I love George Hamilton on the basis of one role and it all comes down to a very personal memory. In 1983 my family got our first video recorder. Others had been using them for what seemed like eons before us, but when my Mum got a part time job and her first paypacket produced one of these, boy were we happy. My brother and I were both allowed to record one item on our only blank tape. I went for some Duran Duran performances and he taped Love at First Bite. We watched it over and over and soon we were able to recite the entire script word for word. I think I still can. Challenge extended...
George Hamilton played Dracula in what is still (perhaps because of the above) one of my favourite films.
In the Columbo episode, he plays a very cocky psychiatrist who thinks he can outwit the Lieutenant. Say no more.
This is just a guess, but it is possible that when George was asked by some magazine to contribute his favourite recipe, he called his mum and she supplied this. Confident cooks often assume that we know exactly what they mean by their (often brief) instructions, and in this case, I think that a successful rendition of the dish all comes down to interpretation. Follow it to the letter and it won't work. Use a bit of contextual knowledge and it falls into place.
I used whole milk instead of skimmed but kept the rest of George's ingredients the same.
950ml whole milk
175g chopped dates
150g brown sugar
butter for greasing
200g Ginger Snaps
2 tsp vegetable oil
Put the eggs, dates and half of the milk into a blender.
Blend until the dates are pulverised.
Pour into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the milk and 100g of the brown sugar.
Pour into a greased baking dish.
George says: bake at Gas 5/ 375F/ 190C for 40 minutes
I say: Pour into smaller dishes (ramekins if you have them) and place in a large baking tray. Pour hot water around them and then place in oven as above. Cook for 20-30 minutes until firm.
Meanwhile, make the topping.
Bash the Ginger Snaps with a rolling pin until you have crumbs. Mix this with the remaining 50g of brown sugar and the vegetable oil.
Sprinkle the topping over the set custard and place back in the oven for a further 5 minutes, This makes a crispy topping.
Serve hot or cold.
This was a very tasty dish. It was very rich and I think 10-12 people could be fed from this amount.