A few weeks ago I went a bit mad and bought loads of plums. Now those that remain uneaten are going a bit soft so it’s time to get busy.
Take a dozen ripe plums and quarter them into a casserole. The ones I had were a bit tart despite being ripe so I took about 15g of sugar and a dozen cardamom pods. I deseeded the pods and added the seeds to the sugar and ground the mix to dust in the mortar and pestle.
I mixed the three ingredients together and put them in a hot oven (180C) for about 30mins. When they had cooked down I cooled them and put them in the freezer until later.
Perfect hot with ice cream or in a sweet pastry tart. With ice cream
A seasonal glut of strawberries led to my local supermarket offering loads of fruit for very little money. After having them with granola for breakfast and floating in various cocktails what remained started to look a bit squishy.
A bit of caster sugar and about two tablespoons of lime juice were added to a pan of about 500g of quartered strawberries. After about 20mins on a medium heat with the lid on they were seived and the liquid put back on the heat and condensed down to about 200ml.
Meanwhile four egg yolks and 100g of caster sugar where beaten together until light and fluffy. 300ml of double cream and two pots of clotted cream were mixed with a splash of milk and a tsp of vanilla bean paste (not as nice as vanilla pods) and heated to 70C. Some of the hot cream was added to the eggs and sugar and thoroughly mixed. This was poured back into the remaining hot cream and stirred continuously over a medium heat until it thickened.
This custard was allowed to cool and about 100ml of the strawberry syrup stirred into it. This mixture was then churned in an ice cream machine until it was gorgeous.
If you have kids you will probably have leftover Easter eggs. I’ve found a tasty way of using them up (ok a bit of one up).
I also have about 200g of strawberries that are on the turn so I’ve used them, and some chocolate to make a half and half cheesecake
To make the base, I blitzed 8 digestive biscuits with 2tsp of cocoa powder and added about 3tbsp of melted butter. This was pressed into half the tin (a 23cm flan tin with removable base). This is for the chocolate cheesecake. 8 shortbread fingers were blitzed with 3tbsps of melted butter and pressed into the other half of the tin.
To make the cheesecake take 200g of mascarpone, 400g of cream cheese, 100g of caster suger and 3 tbsps milk. Mix to a smooth paste.
Whisk about 180ml of double cream until it is like thick custard. Fold into the cheese mix and divide in two.
Chop the strawberries and put in the bowl of a food processor. Add the juice of a lemon and about 100g of caster sugar. Blitz the mix to a smoothish paste and pour into a seive over a bowl. After about 2 hours you should have a nice strawberry juice syrup and a seive full of pulp. The pulp is great in a smoothie or frozen as a lolly.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water.
Add the strawberry juice to half the mix (you might not need all of it). Do the same with the chocolate.
Take the base out of the fridge and pour/spread the mixes into their respective halves of the tin.
Put the cheesecake in the fridge ovvernight to firm up.