Peach and blueberry pudding revisited

A few years ago, hubby and I attended a book launch/cooking demonstration by Bill Granger at Waterstones in Piccadilly.  Bill was promoting his then latest book, Bill’s Basics.  He signed a copy of the book I purchased, ‘Dear X and Y, I hope this inspires many great meals together!’

I was flicking through the book earlier and started tearing up upon seeing the note. How did I get from trying out countless new recipes on a weekly basis to eating chili con carne four days a week, every second week?

In that book, is a very simple recipe for a pudding- peach and blueberry, in a cakey batter.  I made it for our good friend Stavros and his parents when we visited them many years ago.

Here is a link to the recipe.   I made it this evening with the Bear.  We served it with cream but it would also go well with custard/ice cream.

Peach and blueberry pudding

It reminded of old times, when this blog was actively updated and I had the time/energy/inclination to test new recipes.

IMG_1092

 

Chai spiced,vanilla rice and chia pudding

This dessert was inspired by Indian vermicelli pudding which my aunt used to make.  Though slightly healthier, it definitely delivers in taste.

Serves 2, cooking time approximately 25 minutes minutes

  • 750 ml almond milk
  • 250 ml water
  • 2 chai tea bags
  • 100g arborio rice, washed
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp sultanas
  • brown rice syrup to taste
  • a handful of toasted cashew nuts, blueberries and strawberries
  1. Heat almond milk and water in a small pot over low heat
  2. Once simmering, add the teabags and remove from the heat
  3. Leave teabags to steep for 3 to 4 minutes before removing them from the pot
  4. Return the pot back onto the stove over low heat
  5. Add the rice, chia and vanilla extract seeds and gently stir
  6. Leave to cook for 18 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  7. Once cooked, remove to the heat
  8. Add the sultanas and brown syrup to taste
  9. Serve with toasted cashew nuts, blueberries and strawberries

IMG_8013.JPG

 

Peach cobbler

We’re a big fan of baked fruit desserts.  When I stumbled upon this recipe for a peach cobbler, I knew it was a keeper.  A stroke of luck, ripe peaches were on sale in the shops. It was as if the dessert stars were alligned!

It is imperative that you place the baking dish on top of a lined tray to catch spillage.  And there will be some, depending on the shape of your baking tray!

We love our cream, but didn’t see the necessity to drizzle some over the cobbler.  The fruits were sweet with a touch of tang from the lemon juice.  Just delicious on their own.

IMG_7652

The return of the oaty fruit crumble

I’ve blogged many versions of this recipe over the last few years.  It is a firm family favourite, fuss-free and easy to put together.  I had a full fruit bowl and some of the apples were starting to look a bit sorry for themselves.  A shame to let them go to waste.  I added them to chopped pears and blueberries, with a hint of grated nutmeg, lemon zest, brown sugar and ground cinnamon, topped with oats.  45 minutes later, beautiful, earthy warmth filled the kitchen.  Served with single cream.  Yum.

Here is the recipe – serves 2 to 3 portions

A) Crumble:

  • 2 packed cups of uncooked oats
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 to 3 tbsp vegetable oil

B) Fruit base

  • 3 to 4 peeled, cored and chopped apples
  • 1 large pear, peeled, cored and chopped
  • a good handful of blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees celsius
  2. In an oven-proof pie dish, mix all the fruit bar the blueberries with the rest of the ingredients
  3. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes
  4. Remove the dish from the oven, stir well and add the blueberries
  5. In a separate bowl mix the oats with all the ingredients bar the oil
  6. Mix 1tbsp of oil into the oats, then add another, combine until the mixture is wet.  Only add some or all of the 3rd tbsp of oil if necessary
  7. Top the fruit with the oat mixture, use your oven mitts and transfer the dish into the oven
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the oats topping is golden and crunchy
  9. Remove the dish from the oven, leave to cool slightly and serve with cream or ice cream

IMG_7240

Apple and plum crumble tart

In this recipe, I combined two of my favourite desserts, crumble and tart.    I used gala apples and plums as they were all I had in my fruit bowl, but I’d be keen to try them with other stone fruits and berries.

IMG_5704

Ingredients:

A) Pastry

  • 125g butter, melted and left to cool
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180g plain flour

B) Filling

  • 4 ripe plums, stoned and sliced
  • 2 small gala apples, peeled, cored and diced
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

C) Crumble topping

  • 155g oats
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 120ml vegetable oil +2 tbsp water

Method:

A) Pastry

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees celsius
  2. In a large bowl, mix the butter, sugar and vanilla
  3. Add the flour into the bowl and form the mixture into a dough (don’t knead)
  4. Tip the mixture into the middle of a greased pastry tin (with a loose base) Use your fingertips to spread to the mixture from the middle to the sides of the tin
  5. Place the tin in the oven and leave to cook for 15 minutes until golden
  6. Remove tin from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes

