The weekend cook: Thomasina Miers’ summer fruit recipes

April 14, 2017

Sharp and sweet gooseberries are great in savoury dishes, too

Sadly, the two gooseberry bushes we planted in the smaller flowerbed at the front of our home havent liked their position: one has given up the ghost wholly, while the other is sickly and scarcely hanging on. My parents goosegogs, meanwhile, which were inherited from my grandparents, have survived rubble, two lots of builders and many more indignities, yet they still bear fruit year after year after year. Lifes merely not fair sometimes.

I adore gooseberries in a creamy fool who doesnt? but they do a good savoury turning, too. Not merely with fish, either: their sharp flavour melds beautifully with herby pork chops, too.

For pudding, more fruit in the shape of an old-fashioned cobbler induced with khorasan flour, an ancient and wonderfully nutty various forms of wheat thats gentler on the digestive system than modern cultivated ones. Ive utilized fresh peaches, though I dare say my grandmother would have been able to induced it with tinned in her day, and baked them until just soft and bubbling hot. Theyre just made to be eaten with mass of vanilla ice-cream or double cream.

Herby pork chops with warm gooseberry sauce

Use a good free-range or organic chop, if you can it makes a huge difference to the taste and texture, and will, hopefully, be antibiotic-free. Serves four.

1 clove garlic, peeled
1 small bunch fresh sage, leaves picked
A few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked
2 bay foliages
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp fennel seeds, roughly crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
2-4 pork bone-in chops, depending on their size
50 g butter
250 g gooseberries, topped and tailed
3 tbsp sugar

Heat the oven to 200 C/ 390 F/ gas mark 6. Roughly chop the garlic and the herbs together, then transfer to a bowl and stir in the lemon zest and crushed fennel seeds.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high flame and softly season the chops. Once the oil is hot, fry the chops for two to three minutes on each side, until golden( if you cant fit all four chops into the pan at the same period, cook them in two batches ).

Take the pan off the heat and transfer the chops to an oven tray. Add the butter to the still-hot frying pan and, as it melts, scrape up the golden, tasty bits stuck to the base of the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the chopped herb mix to the pan, so it sizzles briefly in the hot butter, then tip this over the chops, stimulating sure each one gets an equal encompas. Roast the chops for eight to 10 minutes( depending on the thickness of your chops ), until the pork is merely cooked through.

While the chops are in the oven, put the gooseberries, sugar and a splashing of water in a saucepan and put one over a high heat. Cook briskly for four to five minutes, until the gooseberries have just deflated but still keep their shape. Taste, add more sugar if the gooseberries are still sour you dont want a sweet sauce, but you dont want it too unpleasantly sharp, either.

Once the chops are cooked through, take them out of the oven and leave to rest for five minutes, then serve with a good dollop of gooseberries and the herby, buttery cooking juices spooned over the top. Delicious with mashed or simmered, buttery potatoes and a sharp rocket salad.

Peach, hazelnut and khorasan cobbler

Thomasina
Thomasina Miers peach, hazelnut and khorasan cobbler. Photo: Louise Hagger for the Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay

Khorasan flour is widely available from supermarkets under the Kamut brand, but if you cant find any, use spelt flour instead; plain flour will work here, too. Serves four.

75 g unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
8 ripe peaches, peeled, halved and stoned
Zest of 1 lemon
tsp cornflour
25 g demerara sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
200 g khorasan flour
2 tsp cooking powder
tsp penalty salt
60 g golden caster sugar
250 ml yoghurt
tsp vanilla bean paste
1 medium egg yolk
30 g hazelnuts

Heat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F/ gas mark 4 and grease a one-litre ovenproof dish with butter.

Toss the peaches with the lemon zest, cornflour and demerara, then lay over the base of the dish.

Whisk together the flour, cooking powder, salt and sugar, then rub in the remaining butter with your fingertips. Stir in the yoghurt, vanilla and egg yolk, to make a dough, then tear off pieces of the dough and roll into balls. Flatten each ball a little, and dot all over the top of the peaches( unlike a tart or crumble, the peaches dont need to be completely covered with dough for a cobbler ).

Roughly crush the hazelnuts in a pestle, then combine with a heaped tablespoon of demerara sugar. Sprinkle the nut mix all over the top of the cobbler, then bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 -4 0 minutes, until the top is golden and the peaches are soft and bubbling. Remove, leave to cool somewhat, then serve with ice-cream or double cream.

And for the rest of the week

Tart gooseberries have a natural affinity with the heady, haunting flavor of vanilla: I love to poach them with a divide pod, some brown sugar, lemon zest and Pernod, and eat them with yoghurt for breakfast or whipped into cream for a traditional fool. The savoury gooseberry sauce is great with oily fish such as mackerel; you could also cook it down a little more, turning into a sort of chutney for serving with cheese. The cobbler topping works on any fruit, genuinely: add some raspberries to the peaches, for a melba; apricots with a splashing of muscat are wonderful, too.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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