Easter, why eggs?

THE vast majority of us recognise the significance of Easter.

It is a time of celebration and happiness – but why do we give each other eggs at this time?

In general, the egg is a symbol of fertility, which pre-dates the Christian tradition.

Thousands of years ago eggs were decorated in springtime, sometimes even with gold or silver. Although eggs are still dyed or decorated today, chocolate eggs have largely been substituted for the real thing and are often hidden for children to search for during the annual Easter egg hunt.

Back in my early years in Pinner, we even had an Easter egg rolling race down the High Street. I dare say that photos may still exist in The Observer archives!

Here is a little recipe using those little coloured eggs that you can buy in most sweet shops at this time of the year:

Easter Chocolate Tart

(Serves 4)


100 ml double cream

1 medium sized egg, beaten

1 tbsp caster sugar

100g milk chocolate, grated

400g sweet pastry

12 small coloured sweet eggs

75g very cold milk chocolate, grated


1) Line four non-stick individual tart cases with thinly rolled pastry.

2) Allow to rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3) Line with greaseproof or foil and baking beans, then bake in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes.

4) Remove the lining and beans and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.

5) Meanwhile, warm the cream in a pan and melt the chocolate into it until completely combined.

6) Whisk together the egg and sugar and stir into the chocolate mixture.

7) Pour the mixture equally into the tart cases and then place into a moderate oven for about 30 minutes until set.

8) Allow to cool, but do not refrigerate.

9) When the tarts have become quite cold, arrange the remainder of the grated chocolate on top of each one in the shape of a nest.

10) Place three eggs into each nest and serve.

Happy Easter!