Rhubarb Compote (with delicious Lemon Posset) and Good Old Rhubarb Crumble Recipes

13 May 2013 § 1 Comment

Rhubarb has a short season so get it while you can.

We had a bit of a rhubarbathon this weekend: rhubarb and strawberry compote for breakfast…


..the compote served with Lemon Posset became dessert.


Then there was the  good old rhubarb crumble – made with almond flour, and oatmeal – a bit more interesting than white flour.


All recipes are on my What’s for Dinner? column on Barista Kids.

Pumpkin Pots de Crème with Candied Walnuts

14 November 2011 § 9 Comments

Here is a great make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert that can be made using the pumpkin purée from the recipe I posted in Pumpkin Palooza last week.

One of the Ladies™ loved these creamy, silky pots de crème, the other not so much, but as neither like pie (can you believe that?) I will definitely be making this again for Thanksgiving, as King Marv and I rather liked them. « Read the rest of this entry »

Light and airy meringues

25 September 2011 § 5 Comments

I have mentioned before that my father is a born again baker. He made a guest appearance on this blog with his sour dough recipe.

Baz recently discovered baking and has been perfecting his techniques religiously ever since. Every time my parents visit his repertoire has expanded and improved (I will not make an obvious joke here about his waistline – would be cruel and not true.) What started with bread now includes croissants, buns and meringues.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Last of the currants – red and white currant ricotta tart

21 July 2011 § 7 Comments

After the jam, I still had a few currants leftover, inspired by Nigel Slater’s recipe for a tart of fromage frais and white currants I made a sort-of cheesecake version of it.

This tart would work with any other summer fruit but I loved the contrast of the tartness of the currants with the gingersnap base. If you’re still lucky to have red currants or white currants in your part of the world, grab ’em while you can. Otherwise raspberries and blueberries would work.

So here’s my easy version of a cheesecake tart – no cooking required so perfect for this hot weather. The topping is light and fluffy, and the base crisp, buttery and gingery.

The reason I did not follow the Nigel’s recipe, genius that he is, is that it called for letting the fromage frais and yoghurt drip through a muslin cloth in a sieve overnight. While I’m sure the strained mixture makes a perfect filling for the tart I do not own a muslin cloth and knew that the currants would have rotted by the time I got around to buying one.

Next time I would use whole milk ricotta, and not skimmed, as I think the texture would be better.

Do not make this dish in a rush – I did not let it sit in the fridge for long enough and you can see the result, it was a bit runny for the photo. The following day the consistency was perfect, keeping its shape when it was sliced.

Recipe for red and white currant ricotta tart

For the filling

  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz Greek yoghurt
  • 3 tbs powered sugar, plus a bit more for dusting
  • Grated zest of 1 orange
  • 12 oz of white and red currants (or any other summer fruit)

For the crust

  • 3 oz butter
  • 1 packet of ginger snaps (10 oz)

Melt the butter. Crush the cookies to a coarse open crumb. I put them in a plastic bag and beat the bejeezus out of them with a rolling-pin and a meat cleaver.

In case you’re wondering I got a better crumb from the rolling-pin. Put the crumbs into a loose-bottomed cake tin (about 8″ in diameter) then smooth in, pushing into the corners with your fingers. Chill for 20 minutes.

To make the filling whisk the ricotta and Greek yoghurt together. Stir in the icing sugar and grated orange zest.  Smooth into the chilled tart crust.

Before decorating with the currants, refrigerate the tart again for another 20 minutes. Ideally let it set for a few hours then pile on the currants, removing the stalks first and dust with the powdered sugar.

The Ladies™ did not care for the currants on their own but managed to eat several slices of this tart.

Summer Fruit Fool

5 July 2011 § 4 Comments

Back in January I made some raspberry fools using frozen berries. Now summer is in full swing, it’s time for the real thing. Made with redcurrants, blackcurrants and raspberries this dessert is so easy it could be knocked up by a four-year old. And it was, which is why it is decorated with Cadbury chocolate Buttons.

