Archive for the ‘Fruit’ Category

Frozen Yoghurt

Posted: June 4, 2017 in Dessert, Fruit, Summer

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You’ve got to make this!  It is ridiculously simple and easy to make, tastes delicious and most importantly, is a healthy frozen yoghurt dessert for those mid week suppers.

3 ingredients, 5 mins in a food processor, 30mins in the deep freeze, lasts up to a month

Ingredients:

500g natural yoghurt (use Greek, fat free, bio, you chose!)
500g fruit
Honey to taste
Add any other flavours you wish to stir in: chopped mint, choc chips, nuts, peanut butter…the combinations are up to you!

If you’re making for one day to the next, then it is not necessary that the fruit is frozen beforehand – however, if you’re planning on serving it for dinner that same night, then you’ll need a stash of frozen fruit in your deep freeze as this will help set the frozen yoghurt within 30mins to 1hr of being made.

My preferred flavour combo is summer berry and mint but I recently made a mango and passion fruit version which I quite liked.  The only problem with mangoes is how ripe they are when you use them – you may find that you’ll need to up the sugar content if using less ripened fruit, especially as passion fruit can be quite tart too.

frogurt2.jpgWith the heat on the up and summer nearly here these make a great dessert or afternoon treat.  Whether you make a containerful to scoop onto cones or as individual popsicles made in shop-bought moulds, kids love them and adults do too!

Let me know which flavour combinations you make and which become your favourites.

Gastrorob

Pear

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“Ui que freski!” can be heard as people pop out of their warm houses into the cool work morning air.

Midday temperatures climbing and sunny (though not unbearably hot) sunsets disappearing in the blink of an eye and evenings creeping in sooner.  Sorry folks but autumn is setting up camp for the next few months.

Fruit and veg has grown full to bursting soaking up every last bit of summer sunshine getting itself ready for the harvest.  Thankfully making its abundance present in our kitchens.

pearsA quintessential autumnal fruit is the pear.  Once I see pears-a-plenty I know autumn is here.  And I don’t mean long haul, greenhouse grown perfect pears; dry and hard to the bite.  I mean pears of varying shapes and sizes, soft to the touch, buttery and bursting with juice.

Outshined by apples every year, however, I find the pear just as versatile in the kitchen – it can be baked into cakes, used to top cheesecakes, used in salads, pureed, transformed into a chutney/relish, poached, used in main dishes as well as desserts.  A great accompaniment to cheese, especially if it’s blue and let’s be honest, perry (pear cider) really is that much better than apple cider.

So in a bid to extol the virtues of the underdog, I’ve created a few simple pear recipes to get your autumn pear imagination flowing.

  • Pear, gorgonzola, prosciutto and walnut galette
  • Pear, ginger and cinnamon tart

You can make both of these recipes simultaneously as they require similar ingredients and cooking times but their eatability is just as desireable!

Serves 2 as a 2 course dinner but quantities can be easily doubled.

Ingredients: 1 block of puff pastry and 2 pears (whether serving 4 or 2 as a two-course dinner)

Pear, gorgonzola, prosciutto and walnut galettePear and Blue Cheese Tart

  • Blue cheese (or other blue cheese)
  • Prosciutto (or other cured ham)
  • Rocket leaves
  • Walnuts
  • Honey and olive oil dressing
  • Seasoning

Method:

1st: Roll the block of puff pastry out onto a well floured board.

2nd: Cut the pastry into quarters and score the pastry with the tip of a knife creating a 1cm border around the outer edge (do not cut all the way through).
If creating both the sweet and savory version, leave 2 quarters to one side.

3rd: Crumble the gorgonzola into a bowl and beat with a palette knife until soft.  Spread a layer of this over inside of the border of each of your quarters.

4th: Slice half a pear per quarter and place ontop of the gorgonzola.  Brush the border with either milk or an egg-wash.

5th: Place into a preheated oven at 200°C for 15-20mins or until golden brown.

6th: Add slices of prosciutto, rocket leaves and walnut halves over before dressing and seasoning to taste.

Pear, Ginger and Cinnamon galettePear, ginger and cinnamon tart

  • Cinnamon
  • Light brown sugar
  • Stem ginger in syurp
  • Flake almonds
  • Cream / Ice cream to serve

Complete stages 1 & 2 as above.

1st: Brush the inside of the quarters with egg-wash and sprinkle cinnamon, sugar and a piece of stem ginger per quarter (chopped finely).

2nd: Slice the pears finely and arrange half a pear per quarter.

