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My Golden Pear: May 2012

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


With temperatures soaring, our thoughts are on trying to keep cool.  Yesterday the kids asked for ice cream after school and they both bought a creamy vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate.  Delicious but not very refreshing.  As clementines are currently in season and nothing beats the flavour of fruit in season I decided to make a refreshing sorbet for the after school treat.  The verdict from the kids - ooh this is beautiful!!


Prep time: 20 mins plus freezing time

Yield: Approx 1 litre

  • 15 clementines or oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 500ml caster sugar (approx.)

Cooking Directions

  1. Juice the oranges and lemons and remove any tough white bits of pith or any seeds from the juice.
  2. Measure the volume of the juice and add half that amount of caster sugar. I had 1 litre of juice and used 500 ml of sugar.
  3. Mix together and pour into your ice cream machine and churn until frozen.
  4. (Alternatively pour the mixture into a rectangular container and freeze. Once frozen, remove from the freezer and beat. Freeze again until completely set).

Written by: Angela Darroch

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Sunday, 27 May 2012


There is something very satisfying about having a bowl of oats porridge in the morning.  Aside from tasting good it is so healthy for you - you only have to Google 'benefits of oats' to find pages and pages of reasons to eat oats.  My only problem with a bowl of oats porridge is that it seems more suited to a cold, wintry morning.  Now that summer is here we need something a bit lighter but just as healthy.   A bowl of Bircher muesli is the answer - just don't forget to prepare it the night before.


For the printable version - click here

Prep time: 15 minutes plus overnight for chilling

Yield: 2 servings
  • 200g oats
  • 200 ml apple juice
  • 1 Granny Smith apple
  • 75 ml plain yoghurt
  • 25 ml raisins
  • 125g seasonal fresh fruit
  • 25g almonds
  • runny honey
Cooking Directions
  1. Place the oats in a bowl and pour the apple juice over to cover and moisten.
  2. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and chill overnight, in the fridge.
  3. Just before serving, core the apple and then coarsely grate.
  4. Mix the apple into the oats together with the raisins.
  5. Add the yoghurt and mix well.
  6. Serve in individual bowls topped with fruit, nuts and drizzled with honey.
Written by: Angela Darroch       

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Saturday, 26 May 2012


After weeks and weeks of rain, we finally have some sunshine and with that comes al fresco dining.  Friday nights are always a bit of a rush for us so this salad is perfect - the butternut can be prepared in advance and then just quickly throw everything together at the last minute.  Perfect with cold roast chicken and a honey and mustard dressing.


Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes

  • Half a butternut, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tblsp honey
  • 1 bag mixed lettuce
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 250ml tinned lentils, rinsed and drained
  • Half a punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 4 baby carrots, sliced
  • Half an apple, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red, yellow & green peppers, chopped
  • 100g feta cheese
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 190° C. 
  2. Place the butternut in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil and roast until cooked, about 35 minutes.
  3. Drizzle the honey over the warm butternut and toss to coat well. Set aside to cool.
  4. Arrange the lettuce and spinach on a serving platter and top with the remaining ingredients, ending with the butternut and feta cheese.
  5. Season and serve with the dressing of your choice.        

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Thursday, 24 May 2012


Prep time: 18 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 20 biscuits
  • 125g softened butter
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
For rolling: mix the following two ingredients together in a bowl
  • 3tblsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
Cooking Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. Sift in the flour, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, baking powder and salt and gently mix together to form a soft dough.
  5. Using your hands, roll the dough into walnut sized balls then roll in the sugar and cinnamon mixture to coat.
  6. Place on a baking tray, space about 3cm apart.
  7. Flatten gently with a fork.
  8. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes, or until they feel firm around the edges.
  9. Allow to stand for a couple of minutes on the baking tray, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Written by: Angela Darroch       

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Wednesday, 23 May 2012


There is nothing not to like about a creamy, deliciously sweet, golden brown caramel sauce.  I have to make mine in small batches because to leave it in the fridge is just asking for trouble.  Add salt to it and it is taken up to another level - nothing beats salted caramel.  Is it difficult to make?  Not really, but you have to focus just on making it and nothing else as it can go wrong very quickly.  It is very tempting to try and stir but don't as it will crystallise.  The other temptation is to stick your finger in to have a quick taste - please don't.  I have a huge blister on my finger because I could not resist the temptation.  Liquid sugar is unbelievably hot and sticky.  When you add the cream and butter it does tend to bubble up a bit but if your pan is deep enough it won't be a problem.

If you have a spare 11 minutes - you have to give it a go.


Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 6 mins
Total time: 11 mins

Yield: 250 ml

  • 250g caster (superfine) sugar
  • 4 tblsps water
  • 150ml cream
  • 50g butter
Cooking Directions
  1. Put the sugar and water into a heavy-based pan.
  2. Heat gently until all the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Increase the heat slightly and gently boil for 5 - 6 minutes until golden brown - do not be tempted to stir during this process as the sugar will crystallise.
  4. Remove from the heat, and carefully stir in the cream and butter until well incorporated.
  5. Leave to cool slightly and then transfer to a glass jug.

Written by Angela Darroch

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Tuesday, 22 May 2012


These poached pears are so simple and are packed with flavour.  They can be dressed up for a fancy dinner or served simply with a good vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce for a mid week treat.

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 30 mins

Yield: 4

  • 4 ripe but firm pears
  • 1 litre water
  • 265g sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • Half a lemon
  • 1 split vanilla pod
  • 8 fresh ginger slices
Cooking Directions
  1. Thinly peel all the pears, trying to keep as much of the shape as possible.
  2. Add the water, sugar, cinnamon stick, cloves, lemon, vanilla pod and ginger slices to a pan and bring to a simmer.
  3. Add the pears to the pan and poach gently for approx. 15 - 20 minutes or until the pears are cooked through.
  4. Remove from the heat and let the pears cool whilst sitting in the liquid.
  5. Drain the pears and serve with caramel sauce or a good vanilla ice cream.
    Written by Angela Darroch


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