Tag Archives: blueberries

Blueberry and Pistachio Pancakes

27 Apr

BPP FinishedThe BH and I have had a bit of a trying year.  We’ve both changed jobs AND we’ve bought a house.  Add to this a missing camera charger and you have a very guilty me apologising for the HUGE hiatus in my blogging.  That said this weekend rolled around and to both of our absolute surprise and wonder, there was nothing planned.  I’m not going to lie, we were both more than a little shell shocked by this and for a while just stared at each other, not really sure what to do.  Then, thankfully, sloth instinct kicked in and pancakes and old episodes of the X-Files were the order of the day.  Now I must confess, I simply can’t resist the urge to mess with pancakes, these however are my current favourites.

BPP IngTo start take:

  • 500gms self raising flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder (you want them to be really light and fluffy)
  • 2 eggs
  • 50 gms butter
  • 1 litre milk
  • 200 gms blueberries
  • 100gm roasted salted pistachios
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla essence if you prefer)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp sugar (optional)

BPP Melting ButterMelt the butter in a small sauce pan and allow it to cool.  Then add  the milk to the butter.  Beat the eggs and add these along with the vanilla bean paste to the melted butter.  You want to make sure the butter is cool and you add the milk before you add the eggs otherwise you’re going to be eating buttery,  vanilla flavoured scrambled eggs, which I don’t think will taste as good as it sounds.

Sift BPPSift together your flour, salt, baking powder and sugar (if you’re using it) in a large mixing bowl.

BPP BatterThen slowly add the milk mixture to the flour mix and whisk until the mixture is smooth and lump free. BPP Chopped PistachiosRoughly chop your pistachios and wash and dry your blueberries.  Put these in two separate bowls next to your griddle or frying pan.

BPP FryingHeat your pan or griddle and using a paper towel, apply a thin layer of vegetable oil to the pan/griddle.  Using a soup ladle, spoon a circle of batter on to your griddle pan and then top with blueberries and pistachios.  When the batter bubbles, turn your pancake over and cook on the underside.

BPP Frying 2

Sorry, I just love the colours of the pistachios on the batter, so you’re being subjected to another photograph.  Place the pancake in a warming draw or oven on a low heat and repeat the process until you have used all the batter.

BPP YumDrizzle your pancakes with honey, you can use any syrup that takes your fancy, but there is something about the pistachios and blueberries that just really works with honey, and enjoy.

 

Fruit Salad with Meringue Nests

22 Jul

FS2 Finished

I am currently enjoying my first British summer.  This is my third July in the UK, but lets face it the last two summers were completely rubbish.  The best bit about this weather is that it finally feels like barbecue (or braai) season.  As a South African, cooking meat outdoors over a flame is a deeply engrained cultural pastime.  One bordering on religious fanaticism.  I would dearly love to share some of the amazing meals we enjoy with you, but unfortunately braaing (or barbecuing)  is strictly “men’s work.”  Now as liberated and enlightened my BH is in every other aspect, I have more chance of spontaneously combusting then I do of  being given charge of the Braai (Barbecue) tongs.

My job in this summer performance is to prepare salads and dessert.  That’s it. That’s all us women get and surprisingly, none of us complain.  Weird, huh?

So that’s why this is yet another sweet post and why there will probably be a few more in the next couple of days.  Well that’s my story at least and I’m sticking to it.  Anyway in weather like this, you need something cool and refreshing and that requires minimal time in the kitchen.  Fruit salad is always a winner and here it’s dressed in a honey, lime and mint dressing served with meringue nests and chantilly cream.

FS IngThis serves 8:

Meringue nests:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 250gm caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional, but so yummy)

Salad:

  • A mix of your favourite fruit, I used grapes, strawberries, mangoes, blueberries and pineapple
  • 8-10 mint leaves
  • 2 limes
  • 2 Tbs of honey

Chantilly Cream:

  • 200 mls double cream
  • caster sugar to taste
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste

FS Sep EggsFirst preheat the oven to 110 °C and then separate the eggs and place the whites in a clean bowl.  Save the yolks for pannacotta or a nice quiche.