3rd: Sprinkle with a bit more sugar and cinnamon.

4th: Egg wash the border and place into a preheated oven at 200°C for 15-20mins or until golden brown.

5th: Serve with flaked almonds and either cream (with some of the ginger syrup mixed in) or ice cream.

Optional Extra – sprinkle the tart with ground ginger for added depth and warmth.

Click on the following links to view previous recipes posted on http://www.gastrorob.com

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Try any of the following or create some of your own; why not post your recipes here?

Pearfect!

I was going to be away from home for a week and I needed to make sure there was nothing left in the fridge that would turn before I got back. I didn’t want to have to face the prospect of arriving from holiday to find I had a smelly fridge that needed cleaning out.

There are times when foraging in the fridge doesn’t give you major ingredients to work with. Here you’ve got to be creative and inventive needing a little something extra (herbs and spices) to help your ingredients shine like the stars they were in your shopping basket.

I want to create delicious meals that don’t taste like second best.

My fridge-foraging session turned up: summer berries, bananas, bread, eggs, cheese, milk and pepperoni. Not much to make a meal with but with a little ingenuity these items created three fantastic dishes that will make it into my regular meal choices.

Eggy Bread with Summer BerriesEggy bread breakfast with summer berries

Use any bread that needs using up, I know a brioche style slice would be the most decadent and that using croissants would be just as great but I had my slightly stale multigrain loaf with seeds that always gets a space in my weekly shopping basket.
Beat the egg with milk and a dash of vanilla bean paste. Next add your chosen slices to the mixture and leave to one side so that the mixture absorbs the eggy-milky liquid. Add butter to a hot frying pan. Turn the bread slices over and leave to soak more of the liquid on the other side. Then drain the excess liquid and add your eggy bread to the hot butter – do not be tempted to push the bread around, leave it and only turn once the bottom is golden brown. Fry on both sides until slightly souffléd and golden, drain on kitchen paper. I served mine with the summer berries I had knocking around in the fridge but would have been equally delicious with cinnamon and honey (Gibraltarian torija-style).

Pasta lunch with garlic, chillies, pepperoni and Parmesan pepperoni pasta
Cut the pepperoni and fry in olive oil. Once the pepperoni has released its paprika spice and colour add the garlic and chillies and fry for a few minutes. Add your boiled pasta of choice and toss everything together until your pasta is slicked in paprika-oil. Add fresh basil and grate Parmesan over.

Banana bread muffins

A very easy recipe that doubles easily should you need to create a larger batch.  I usually make this as a loaf which will need a greater cooking time than muffins.  NB: this makes a very liquid batter.

Ingredients

2 cups Plain Flour1 tspn Bicarbonate of Soda

½ tspn salt

1 cup Sugar

(1 ½ cups dried fruit optional)

½ cup Vegetable Oil2 Eggs

4 Ripe Bananas (over ripe bananas are ideal!)

1/3 cup Milk

1 tspn Lemon Juice

01a07142630b17b9a6727780a6678ecd8a643dbea81st: Place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

2nd: Mix all the ingredients together.

3rd: Bake in a well greased loaf tin (or muffin cases) at 180°C for 60-70mins for the loaf or 40mins for the muffins.

 

None of these are difficult to make nor do they need an excessive amount of ingredients to make them a meal.  I packed my suitcase whilst the banana bread muffins were in the oven so there was a warm treat waiting for me when I finished.  AND when making a cake batter you’re always going to need flour, sugar, eggs and either butter or oil and any other additions; chocolate, fruit, a filling/cream/ butter icing, the list can go on – so as far as a tea cake goes these were quite simple to put together.

From now on, before I go on my weekly shop let alone on holiday, I’ll be checking to see what I can put together from the ingredients left in my fridge as I often throw out ingredients that just need a little imagination or reinvention to become a delicious snack, treat or meal.

Whilst stocking up the fridge after my weekly shop I realised I had a few plums and pears at the back of the fridge that had been there for quite a while.  There was also half a punnet of blackberries that were on the turn and needed using up.

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I didn’t want to waste any of them and throw them away, but there is only so much fruit I can buy without it turning.

After giving it some thought the best and most effective way to use these up was by putting them into a cake.

I went to task, peeling, coring and slicing the pears; washing the plums, removing their stone and picking out the blackberries that had the merest hint of mould on them.  The cake batter was a simple sponge mixture but slightly tweaked to incorporate ground cinnamon and using plain flour instead of self raising flour.  

