Watching another episode of “Death in Paradise” takes me back to the Tropics and Guadeloupe, so , direction the kitchen for a quick but delicious dessert.
2 medium-size bananas or 4 small ones, peeled
Juice of 1 lime
30 g unsalted butter
1spoonful of caster sugar
1 vanilla pod , split in 2, or 1 tablespoon vanilla essence
100ml golden rum
1. Melt the butter in a frying pan.
2. Fry the bananas gently.
3. Sprinkle the sugar on top and drizzle with the lime juice.
4. Scrape the vanilla grains on top and flambé with the rum.
Serve immediately with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for each banana.
It is the season when peaches are at their best and I like to try different ways of enjoying them.
This dessert can be made with nectarines as well.
The Prosecco bubbles are very refreshing on a hot Summer evening.
For 4 people you need:
1 kg ripe peaches
Juice of one lemon
100 g caster sugar
100 ml Prosecco
1. Rinse the peaches.
2. Cut them into smallish pieces.
3. Sprinkle the sugar on top and add the lemon juice.
4. Stir well and add the Prosecco.
5. Pour into pretty glasses and place in the fridge for 1hour at least.
The beautiful mirabelle tree is producing its surprising little fruit and invites me to do another refreshing dessert.
The real surprise is that the mini plums come in three different colours, from a very deep purple to a warm yellow.
So, for 2 people:
1tin unsweetened condensed milk (such as Carnation)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1. Rinse the fruit and remove the stones.
2. Put all the ingredients in a liquidizer and whizz.
3. Fill in 2 small bowls and place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Hey! It´s the 14th July, so let´s celebrate in true Provençal style with an anchoïade.
This will not take long to prepare and will let the fireworks of flavours explode on your tastebuds.
Gather a few friends and share!
For 8 people, you will need:
6 medium-size carrots
2 green sweet peppers
2 red sweet peppers
2 yellow sweet peppers
1 celery heart
2 small anchovy tins (in olive oil)
1 tablespoon of capers
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1. Rinse all the vegetables.
2. Peel the carrots, top and tail them. Cut them into strips
3. Cut the peppers open and remove all the seeds. Cut them into strips.
4. Separate the celery stalks.
5. Arrange all the vegetables in alternate colours in a big serving dish, leaving a space in the middle to place the ramequin containing the anchoïade.
6. In a food blender, whizz the anchovies with their olive oil, capers and garlic cloves.
7. Pour the mixture into the ramequin.
Serve with a very cool rosé .
You can add other vegetables, such as cauliflower florets, radishes, as long as they can be cut into strips to dip into the anchoïade.
This is very healthy and part of the Mediterranean diet. It is also very convivial.
Walking through the narrow streets of the enchanted village where, as a child, I spent my Summer holidays, I pass the house of great aunt Julie and I remember the 4o’clock dessert she used to prepare for me.
I locate some big, sun-ripened tomatoes and prepare the dessert:
For 1 child ( or adult with a fondness for childhood memories), you need:
1 big tomato
1. Rinse the tomato,
2. Chop it into small cubes,
3. Place into a big, thick drinking glass which has been placed in the fridge for a few minutes.
4. Sprinkle with the sugar.
5. Serve immediately.
Let the child/adult enjoy it.
Tomatoes are fruit as well as vegetables and are also used to make delicious jams, not just sauce or chutney.
You can chill this dessert for 1 hour or two and serve it with either mint leaves or basil leaves at the end of a Summer meal, as a proper dessert. It is as refreshing as a sorbet.
It can also easily be turned into a granita.
Here is how:
1. Liquidise the tomato cubes with a food blender.
2. Add 50ml of strawberry syrup.
3. Pour the mixture into a metal icecube tray.
4. Place in a freezer for 1 hour.
5. Take out and using a fork, scrape the solidified mixture to form mini icicles.
6. Put back in the freezer for another hour and renew the operation.
7. Serve immediately in pretty glass cups.
Continued good weather has prompted me to prepare cooler food.
One of them is a pleasant cucumber Gazpacho that does not take much time, energy or ingredients to make.
For 2 /3people, you need :
1 big cucumber, peeled and cut into quarters
1 small pot of natural yoghurt
2/3 cloves of garlic, peeled
A handful of fresh mint leaves, rinsed
Salt and pepper
Place all the ingredients in a food mixer and whizz.
Serve in mini soup tureens and decorate with very small mint leaves or a very small teaspoonful of fromage frais with herbs.
This can be served as a starter, a snack or a dip (in which case you can replace the yoghurt with single fresh cream).
It is very healthy and if you are counting the calories, it will not add pounds to your waist line!
It also means you do not have to spend time over a hot stove.
You can double the quantities and keep some in the refrigerator for 24 hours, adding the juice of 1/2 lemon for conservation.
It’s jam making season again but pigeons have stripped the currant bushes bare.
So, move on to plan B: The gooseberries are still there and the next best activity at this time of year is sorbet making.
Following a recent visit to my friend Jacqui, she introduced me to elderflower cordial. A new discovery for me. I used to look at the lovely tree in the garden but never thought of using the flowers. I can’t believe it took me so long to experiment with that.
So it’s gooseberry sorbet with elderflower cordial. An absolute treat!
Let’s start with the cordial. This will keep for a fortnight in a refrigerator. It can be diluted with still or sparkling water to make it into a drink .
- Prepare a sugar syrup by dissolving 300 g sugar into 300 ml water in a saucepan, then set aside to cool down
- Rinse the flowers (for 1 litre, pick 8 heads) and place them in a bowl and cover with the cold syrup
- Add the juice of 2 lemons and 1 table spoon of citric acid (available at any chemist)
- Cover and leave to rest overnight in the refrigerator
- Sterilise bottles by washing them in the dishwasher or washing them well with hot water and placing them in a medium hot oven (check the glass will withstand the heat)
- The next day, strain the mixture with a sieve with fine mesh and bottle
Now for the sorbet…
- Rinse 500 g of gooseberries, add sufficient water to cover them and stew until the fruit is soft
- Using a sieve with fine mesh, press the fruits with a wooden spoon into a purée
- Set aside to cool down
- Add 200 ml of the elder flower cordial into the gooseberry mixture
- Place it in the sorbet maker (follow manufacturer’s instructions regarding time, etc)
Serve with wafers and decorate with mint leaves.