FS egg whiteAdd the cream of tartar and the lemon juice and then beat until soft peaks form.

FS sugarWeigh out your sugar.  A handy tip to remember is to use 50gms of sugar per egg white.

FS MeringueAdd the sugar a tablespoon at a time  and always ensure the sugar is completely incorporated before adding the next tablespoon of sugar.  Continue whisking until your mixture resembles the one above and then fold in the vanilla bean paste.

FS nestsLine a large baking tray with parchment paper and then using a star tipped nozzle and a piping bag, pipe your nests onto the paper.  Place in the oven and bake for two hours.  This should produce a relatively robust meringue that still has a squishy inside.

FS Lime Juice

Now get on with your fruit salad.  To make the dressing, squeeze the limes getting as much juice as you can from them.  The vitamin C in the juice will prevent your fruit from browning.

FS dressingAdd the honey to the lime juice and whisk with a fork until it’s incorporated.

FS MintFinely chop your mint leaves and add this to the lime-honey mix.

FS saladChop your fruit into bite sized pieces and toss with the dressing.  Chill until needed. FS cooked nests

Once your nests are ready, allow them to cool.   FS creamOnce they are cool, make the chantilly cream by adding the vanilla and sugar to the cream and beating it until it holds its shape.  Then assemble by topping the meringue with cream and fruit salad.  Enjoy.

FS Ready to eat

Mini Cheesecakes with Lemon Curd

24 Jun

So a while ago I celebrated my birthday and wanted to take some nibbles to work for my colleagues. Now work nibbles are a tricky thing.  You need something that will transport easily, that won’t be too fussy to eat and something that doesn’t require plates or cutlery.   All of the above screams CUPCAKES, but cupcakes are so done, aren’t they? Besides I wanted cheesecake.  I love cheesecake.  If  cheesecake isn’t available by the bucket load in the afterlife, I’m not going. Besides it’s my party and I’ll eat cheesecake if I want to.

So I hauled out my favourite baked cheesecake recipe and miniaturised it.

For the Cheesecake:

  • 4 Tbs (60gm butter) melted
  • 175 gm digestive biscuits
  • 500 gm creme fraiche
  • 500 gm ricotta
  • 175 gm caster sugar
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1tsp lemon essence
  • 3 eggs
  • 12 raspberries and 12 Blueberries

For the Lemon Curd:

  • 3 eggs
  • 4 Tbs (60gm butter)cut into about 10 cubes and chilled
  • The juice and zest of 2-3 lemons
  • 150 gm sugar

Preheat the oven to 160 °C .  Then crush the digestive biscuits in a food processor (or however you wish) into a fine crumb and mix with the melted butter to make a crust for the cheesecakes.

Line two 12 hole  muffin tins with cupcake cases and divide the crumb mix evenly between the cases and press it down using the back of a teaspoon until it is compacted. Place the muffin tins in the fridge and allow  to rest.

Put the ricotta, creme fraiche, caster sugar, lemon zest of one lemon, lemon essence and honey in a large bowl and beat until smooth with a hand mixer or with a spoon.  Then add the eggs one at a time and beat until each egg is very well incorporated before adding the next egg.

Take the muffin tins out of the fridge and fill the cases by spooning the cheese mixture on top of the biscuit crust. Put tins into the oven for 30-35  minutes until the cheese cakes resemble the ones below.  At the half way mark, rotate the tins to ensure even results.

Don’t worry about the cracked, sunken tops.  That’s what’s going to hold the lemon curd for us.   To make the lemon curd, put a heat resistant bowl in a pot of water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl and bring to a medium heat.  Add the sugar, lemon zest and juice and the eggs to the bowl and whisk.

Whisk constantly at a slow, steady pace.  After a while, about ten minutes, the mixture will thicken noticeably.  The mixture should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Remove the bowl from the pan and stir in the butter, one piece at a time.  Wait until each piece has melted before stirring in the next one.

Now allow both the cheesecakes and the lemon curd to cool and then spoon a teaspoon or so of curd into the hollow of each cheesecake, smooth and top with a berry or whatever else takes your fancy.  Easy to eat, easy transport and DELICIOUS.

oh.four.one.

the port elizabeth blogger

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