the inside of one passionfuit into the sieve and stir until all of the juice is out. I just ate the seeds but you could add them,they’re not the prettiest are they? They look a bit like frog spawn. Stir in 2tsp boiling water and drizzle the icing over the buns. Gorgeous!

Lilly x

Ok one more photo..

This entry was posted in Bake, Book, Dough, recipe, Strawberries. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Give this girl a swirl!

  1. loving peggys book….ironically i’m just in from spending three leisurely hours in a vintage cookbook store (don’t get too excited, not Ireland, New York sadly!)…read some hilarious things and spent a fortune – can’t wait to get home and try out some old time recipes….just have to get past the excess baggage man in JFK now first! well done on your strawberry delicacies, they look lovely & great shots too! s x

  2. Sharon! You lucky duck!I’d say you had a great time. I suppose you’ll be non stop baking fancy american muffins and pies now with all your lovely books. Safe home! x

  3. jaboopee says:

    The book and your aunts notes are a lovely bit of treasure ,
    the handwriting is so familar to me ,
    did everybody of a certain vintage write like that ?
    You’ve photographed the swirls so beautifully I’ve had to lick
    my computer screen .

  4. mise says:

    ‘Slices of butter’ describes a whole decade of family holidays for me – the high teas prepared by my grandmother’s friends when we all piled into the car and drove around the mountains to Mayo. The hospitality evinced by the butter was so wholehearted. What a lovely book to have!

  5. Elaine (can i call you Elaine?), everyone seemed to write like that in the 50’s, they must all have had the same teacher in primary school!
    Mise, there really is nothing like butter to make someone feel welcome!
    Hopefully I’ll make more from this book at the weekend! x

  6. A lovely book to have! I just adore books with handwritten info. inside…makes the book so much more personable.
    Beth (lovely blog by the way)

  7. Christine says:

    Wow, nostalgia ahoy – my mam still has this book in her kitchen. I’ll have to have a dig through it and see if there’s anything else nice in it – those strawberry swirls look AMAZING!

  8. Christine you should totally look through it, there’s brilliant stories at the start of each chapter too! Let me know if you make something from it! x

  9. Michelle says:

    Ahh that book is adorable. I love it when you get them and they have hand written recipes. I actually do that myself – scribble them on envelopes when I’m watching telly and then stuff them in a random cookery book :o) Thanks for your really lovely comment too :o) Michelle x

  10. Ma Larkin says:

    Hello Lilly
    They look divine. Full and plenty sounds like a description of my circumference I’m afraid! I’m always telling my patients that you never see any very fat very old ladies, they are always skinny. But I expect the fat ones died with a smile on their face! I’m licking my lips just looking at these.
    PS Thank you for commenting on my blog. It’s so exciting as a new blogger to see people are looking in.

  11. Rossagh says:

    Hi Lilly,

    Just found your blog recently – it’s great – I’m becoming slowly addicted!
    I recognised Full and Plenty as soon as I saw the cover – I think my Mam has resurrected it every Christmas for as long as I can remember.

    Taking inspiration from your Fancy Vittles show on RTE, my sister is planning her own Fancy Vittles evening to raise money for a sponsored cycle in Cambodia for Temple Street Children’s hospital – I might point her in the direction of ‘Full and Plenty’ for some ideas. I am looking for some suggestions/ideas for a girls only evening of fancy treats and chit chat – all ideas welcome …

    She has bought a nifty new bike, a not so nifty helmet, some padded shorts, a really cool water bottle – now all she needs to do is to get on the bike and start training!

  12. Thanks Michelle , Id say your cookbooks will be future heirlooms so keep scribbling on them!

    Claire, your blog is gorgeous, I can’t wait to see more!

    Rossagh, That sounds amazing! I’ll think up lots of ideas for you, I’ll do a post on girly evening recipes! One of my sisters, Raedi, is big into cycling and she does triathlons and the Tour de Munster. Its a great way to see the country! The padded cycling shorts are a MUST. With this nice weather now sure she’ll be bike ready in no time! x

  13. Anna C says:

    Not only do I have a treasured copy of this book, but it belonged to my own great-aunt Peggy! I love Maura Laverty, and her two (very autobiographical) novels (Never No More and No More than Human) are brilliant too – full of lovely descriptions of food, and very funny and likeable.

  14. That’s gas Anna! everyone should have a Peggy! The stories are brilliant alright aren’t they? She’s really funny, I’ve actually been reading all the stories over the past few days as I eat my breakfast! I got honey all over one page… I must get her other books Never No More sounds like a good one.Thanks! x

  15. Daily Spud says:

    Seeing that copy of Full and Plenty brought back so many memories! My sister has our Mam’s copy, also filled with hand written notes. As a kid, I used to love reading the stories that went with the recipes – would love to read them all again now…

  16. Yeah the stories are brilliant, so funny. I’d say theres a copy of this book in nearly every house in Ireland! Thanks for visiting and commenting!x

  17. I do think you’re right about it being in almost every house in Ireland. My Nana had one and, like Spud, I loved reading all the stories when I was a child as well as cooking from it. I spent years trying to track down my own copy, which I eventually found in a second hand bookshop in Athlone.

    Mercier Press recently re-released an edited version but I’m still in love with my old blue and yellow original!

  18. I didn’t know they re-released it, Thanks Caroline!

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