cherry sorbet

I love cherries in anything, and this delicious sorbet is all raw. I buy a bag of frozen stoned dark cherries from the freezer department in my local Sainsbury’s (they are only £2.00 for 500g which is a bargain) 

The sorbet is beyond easy to make, no churn and I like to serve it with biscotti and or some shaved dark chocolate on top… or just garnished with fresh cherries. 


Ingredients

Makes about 3/4 pint

  • 2 tbs cups of stoned cherries plus a few fresh ones for optional garnish 
  • 2 tbs of lemon juice 
  • 1/3 cup of maple syrup 
  • 2 tbs Vodka, Kirsch or fruit juice 
  • 1/2 tsp of almond extract (optional) 
  • A bar of dark chocolate (optional) 
  • A lidded freezer container on standby to put it in

How:

Place the lemon juice, maple syrup, cherries and kirsch (or vodka or fruit juice) and optional almond extract into the bowl of your food processor. Working as fast as you can, blitz it all up till it’s silky smooth and there are no visible skin bits. Tip it into the freezer container to firm up unless you want it straight away, it will be quite soft but delicious nevertheless. It’s at its best texture wise after a couple of hours in the freezer and eaten that day. 

If it’s been in the freezer for ages you might want to take it out ten minutes before serving to soften it slightly. If I’m serving it with chocolate on, I put the chocolate in the fridge to harden up and then shave it with a vegetable peeler. 

I shop at:
Waitrose
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Lidl

pignoli breakfast biscuits

These soft nutty lemony Sicilian biscuits are served at breakfast in Italy with an espresso and are really popular at special holidays like Christmas and Easter. I like them all year round for breakfast with my coffee or after dinner when I fancy something sweet.


Ingredients

Makes about 16

  • 75g sugar
  • 200g plain flour 
  • 75g of mild olive oil or butter (or Naturli vegan spread for a dairy free version) 
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or paste
  • 200g pine nuts 
  • the zest of one lemon 
  • 1 tsp of baking powder 
  • a shallow baking tray lined with parchment 
  • Icing sugar to dust (optional) 

How:

Preheat the oven to 180c. 

Put the sugar, flour, lemon zest and baking powder into a food processor. Whizz up and then add the egg yolk and vanilla and pulse till you have a dough. If it’s still dry and bread crumby add a tablespoon or two of cold water. Tip onto a board and knead most of the pine nuts in, leaving some to put on top.

Roll into 1 inch balls and place on the baking tray with lots of space between for when they spread out during baking. Squish the rest of the pine nuts on top of the biscuit balls. 

Bake for about 10 minutes or until the pine nuts are golden. Don’t over bake as they become too dry.

Leave to cool on the tray. Dust with icing sugar and serve. They can be stored in an airtight container for a week in the fridge. 

I shop at:
Waitrose
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Lidl

pear on toast with ricotta and a hot honey sauce

A brilliant brunch for pear lovers.


Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 2 slices of white sourdough 
  • One pear
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • A few tablespoons of butter
  • A tub ricotta 
  • A teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A handful of walnuts toasted then chopped

How:

Slice the pears into thin slices. On a medium heat melt a tablespoon of the butter and gently sauté the pear slices till tender, how long will depend on how ripe they are, transfer to a plate.

Pour the honey, vanilla and a tablespoon of butter into the pan and gently cook till the honey is frothing  for a few minutes. Meanwhile toast the bread and butter it. Spread the ricotta on the bread (about quarter of an inch thick) and lay the pears on top. Spoon the hot honey over the top and sprinkle with the toasted walnuts. Serve straight away.

I shop at:
Waitrose
Sainsbury’s
Tesco
Lidl

italian breakfast cake

Italians love a small sweet biscuit or a small piece of cake with their coffee in the morning. This cake is light and lemony and is made with olive oil and lots of eggs. You could eat it anytime of day and it would be delicious with berries and a dollop of crème fraîche too. I reduced the sugar a bit as I don’t like my cakes too sweet but you can add more if you prefer. I think it’s sweet enough.

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