Summer fruit pudding season has been the longest time coming. The cravings came mid-winter, just before I wrote a post half about out-of-season berries, and stuck around until my twice-weekly supermarket check for those red and blue and purple gems bore, er, fruit.
There’s satisfaction in the fact that the recipe saves a little food waste – I don’t keep bread in the house so I bought a loaf from the reduced section in the supermarket, but for the average person it means using up those past-best slices, and the crusts can be whizzed up into breadcrumbs for meatballs or a savoury crumble. Between that and all the vitamins you’ll be getting, it’s pretty much a virtuous pudding. Continue reading →
It’s August. How did that happen? A couple of weeks ago I was celebrating my spring birthday and now it’s less than 20 weeks until Christmas (okay, I’m pretty happy about that part).
I sort of hoped I’d never be one of those people who’s all, “Hey, look, time’s passed, how about that?” but here we are, and the next thing you know I’ll probably be seeing my younger cousin and saying, “Look at you! Haven’t you grown!” like an idiot.
Because that’s what happens – time passes, children grow. Spring turns to autumn and…wait. That’s not how it works. Summer. It’s still summer. It’s August and it’s sunny* and it’s England and we are all most confused.
Before the weather took a turn for the more bearable, I developed a routine for the 10 minutes after I got in from work: through the door, shoes kicked off, straight into the bathroom to run my feet under a cold, cold shower in an effort to cool down. All I wanted to do was press an ice cream tub against the back of my neck for sweet relief from the heat**, and then have the contents for dinner instead of anything that might require igniting the hob.
But – we know where this is going, don’t we? – this extended warm spell requires restraint. The longer-than-usual summer has had one amazing side effect: ice cream is almost always on offer. It’s both a blessing and a curse – a blessing because, well, who doesn’t want half price Ben and Jerry’s? A curse because you cannot eat ice cream every sunny day for a month and not have that reflected in your muffin tops.
But frozen yoghurt feels more virtuous. Healthy, even, especially when it’s jammed full of fruit, right? And as I can no longer get my summer berry hit in a sweet summer fruit pudding (damn it, bread), they were my first choice when it came to flavouring my froyo, while the roasting brings out their flavours even more. A delicious solution.
* Not forgetting, of course, those glorious summer storms with 3am flashes of lightning and warm rush hour rain that allow us to all go back, just briefly, to very British grumbling about soggy feet.
** Apart from the day I got gasp-worthy sunburn and went straight for the hard stuff: melting ice cubes on my shoulders.
The fact that it’s August also means that voting for the Cosmo Blog Awards ends this month. If you’ve got a spare 10 seconds and like what you see around here, head here to vote for me for best newcomer.
500g summer berries (I used a frozen mix from Morrisons, and threw a few extra blueberries in)
500g full fat Greek yoghurt
1) Preheat your oven to 190C. Decant the yoghurt to a plastic tub or bowl about twice the volume needed for the yoghurt, stir in two tablespoons of honey, and pop into the freezer.
2) Spread your fruit over a ceramic dish or tray at least 1 inch deep and drizzle with a tablespoon of honey. Roast on the centre shelf of the oven for 30 minutes.
3) After this time, spoon the majority of the juices into a mug and set aside to cool, then put the fruit back in the oven for a further 30 minutes. Stir the yoghurt with a fork, scraping around the edges to mix the frozen bits in and return to the freezer.
4) When the fruit has roasted, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool. Add the juices reserved from the roasting to the yoghurt, mix thoroughly, and return again to the freezer. Stir again after a further 45 minutes.
5) After another (!) 45 minutes, mix in the roasted berries and, if necessary, transfer to the vessel you wish to serve the yoghurt in. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes, and then serve. If you’re making the yoghurt ahead of time and freezing overnight, allow the froyo to thaw for 30 minutes before serving.
Just to help you (and me!) get your head around the freezing and stirring..
Freezer for 30 minutes while fruit gets first roast – stir – freezer for 30 minutes while fruit gets second roast – stir, add juices – freeze for 45 minutes – stir – freeze for 45 minutes – stir, add fruit – freeze for 30 minutes or overnight.
There’s a good chance this would work better in an ice cream maker – but let’s face it, our toaster is in the living room and the food processor lives in my bedroom. Ain’t no way we can get an ice cream maker. Keeping an eye on the time and doing the odd 30 seconds of stirring isn’t as much of a faff as it sounds, really.
Every now and then I get really, really obsessed with a particular flavour or ingredient. I’ve been in danger of switching the target of my fickle foodie love to speculoos – I mean really, who doesn’t love biscuits smushed together with syrup? – but the sun’s shining and I’ve truly fallen for strawberry and coconut and oh my god I cannot stop jamming these tiny pastries into my pie hole.
With a little bit of oh-so-British sweetness teamed with the more exotic freshness of coconut, they’re the summertime cousin to the warmer months’ cinnamon rugelach. And as a bitesize morsel that can be prepared a few days ahead and doesn’t wilt in the sun, they’d also be superb for picnics and barbecues. I guarantee that despite their unassuming exterior, this little bite of summer will not disappoint.
Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook
Makes 32 pastries
Notes Using a sharp knife to cut the dough into slices (step 8) will work, but for less drag use a pizza cutter.
For the cream cheese, low fat works absolutely fine and helps to balance out all that butter guilt!
1) To make the dough, using an electric whisk, beat together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
2) In a small bowl, combine the flour and icing sugar, and add to the cream cheese and butter mixture, beating on the lowest speed until just combined. If your whisk’s lowest speed is still pretty fast (mine is) do this by hand with a metal spoon – you might need to get your fingers in there to fully bring the dough together.
3) Scrap the dough into a large piece of clingfilm, wrap well and chill in the fridge for two hours.
4) When the dough has chilled, divide it into to halves and pop one back into the fridge while you prepare the other.
5) On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough into a circle (or squircle, we’re easy-going around here) about 30cm in diameter.
6) Quickly heat the jam in a small saucepan to thin it out a little, then spread it over the dough using the back of a teaspoon or a pastry brush.
7) Sprinkle the coconut liberally over the top.
8) Cut the dough into 16 slices (like a pizza!). Starting from the outside edge, roll each slice tightly inwards and transfer to the baking tray, spacing them about 1 inch apart, taking care to tuck the point underneath.
9) When all the slices have been rolled, pop the tray into the freezer for 15 minutes, or fridge for 30, and repeat using the second piece of dough. Preheat the oven to 160C.
10) When all the pastries are rolled and chilled, bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden and puffed up. When baked, transfer the pastries to a wire rack immediately to prevent the jam acting like superglue as it cools. Sprinkle with icing sugar when cool.