Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

Mixed berries, meringue, clotted cream and star anise

If you read yesterday’s making meringues post, you’ll know that we had a dessert that included meringue, redcurrants and blackcurrants that was inspired by something we found in the weekend’s Observer Food Monthly. Here it is:

Berries with Meringues
Serves 2
Prep time: 15 mins (+ 1 hour cooling/steeping)

75g blackcurrants
75g redcurrants
150g strawberries
30ml caster sugar
40ml water
1 star anise
clotted cream

1) Wash the berries. Remove the redcurrants and blackcurrants from their stalks and hull the strawberries (cut them up if they are large). Put all the fruit into a bowl.
2) Pour the water into a pan and add the sugar and star anise. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring the sugar into the water until it has dissolved to form a syrup.
3) Pour the syrup over the berries and stir it through. The leave it for an hour or so to cool and for all the flavours to blend – go back and stir it every now and then.
4) To serve, split the berries into two bowls, break over some meringue and add a dollop of clotted cream.

This was such a perfect summer dessert and a great twist on a classic Eton Mess. The addition of the star anise was a stroke of genius from the recipe’s creator, Chef Jason Atherton, offering warm exotic undertones to complement the dessert’s sweet, hedonistic flavours.

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Melon and pomegranate salad

We had a small melon still in the fridge from our Abel & Cole delivery that, over a week on, was starting to look a little sorry for itself. It stuck in the back of my mind as we were doing our weekly shop this afternoon when I spotted some enormous pomegranates (about the size of small melons themselves) and knew I had to have one – I’d think about what to do with it later.

When I was younger, a friend’s mum would often give us pomegranates to hack at for the best part of an hour or so and making a terrible mess on fingers and clothes – no wonder I’ve always loved them! Thankfully, the grown up me now knows the secret to de-seeding a pomegranate with no mess and no wasted seeds – a simple bowl of water.

How to De-seed a Pomegranate

1. Cut the pomegranate into quarters
2. Pull away the areas of skin and pith that come away easily
3. Transfer the piece of pomegranate to a bowl of water and remove the seeds – it will be surprisingly easy to do so
4. The seeds will sink to the bottom, whilst the pith will float to the top. Scoop the pith out of the water with a sieve and then drain the water – you’ll be left with a glistening pile of beautiful pomegranate seeds.

There was also a lone orange in the fruit bowl and half a lime from Ted’s fajitas last night and so, a light summery dessert was born.

Melon and Pomegranate Salad
Serves 2-3
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: None

1 large pomegranate (2 standard-sized will do!)
1 small melon (any variety other than watermelon will do)
1 orange
1/2 lime
25ml vodka (optional)

1. De-seed the pomegranate (as described above), cut the melon into slices, remove the skin and cut into chunks. Grate the rind of approximately half of the orange onto a separate dish.
2. Cut the orange in half and juice both halves into a cup/small bowl then add a couple of squeezes of lime juice (to taste). If you fancy a bit of an extra kick add the vodka now!
3. Put the pomegranate seeds, melon chunks and orange rind into a bowl and mix well with your hands. Pour over the juice and mix again, then serve.

I really liked this. The crunchy pomegranate seeds and sharpness of lime provided a wonderful contrast to the sweet, soft melon – a delightfully refreshing dessert that was much needed in the desperate-for-a-storm heatwave we’re experiencing in SW London. We tried this both with and without vodka and I couldn’t really decide which one I preferred so will leave that decision entirely up to you!

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