Category Archives: Desserts

Desserts for that after dinner delight

Winter spiced fruit with hot meringue topping

This was one of my ‘throw it together’ type recipes. I had some plums and figs and was looking for something inspiring to make with them. I found a few winter compot type recipes and amalgamated them to come up with this. I used the fruit available to me at the time, so this recipe is in no way definitive.

I used oven proof glass ramekins roughly 8cm x 5cm to make individual puddings.

Five plums, three figs, and two oranges (or equivalent of fruit)
100g caster sugar
1 tbs port
1 tbs brandy
1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
1.5 star anise
Lemon juice to taste

For the topping
The white of two large eggs
88g castor sugar
Handful of chopped pecans
Sprinkle of cinnamon

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves / makes: four portions

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan, 350°F, gas mark 4).
1. Chop the fruit into bite size pieces.
2. Place the fruit and spices in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the brandy and port and simmer for five minutes.
3. If the fruit mix is too sweet, add a little lemon juice – I ended up using the juice of a whole lemon.
4. While the fruit is simmering make the meringues. Whisk the whites until stiff. Slowly the add the castor sugar, whisking all the time.
5. Equally portion the hot spiced fruit into ramekins and then pipe the meringue on top. Sprinkle the chopped pecans over the piped meringues.
6. Place the ramekins on an oven tray and put in the middle of the oven for approximately eight minutes or until the top of the meringues are golden brown.
7. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve immediately.

Apple ‘Brumble’

Crumbles are extremely cost effective in two ways. Firstly, this particular recipe allows you to make use of any stale bread in your larder (thus reducing waste); and secondly, seasonal fruits are cheap, in plentiful supply and should be at their best. As with the Yorkshire Puddings (see Bulletin One) the following recipe is very easy to make and all the ingredients can be easily sourced.

A crumble is best served hot. Why not finish it with a generous helping of custard; a healthy dollop of cream; or a scoop or two of ice cream.

The topping is quite sweet, so it doesn’t harm to use slightly tart / sharp fruits to give an excellent contrast to the dish.

The picture above shows an oval-shaped oven-proof dish measuring 11″ x 7″ and is enough to feed approximately four to six people.

Eight eating apples (or four cooking and four eating) or any seasonal fruit
125g golden granulated sugar
125g butter
125g golden syrup
250g fresh gluten & wheat free breadcrumbs
50g of nuts of your own choosing (35g ground and 15g larger chunks for added texture)

BE SURE TO CHECK – Nuts are inherently gluten free. Processing can result in cross contamination, so check any labelling carefully to ensure there is no gluten present. Butter can be substituted for the dairy free spread where appropriate.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Serves / makes: four to six portions

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (160°C Fan, 350°F, gas mark 4).
1. Peel the apples. Dice half the quantity of apples (or all the cooking apples) and gently heat them in a saucepan with a little water. Cook them until they are soft. Dice the remaining apples into larger chunks and set aside in a bowl of water.
2. Place the sugar, butter and treacle into a separate saucepan and once again heat slowly until all the contents have dissolved/melted.
3. Once melted, stir into your breadcrumbs and nuts mixing thoroughly.
4. Grease your oven-proof dish. Drain your diced (non-cooked apples) and put them into the dish followed by the cooked apples. Then pour the topping over and smooth down until you have an even covering.
5. Place the dish in the middle of the oven for approximately 30 – 40 minutes. Cook until golden brown.