After Christmas there is always food leftover. If I’m honest, I prefer the days after Christmas with the cold turkey and leftover bits of this and that, to the main event on Christmas Day. In our house there is organisation of meals before and during the 25th, but once we’ve had the turkey and trimmings hot all meal planning goes a bit by the way side. We eat leftovers for the next few days, with different accompaniments perhaps, but essentially the same for the next few meals. And, as I mentioned, I love it.
Christmas pudding is one of those things that is traditionally on the list of leftovers. It is after all a really heavy pudding, served after a massive roast dinner. Subsequently, only a small portion is consumed by everyone and there is a decent amount left over. It’s all right the next day reheated, and I know some people fry a slice in butter to give it a quick twist, but in ice-cream it’s a revelation. A cold pudding, on its own, or accompanying a poached pear like below, is what is needed sometimes.
There is little spare time at Christmas, so this is a super easy recipe. So easy in fact that it doesn’t warrant a recipe section on this post. Very basically its, get some vanilla ice cream, whizz it in the food processor to make it a little smoother, mix in some leftover Christmas pudding, and refreeze. Remember to get the ice cream out of the freezer with enough time for it to soften, and enjoy with anything or on its own. To make the poached pear below, see my previous pear inspired Favourite Five.
The early apples we have, Beauty of Bath, really don’t keep. However, our plot is overhung by the most wonderful eating apple tree, and these apples keep pretty well. As a child we often had baked apples, stuffed with sultanas and Demerara sugar, for desert and I decided to have one the other day for lunch. Being that it is Christmas, and we had an open jar of mincemeat in the fridge, I chose to fill the centre of the fruit with some of this festive fruit and nut mix. Teamed with a splash of cream over the hot apple, the sharpness contrasts brilliantly with the sweet mincemeat.
You will need
1 Cooking Apple (A Bramley is ideal)
1 tbsp Mincemeat
Cream to serve
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Core your apple and fill the space where the core was with the mincemeat. Bake for 30 minutes until golden on top and soft and fluffy inside. Serve with a splash of cream.
The kids both love the books of Julia Donaldson and the illustrations of Nick Sharratt, and so really enjoyed Chocolate Mousse for Greedy Goose. The title of this book has led to all chocolate mousse in our family being referred to as “chocolate mousse for greedy goose”. Yesterday, asked what he wanted for pudding, he asked for the aforementioned mousse – so I got about finding a recipe.
Whilst searching around for a quick and easy mousse, I came across the blog of Nick Coffer – My Daddy Cooks. This is a man after my own heart, enjoying time spent cooking with his young kids. What’s more, he had a recipe for chocolate mousse (using yoghurt instead of the egg yolks often found in recipes). The recipe really is quick and easy – there is even a video to show the process (although the video is clearly sponsored by a well known Greek Yoghurt brand). I actually used homemade yoghurt, as I find it cheaper to make my own yoghurt.
Anyway, they went down well judging by the chocolate faces that greeted me across the kitchen table. Perhaps next time we’ll experiment with flavoured chocolate.
The allotment is doing well this year and one of the big successes has been the soft fruit. After a bumper crop of gooseberries, strawberries and currants its time for the later fruits. Our raspberries have been great, and the blackberries which run along the plot boundary are overflowing with a bounteous supply of bulging fruits.
So, after a visit the other day I returned with filled punnets and a desire to eat the harvest. Whilst flicking through cook books I found a recipe in Jamie’s Italy. I adapted his Torta do More, adding a selection of fruits to the top and using a mixed berry glaze instead of the suggested jam.
One of the advantages of an allotment plot with a slightly overgrown bramble hedge is an abundant supply of blackberries to pick and eat. The slight trouble is that there seems to be a never ending supply and a raft of recipes is needed to consume them all. I hate to see them wasted. Enter the Blackberry and Apple crumble – a good old fail safe pudding. We’ve got a couple of apple trees at the plot too, so it uses some of our own delicious apples too. Especially the early ones which have to be eaten quickly as they don’t keep.
Crumble is well loved and made by many, and this recipe is just my standard crumble. Seems to go down well with the family.
125g plain flour
75g unsalted butter
75g caster sugar
50g porridge oats
5-6 early apples
100g caster sugar
25g unsalted butter
First peel, core and cut up the apples into small slices. Heat the butter and gently cook the apples, adding the sugar, and continuing to cook the apples until they are soft. Once the apples are soft, add the blackberries and cook for a couple of minutes until the fruit is soft (but still partially whole) and releasing the gorgeous redeployment red juices.
To make the crumble topping, lightly rub the butter and flour together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Alternatively whizz them in the food processor for a few seconds – Which is often the easiest option hurry trying to quickly knock up a pudding for a hungry family. Once you have breadcrumb like mix, stir in the sugar and porridge oats
Spoon the fruit into a 23cm oven proof dish and top with the crumble mix. Put in the oven at 180 degrees centigrade for half an hour or until lightly brown on top. Finally enjoy with custard or cream!