This refreshing dessert is very easy to whip up and can be made in advance. Make sure the cream is cold and whisk in a large bowl as it will thicken more quickly.

Ingredients – for four

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 5oz mascarpone cream
  • 4 oz blackcurrants and redcurrants
  • 6 oz raspberries
  • 1 tbs maple syrup

Put all the berries together in a pan, reserving a few raspberries to go in the bottom of each serving glass. Add the maple syrup and heat over a low-medium heat. Gently bring to a simmer, then heat for a few more minutes on a low heat. Sieve into another bowl and cool either in the fridge or in a bowl in a larger bowl of iced water.

Whisk the heavy cream in a large bowl until it forms thick peaks. Then add the mascarpone cream and continue to whisk but at a lower speed.  Pour in the sieved (now cool) liquid and stir.

Put a few raspberries at the bottom of each glass, then fill with the pink mixture. Decorate with grated chocolate, or chocolate Buttons if you find yourself bullied by a four-year old.

Strawberry and lime ice cream

7 June 2011 § 6 Comments

The ruby-red gems of strawberries I got from the Farmers’ Market two days ago have turned into mush.

So when life gives you mushy strawberries, make strawberry ice cream.

I like this recipe as it uses whole eggs (when a recipe calls for the egg yolks, I inevitably forget about the whites and waste them despite my best intentions). I usually add lemon juice but I was out of fresh lemons so instead I added lime. It worked well and definitely added a refreshing zing to contrast with the sweetness of the over-ripe strawberries.


  • 1 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • Finely grated zest from 1 lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 lb strawberries (3 cups), trimmed and quartered
  • Juice from 1 lime

Special equipment: an ice cream maker

To make the custard (the base of any good ice cream) combine cream, zest, and salt in a heavy saucepan and bring just to the boil. Remove from heat.

Whisk eggs with 2 tbsp sugar in a bowl, then add the hot creamy custard mix in a slow stream, whisking all the while. Pour everything back into the saucepan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F. Do not let it boil! A custard boiled is a custard spoiled!

Congratulations! You now have a custard. Immediately pour it into a metal bowl, then cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Alternatively, you can put the bowl in a larger ice bath. Whichever route you choose, leave for at least two hours but no longer than 24.

While custard is chilling, get our your blender and purée the strawberries with the remaining sugar and lime juice until smooth. Then force the blended mix through a fine sieve (to remove the strawberry seeds – no-one wants seedy ice cream) into the chilled custard. Stir the purée into the custard together before freezing in an ice cream maker. Finally transfer to an airtight container and put in the freezer to harden. Enjoy. Kids optional.

Summer is nearly here….Dulce de leche and pecan ice cream

21 May 2011 § Leave a comment

I had half a tub of dulce de leche left over from yesterday’s alfajore adventure. To stop me eating the dulce de leche straight out of the tub I thought I better use the dulce de leche up. So I made dulce de leche and pecan ice cream, but this has not really solved anything as it is so good I have just been eating the ice cream straight out of the tub.

If you decide to try this recipe watch those pecans as you toast them as they catch fire fast if you forget about them under the grill. Much to The Ladies™ horror I had quite a pyrotechnic display going.

This dulce de leche recipe (adapted from Gourmet magazine) is based on what I had in my fridge. I had no whole milk, but skimmed worked fine as I increased the amount of cream. There is no egg custard in this ice cream, which apart from the fire hazard, makes it ridiculously easy to make.


  • 1 cup skimmed milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 lb dulce de leche (about 1 2/3 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans (2 1/2 to 3 oz), toasted
Special equipment: an ice cream maker

Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat and whisk in dulce de leche until dissolved. Whisk in vanilla and transfer to a metal bowl. Quick-chill by putting bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stirring occasionally until cold, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Freeze mixture in ice cream maker until almost firm, then fold in pecans.
  • Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 1 hour.

Warning – you will find yourself eating this straight out of the fridge. Now I’m off to the Farmers’ Market to buy something green and healthy.

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