Crumbles are so popular when it comes to British desserts. Choose from apple crumble, apple and blackberry crumble, rhubarb crumble or this fantastic plum crumble recipe. This is perfect when you have a glut of fresh plums to use up. Perhaps they are on sale locally or one of your family, friends or neighbours are growing them. Whichever is the case, this recipe makes great use of fresh plums, teaming them with sugar, cinnamon, orange zest and a crunchy crumble top, to make the most mouth-watering dessert. This is traditionally served with custard or whipped cream, or even vanilla ice cream.
You will need cooking plums to make this delectable crumble, perhaps Victoria or dessert plums. You will also need light brown sugar, cinnamon and orange zest to complement the plums, along with flour and water to get the filling mixture just right. For the crumble: flour, butter, almonds, and 2 kinds of sugar come together to get the perfect texture and flavour result. Use half flour and half oats for a crunchier topping.
As for the garnish, we like to use plum slices and fresh mint sprigs, but it depends if you are making these in ramekins or one main dish. Make this crumble in ramekins and they will take about half an hour to bake. Use a larger dish and you can expect the cooking time to be closer to 40 minutes. Serve the plum crumble with custard, whipped cream or even your favourite good quality vanilla ice cream, for a dessert to remember. Continue reading
This traditional English pudding originates from Sussex, a county in the South East of England. It comprises a suet pastry encasing butter, sugar and lemons. This pudding can be steamed or boiled for a few hours, and it dates back to 1672. Although it is high in sugar and fat and has therefore been replaced with ‘healthier’ desserts by the health-conscious, if you really want to treat yourself to an authentic English dessert which dates back about 350 years, go ahead and prepare this Sussex pond pudding, and take a delicious bite of history. This recipes serves 6, or you could stretch it to 8 smaller portions.
There is a version of Sussex pond pudding known as currant pond pudding, and that is popular in both Sussex and Kent. In fact, we have made currants an optional ingredient in the following recipe. Bear in mind using these will make it a currant pond pudding instead. Choose thin-skinned, juicy lemons (preferably unwaxed) for this dessert, and beef suet if you can get it. If not, vegetable shortening or cold butter can be used in its place.
The reason for the name of this dessert comes from the fact that when you cut into the finished pudding, the thick sauce oozes out and pools around the plate, resembling a pond. The lemon skin will be soft and caramelized because of the long cooking time. This is the type of dessert to try after serving a British savoury pie for the main course, and it is especially satisfying during the cooler months. Continue reading
Also known as mincemeat tarts, mince pies are sweet little pies filled with mincemeat. In England, mincemeat is a mixture of dried fruits, aromatic warm spices, citrus, cognac and sugar, although recipes vary. You can either make your own or check for it in the international aisle of the supermarket if you are not in the UK. We are making homemade pastry for our mince pies. They are simple to assemble, and you can bake them in the oven until they are golden brown. Mince pies are a real staple in England in December and the closer Christmas gets, the more unusual it becomes not to serve these to every visitor!
The traditional way to serve them is to pop the lid up, add a spoonful of clotted cream (or the thickest cream you can get), then close them. Let people add their own cream just before eating. Mince pie ingredients can be traced back to the 13th century when returning European crusaders brought back Middle Eastern recipes with fruits and spices. Early mince pies contained meat, suet, fruits and spices. Suet is the hard white fat on cattle or sheep kidneys and loins.
Mince pies, which used to be known as ‘savoury Christmas pies’ were negatively associated with Catholic idolatry by Puritan authorities during the English Civil War, although they stayed popular in their original form (they were larger then, not individual) until the Victorian times, when they become smaller and sweeter, like they are today. You can buy them readymade from the supermarket or give our recipe a try and make your own. Continue reading
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