Friday, December 07, 2007

Sheila's Pudding

Finally, Summer is upon us and with the warm weather comes my favourite fruit of all, the stone fruit. Apricots, Plums, Nectarines and best of all Peaches. Normal Peaches and White Peaches, I love them so much, I could eat them all day long.
This dessert is a little strange, because it's more of a Winter comfort type of food, rather than a light, refreshing Summer dessert. Even so, if you can deal with eating a Winter dessert in Summer, this pudding is delicious.
This recipe is a Jamie Oliver remake of an old pudding, which is actually made with Apples, rather than stone fruit. The original pudding is called Eve's Pudding.
It's quite an easy recipe to put together, but if you're going to make it, do yourself a favour and make it with proper Vanilla Beans or at least Vanilla Bean paste, it makes all the difference.

6 ripe peaches or nectarines, halved and stones removed
4 heaped teaspoons unrefined sugar, like turbinado
4 tablespoons water
1 vanilla pod, scored lengthwise and seeds removed
4 1/2 ounces butter
4 1/2 ounces caster sugar

2 large free-range eggs
4 1/2 ounces self-raising flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Put the peaches in a saucepan with the unrefined sugar, the vanilla seeds and 4 tablespoons of water. Simmer for 5 minutes and then place into a well greased and lightly floured ovenproof dish or bowl. Beat together the butter, sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Add the flour, mix thoroughly and spread over the peaches.

Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve with hot custard or something cold, like vanilla ice-cream or creme fraiche.

Ricotta Hotcakes with Banana, Maple Syrup and Honeycomb Butter

I love nothing more than eating a signature dish at a famous restaurant and then finding the recipe and making it myself at home. What I love even more, is making it at home and making it better than the one I had at the restaurant.
On the weekend, I thought I'd try my hand at making my own Ricotta Hotcakes, like the ones I had at Bill's in Surry Hills.
It's amazing that Bill's has gotten so famous for such a simple recipe. To be honest, they're not all that different from regular pancakes, just slightly more dense. The Honeycomb Butter is what really makes this breakfast. Crushed up Crunchie Bars, mixed through a stick of butter. Now that's some triple by-pass creating goodness, if I've ever heard of it!
Anyway, here's the recipe for you, which is featured in Bill's Sydney Food, book.

Serving size: Serves 6


1 1/3 cups ricotta
3/4 cup milk
4 eggs, separated
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
50g butter

to serve

honeycomb butter, sliced (below)
icing sugar for dusting

Honeycomb Butter

250g unsalted butter, softened
100g sugar honeycomb, crushed with a rolling pin
2 Tbs honey


Place ricotta, milk and egg yolks in a mixing bowl and mix to combine. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Add to the ricotta mixture and mix until just combined.
Place egg whites in a clean dry bowl and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites through batter in two batches, with a large metal spoon.
Lightly grease a large non-stick frying pan with a small portion of butter and drop 2 tablespoons of batter per hotcake into the pan (don't cook more than 3 per batch). Cook over a low to medium heat for 2 minutes, or until hotcakes have golden undersides. Turn hotcakes and cook on the other side until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate and quickly assemble the other ingredients.
Slice one banana lengthways onto a plate, stack three hotcakes on top with a slice of honeycomb butter. Dust with icing sugar.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Shape into a log on plastic wrap, roll, seal and chill in a refrigerator for 2 hours.
Store any leftover honeycomb butter in the freezer, it's great on toast.