A standard sponge recipe calls for 2 eggs and some milk but as I can be quite clumsy when it comes to adding milk, I used 3 eggs instead.

Pear, Plum and Blackberry Sponge Cake

Ingredients:

20131006-115529.jpg150g Plain Flour

150g Butter

150g Soft Brown Sugar

3 Eggs

1 1/2 tspns Baking Powder

Vanilla Extract / Almond Essence

1 tspn Cinnamon

Flaked almonds and demerara sugar optional

For the Cake:

1st: Cream the sugar and butter together.

2nd: Add the eggs one at a time and mix well.

3rd: Add a splosh of vanilla extract/almond essence or a dash of both!

4th: Sift in the flour, cinnamon and baking powder.  Mix.

5th: Pour into a greased and lined baking tin.  Assemble the fruit as you wish.

6th: Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25-30mins.

7th: Sprinkle the cake with flaked almonds and demerara sugar and put back into the oven for 10mins.

8th: Allow to cool before serving.

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Delicious as a tea-time cake or equally rewarding with vanilla ice cream as a decadent dessert!

Give this cake a go.  A simple fruit sponge cake with added extras.  Experiment with different fruits.  If you buy out of season fruits the best way to bring out their natural sweetness is to bake them, so why not bake them in a cake?  Members of the plum family are best at taking on spice.  This cake would work with ground ginger, nutmeg, clove but if you want to keep it simple; cinnamon is the direction to go.

Considering they were destined for the bin, the outcome was certainly a resounding success.

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Even though in this part of the world September is still full-on summer, once pears make an appearance you know Autumn is on its way.  The air is slightly cooler and crisper during the mornings and evenings; the weather has changed.

Crisp – the very definition of Autumn.  And what fruit could define the essence of crisp better than a pear?

Of course we can buy pears all year round – but these are tasteless long haul pears that are dry and hard to the bite.  I’m talking about pears that have a floral smell when you bring them up to your nose.  Pears that are buttery in texture; that once bitten release their sweet juice.

As September and October are pear months, I thought I’d rustle up a few pear recipes both sweet and savory to help you make the most of these delicious fruits.

Pork Loin and Pear Salad (warm)

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1st: Heat a griddle pan until it is searing hot.  Whilst this is heating up marinade the pork loin slices in oil, lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper.

2nd: Peel, core and slice a couple of pears.  Once the griddle is hot place the pears on the griddle pan to create scorch marks on all sides.  Leave to one side to cool.

3rd: Place the pork loin into the griddle – do not move the pieces around.  Griddle them for a couple of minutes each side until cooked through.

4th: Dress rocket leaves with olive oil and lemon juice, season to taste.

5th: Arrange artistically on your plate.

This makes a great lunch or a light supper.  Adding blue cheese and/or walnuts would be quite a classic combo but I tend to keep this dish simple.  Make sure to have some crusty bread on the side to soak up any juices!

Alternatively make it a cold salad and replace the pork loin with slices of prosciutto.

Pear and almond cake

I made this cake last weekend and it is delicious.  The good thing with this mixture is that it can be quite sloppy resulting in a moist cake.  Not only is it great as an afternoon tea trolley cake served with a dollop of double cream but it makes a convincing pudding to end a meal with.  I followed this following River Cottage recipe :

Ingredients

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  •  300g unsalted butter, softened
  •  250g caster sugar
  •   4 medium eggs
  •  150g wholemeal self raising flour (I used normal self raising flour)
  •  150g ground almonds
  •  A good pinch of cinnamon

For the caramelised pears:

  •  6 pears (reasonably firm, but not rock hard)
  • 50g unsalted butter
  •  2 tbsp granulated sugar

Click on the River Cottage link and watch the video on how to make your cake.

Pear and Gorgonzola Tartwarm-pear-tart

Ingredients

  • 2 x 200g sheets store-bought shortcrust pastry, thawed
  • 80g gorgonzola
  • 2 teaspoons oregano leaves
  • 2 pears, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • cracked black pepper
  • 50g watercress sprigs
  • 6 slices prosciutto

Method

1st: Preheat oven to 180°C.

2nd: Place pastry on baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper.

3rd: Spread each pastry with gorgonzola and top with oregano and pears.

4th: Place the honey, oil and pepper in a bowl and mix to combine and drizzle the tarts with half the honey mixture.

5th: Bake for 15 minutes or until pastry is golden and crisp and serve, topped with watercress and prosciutto and the remaining olive oil and honey mixture.

If you’ve got a favourite pear recipe why not share it here so that we can all revel in the marvel of the season’s fruit.