Cranberry, Apricot & Butterscotch Pudding

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When winter seems determined to hang on for just that little bit longer, when the days are cold and grey, we look for comfort.  To be honest, we don’t really need much of an excuse to have comfort food, but to justify it makes us feel better!!  Something warming and tasty is always welcome.

I found this recipe in the December 2017 issue of BBC Good Food magazine.  It is one of Nigel Slater’s recipes – oddly enough the first one of his recipes I have tried.  How could I have lived so long and not made more of Nigel’s recipes?!  Frustratingly enough, I am unable to find the recipe to give you the link.  When I searched the BBC Good Food website I could not find the recipe, and when I Googled Nigel Slater’s recipes the apparent link to this recipe kept taking me to a completely unrelated page.  I blame myself, as I am  not very tech-savvy, so please look this recipe up (I’m sure you’ll have more luck than me) as it is really worth making.

So, you think comfort food…….stodgy, unhealthy, fattening…..No!  It’s all about quantity and balance.  And in this case there are cranberries and dried apricots – two of your five a day!!  See, there’s always something good 🙂

This is a sponge pudding with the fruit, and it is accompanied by a butterscotch and cranberry sauce.  It is lovely.  The dried apricots and the cranberries have a nice sharp tang anyway, and they stop the pudding from being too sweet.

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I began to get a bit concerned when I made the batter, it was very stiff.  I re-read the recipe as I thought maybe I had put in too much flour, or misread ingredient quantities.  But I had followed the recipe exactly.  I gritted my teeth and put it in the oven.

Then on to the butterscotch sauce.  I was actually tempted to put all the cranberries in the pudding, instead of, as the recipe says, some in the pudding, but the larger quantity go in the sauce.  This time I went with the recipe.  Yes, honestly I did!

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This was also the first time I’d made butterscotch.  How could I not have made it before?! It was difficult not to devour the sauce before I had even put it on the pudding!

Towards the end of the cooking time, some of the sauce is poured over the pudding, and it is returned to the oven for 10 minutes.  You would then serve it with the rest of the sauce.  I poured all the sauce over the pudding before finishing baking.  In spite of my earlier concerns, the sponge part of the pudding turned out lovely and light.

The pudding goes really well served with a nice dollop of thick cream, or – as I did- some lovely vanilla ice cream.

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Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you a peaceful weekend 🙂

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Cranberry and Peach Crumble

To be honest, this is not really a recipe.  More a throwing together of a few ingredients and cooking, and hoping for the best!  I have a few packs of cranberries which I had frozen, and somehow I have not had the chance to use them yet.  So, in spite of it being summer – not classic crumble weather – I thought I’d give this a go.  I wanted something very simple.  I like my cranberries on the sharp side, and in order not to add too much sugar, I balanced the sour / sharp with the sweetness of tinned peaches.  I do also have the awful habit with certain things (crumble topping for one….) not to use a recipe but to throw in the basic ingredients and hope for the best!

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So I emptied a packet of frozen cranberries into the dish, added two tins of peach segments (drained) and sprinkled some light muscovado sugar over the top.

My crumble topping was just plain flour, butter and golden caster sugar. And into the oven it went, until hot and bubbling.

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Yes, I admit that photo doesn’t look that appealing, but trust me, in real life it did look a whole lot better!  A portion of this, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream……

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Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, I wish you all a peaceful weekend 🙂