B) Tart

  1. In a bowl, mix the chopped fruit together and scatter the fruit around the now cooled pastry (still in tin) in step A6 above
  2. Mix the cream, egg, vanilla and sugar in a bowl and pour it over the fruit
  3. Place the tin in the oven and cook for 25 minutes

C) Crumble

  1. Mix all the crumble topping ingredients together (the oats mixture should hold together when squeezed)
  2. Remove the tart tin from the oven after 25 minutes (B3 above) and scatter the oats mixture over the fruit
  3. Place the tart tin in the oven for 20 minutes until the oats are golden
  4. Remove the tin from the oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes
  5. Remove the tin from the pastry and serve with cream whilst warm

IMG_5697

Bakewell tart

It was raining on Tuesday evening and Hubby and the bear very kindly gave me a lift to my pilates class.  They offered to pick me up an hour later, and to kill time, went to the shops to buy some baby essentials.   When we got home, I checked out their loot.  In amongst them was rhubarb tart, which lacked any real flavour.

Nothing beats a homemade tart.  I set myself the task of making us a Bakewell Tart, something I had bookmarked for a while.   I made the base using my go-to pastry recipe.  The topping recipe was by Rachel Allen from her book ‘Bake’.  I used strawberry jam as that was all we had, though I needed a lot more than prescribed by Rachel.    Once baked and cooled, I stuck the tart in the fridge to chill so that the jam would be set.

Next time, I might pre-bake the pastry before adding the filling to see if a slightly crispy base would work with this tart.

It’s raining outside and I’m about to tuck into a slice or two.  Time to put the kettle on!

IMG_5178

Ingredients:

A) Pastry

  • 125g butter, melted and cooled
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180g plain flour
  • 200g strawberry/raspberry/cherry jam plus a bit extra as required

B) Topping

  • 100g butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 100g semolina
  • 100g caster sugar
  •  a good handful of almond flakes

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees
  2. Grease and line a 8″x8″x8″ baking tray
  3. To make the pastry, mix the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl.  Then, add the flour and mix until the dough is formed.  Don’t knead.  Place the dough in the middle of the baking tray, press down and spread the mixture using the tips of your fingers until all corners are covered with the dough
  4. Spread the jam on top of the filling and place the baking tray in the fridge to chill
  5. To make the topping, mix the butter, eggs, vanilla and almond extracts in a small bowl
  6. In a big bowl, mix the ground almonds, semolina and caster sugar
  7. Pour the egg and butter mixture into the bigger bowl, use a spatula to combine the wet and dry ingredients
  8. This is Rachel’s tip – use a spoon and dot the topping onto the jam in the baking tray until you have an even coverage.  Do this gently to avoid mixing the jam with the topping
  9. Sprinkle the almond flakes over the topping
  10. Place the baking tray in the oven and cook for about 30 to 35 minutes
  11. Remove the tin from the oven after checking for done-ness (using a toothpick). Leave the Bakewell Tart to cool in the tin for 10 to 15 minutes
  12. I then left the tin in the fridge for an hour before serving to allow the jam to set

IMG_5174

Apricot and almond tart

The soaring temperatures of last week is now a distant memory.   Gone are the flip flops, sunnies and shorts.

The bear and I popped into the supermarket earlier, and we spotted apricots selling for £4.50 a kilo.  I’ve never baked with apricots before and I know Hubby is a big fan so I bought half a kilo’s worth.   Hubby was our designated driver during our recent holiday and I wanted to thank him for getting us over to France/Belgium and back safely, and also for minding the Bear so that I could indulge in some retail therapy.    You can’t eat a card, so here’s a tart after your own heart Hubby 😉

IMG_5125

Ingredients:

A) Pastry (my go-to recipe)

  • 125g butter, melted and cooled
  • 80g caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180g plain flour

B) Apricot and almond topping

  • 80g ground almond
  • 80g plain flour
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 80ml double cream
  • 80ml milk
  • 9 medium apricots (500g), washed and dried, halved and stoned
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar for sprinkling

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees celsius
  2. Grease a 20cm loose-base tart tin
  3. Mix the melted butter with the sugar, almond and vanilla extracts until combined
  4. Add the flour to the mixture above to form a dough (but don’t knead)
  5. Tip the mixture into the middle of the prepped tart tin
  6. Use your fingers and spread the dough, pressing down and into the edges
  7. Place the tin in the oven and bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the pastry is golden
  8. Remove the tin from the oven and leave to cool (leave the oven on)
  9. In a bowl, mix ingredients (B) EXCEPT for the apricots
  10. Once the pastry has cooled down, spread the almond mixture on top of the pastry evenly
  11. Arrange the apricots in a fan shape over the almond mixture and sprinkle the sugar over the apricots
  12. Place the tart in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the fruit is soft and the almond mixture is golden
  13. Remove the tart from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes
  14. Remove the tart from the tin and serve warm with cream

IMG_5124b