Thursday, 21 September 2017

Praising Stewed Fruit

In my childhood, puddings, if any, were either 'milk puddings' -  horrid slimy concoctions of milk and cereals - or if we were lucky stewed fruit. During the 1950s and 60s we became,more sophisticated, or so we thought, making quite elaborate puddings rich in eggs, cream and alcohol.

The threat of heart disease has made me wary of such delights, so I no longer eat puddings regularly.

A few days ago I stewed some apricots, and was surprised how well they turned out. Eaten raw apricots strike me as insipid and in texture floury rather than juicy, but once they were cooked I found them delicious, juicy with a rich flavour.


Sasha said...

Please allow me to share with you a couple of pudding recipes I learnt not long ago, when I was lucky enough to be given a day's course at Demuth's Cookery School in Bath. The cuisine we were taught was Middle Eastern, and it is the puddings which I think might interest you:

Demuth’s Cookery School

500g apricots, halved and stones removed
200g sugar (caster, granulated or vanilla sugar)
100ml water
10 green cardamom pods, bruised
1 vanilla pod
The zest of an unwaxed lemon

Pre-heat oven to 180C (160 for fan oven)

Put halved apricots in oven dish and roast for 15 minutes or until soft.
Place sugar, cardamom pods, vanilla pod, lemon zest and water in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes so that the syrup thickens slightly. Allow to cool, then strain through a fine sieve or a piece of muslin. This syrup will keep well for 2 weeks in the fridge.

Marinate the cooked apricots in a few tablespoonsful of the syrup for at least half an hour.

Serve with Roz Bel Labna – Lebanese rice pudding (see below)

Demuth’s cookery school

A pinch of saffron
400ml coconut milk
200ml full cream milk
45g golden caster sugar
75g risotto rice, washed
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out

To garnish: 2 tablespoons chopped fresh pistachios
1 tablespoon rosewater and a sprinkling of dried rose petals

Crush the saffron gently in a pestle and mortar. Put into a little dish and pour over 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Leave for 15 minutes.

Place saffron water, coconut milk and full cream milk, sugar and rice in a saucepan.

Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape the seems out of the pod. Put seems and pod into the saucepan. Mix well and simmer gently on low heat for 15 minutes. When the rice is soft, stir continuously for a final 5-10 minutes until the pudding is thick and creamy.

Serve hot or cold, topped with chopped pistachios, rosewater, rose petals. Alternatively, top with chopped seasonal fruits.

Richard said...

Thank you for that Sasha. You are, as always, a fount of inspiration :-)