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Cover: A dish for all seasons

Recipes with water

07Jun 12

Blood Orange Sorbet

Blood Orange SorbetBlood oranges have a beautiful, intense colour can give vibrancy to all sorts of dishes including salads, cooked meals and desserts.

Serve blood orange sorbet for pudding with a glass of champagne, or in between courses to cleanse the palette.  This one is definitely for the grown-ups as it contains orange liqueur. (If you prefer strawberry, this strawberry sorbet with moscatel is also a tasty treat!)

What you need:

  • 250g caster sugar
  • 250ml water
  • 2 tbsp orange liqueur
  • 1L blood orange juice, freshly squeezed with the pulp strained off
  • Orange zest to garnish

What to do:

  1. First you need to make a sugar syrup.  Take a large saucepan, add the sugar and pour in the water, stirring together as the sugar begins to dissolve.  Gradually bring the mixture up to the boil, stirring constantly.  Once boiling, reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes.  Leave the mixture to cool completely.
  2. Take a large mixing bowl, pour in the blood orange juice, and stir in the liqueur.  Gradually add the sugar syrup to the orange and liqueur mixture, tasting as you go, until the combination is lovely and sweet.  If you prefer a more tart sorbet, you can control that by adding less of the sugar syrup.
  3. Once you’re happy with the flavour (and still hopefully have plenty of the mixture left for Mum!) transfer the syrupy sorbet into a freezer-proof container and set it in the freezer for a minimum of 5 hours.  And here comes the slightly tricky bit.  You will need to make the sorbet on a day when you’re going to be available to stir the sorbet occasionally as it sets.  Over the 5 hour period of setting, remove the sorbet once or twice an hour, stir it and put it back into the freezer.  The only way around this last phase is to churn the sorbet until it sets in an ice-cream maker before freezing it.
  4. When ready to serve your sorbet, spoon it into a pretty bowl or half of an emptied orange with an ice-cream scoop, garnish with the orange zest and serve with a glass of champagne.

20 minutes to prepare, plus cooling time, and at least 5 hours setting time.

Makes: 4-6 servings

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12May 12

Rhubarb and Marzipan Crumble

 

Rhubarb and Marzipan crumbleSpring is in the air! Well, perhaps not quite yet. But no matter the time of year, I enjoy the occasional treat to satisfy my sweet tooth. However, knowing that I am also eating fruits and veggies helps me justify these cravings.

Rhubarb comes into season in March and is readily available in the UK until May - so there’s still a chance to get some good rhubarb, just! Every year, as soon as I see it in the greengrocer, I pick it up so I can make a favourite of mine, rhubarb crumble.

 

 

This year I made this classic crumble pudding with a sweet surprise.  In this recipe, the natural tartness of the rhubarb contrasts really well with the almondy sweetness of the marzipan.

What you need:

  • 10 rhubarb sticks
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 110g Demerara sugar
  • 110g butter, left at room temperature for a while to soften
  • 190g flour
  • 150g Marzipan, cut into thin strips

What to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. Chop the rhubarb into cubes, pop it on an oven tray, sprinkle over the water and caster sugar and bake it in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove the rhubarb from the oven once it is cooked, and transfer it to an ovenproof dish.
  4. Create the crumble by rubbing the butter, flour and Demerara sugar together.
  5. Place the thin strips of marzipan across the top of the rhubarb before sprinkling the crumble mixture on.
  6. Bake the crumble in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the rhubarb mixture is soft and bubbling and the topping is golden brown and crispy.
  7. Serve with vanilla ice cream. (optional)
30 mins to prepare, 30 minutes to 1 hour to cook
 
Makes: 4 servings

A little more about rhubarb…

The edible part of the rhubarb plant, the stalk, is technically a vegetable, though we think of it as a fruit.

Rhubarb seems to have become a popular food in the 17th Century when cheap sugar became accessible.

Rhubarb is thought to have first been cultivated in China in 2700BC.

It is said that the Romans believed that people who ate rhubarb were barbaric in nature (possibly because of its natural bitterness) and that the name rhubarb may have been derived from the Latin word rhabarbarum meaning ‘root of the barbarians’.

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11Apr 12

Home-made Lemonade

Home-made lemonadeHome-made lemonade is incredible stuff.  It’s so very tasty and is simply bursting with vitamin C.  Great for kids and grown-ups alike!  I make jug loads of it throughout the spring and summer, usually to enjoy with friends when they come round to share good food with us on the terrace, but also for us to enjoy as a family. (If you prefer a more adult drink, try this refreshing mint julep.)

You can keep it covered in a jug in the fridge for a couple of days, but it’s so refreshing, especially if you drink it really cold with plenty of ice, that you’ll find it won’t last that long.  My mum used to make this regularly for us as kids.  We loved it, and still do!  This recipe makes fairly sweet lemonade, so if you prefer it a little more tart, vary the sugar accordingly.  If once you’ve made it, you decide that it’s too sweet for your palate, you can simply add more lemon juice to correct the balance.

 

What you need:

  • 250g sugar
  • 250ml water (to make the syrup)
  • 250ml juice of fresh lemons (4-8 lemons)
  • 1 lemon to slice for serving
  • 700 – 950ml cold water (for diluting)
  • Plenty of ice for serving
  • Sprig of mint to garnish

What to do:

  1. First we are going to make simple sugar syrup.  Put the sugar in a large heavy-based saucepan, and add the 250ml of water.  Gently heat the contents of the pan until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  2. Whilst you are dissolving the sugar into the water, squeeze the juice of around 4-6 lemons to make up the 250ml that you need.  Lemons can vary enormously in the amount of fresh juice that you can squeeze out of them.  You may need more lemons if you are squeezing them manually, or less if you are using a mechanical juicer.
  3. Pour the sugar syrup mixture into a large jug and stir in the freshly squeezed lemon juice.  Add the cold diluting water to taste (between 700ml and 950ml).
  4. Pop the jug in the fridge until you are ready to serve the lemonade with plenty of ice, a sliced lemon and the sprig of mint, or serve it immediately in the same way.

15 minutes to prepare

Makes 6 servings

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