Category Archives: Puddings

Easy Cranberry and Shortbread ‘Cheesecake’

As I said in this post, this recipe was first published on the Women’s Institute MyWI page as the dessert for the ‘Menu of the Month January 2018‘.

Every year I have a little Christmas Eve panic which involves purchasing another jar of cranberry sauce or jelly, despite the fact that I likely already have two jars in the cupboard. I do use it as a year round condiment so its never wasted but I relished (pun intended) trying to come up with a recipe to use it in an entirely different way. This is a cross between an unbaked cheesecake and a layered trifle type dessert. There is no cooking involved (unless you want to make your shortbread from scratch) and it’s a fab dessert to make ahead of time and take out of the fridge to serve with minimum fuss.

I would stick to using a more basic type of cranberry sauce, the very fancy kind with port and other additions are going to add a slightly odd tang to proceedings. A hint of citrus such as lemon or orange would however be welcome.

This is a great way to use up Christmas shortbreads but nearly any other biscuit would work for the base and the garnish. I am a massive fan of a gingernut. I would reduce or omit the butter for the base if using a cream filled biscuit.

For an extra texture you could include a layer of a complementary flavoured jelly – strawberry, orange or lemon perhaps. Just make sure it is fully set before adding the cheesecake layer.

For a lighter dessert, use reduced fat cream cheese but expect the finished dessert to be a little looser.

Ensure all the ingredients are room temperature before starting to mix.

Serves 4


100g Shortbread or other biscuit
25g Butter
100g White Chocolate, melted and cooled
300g Cream Cheese
225g Cranberry Sauce
15g Icing Sugar, sieved
½ Lemon, juiced and zested
Extra Biscuits for garnish

Put 100g Shortbread in a sandwich bag and smash with a rolling pin until crumb-like. Alternatively, use a food processor although this does only take seconds.

Mix the 25g Butter which has been melted into the shortbread crumbs.

Divide the biscuit crumbs between 4 serving glasses. I used martini glasses but any glass tumbler or drinking glass would work too.

Press the biscuit base down with your fingers – it doesn’t need to be terribly solid.

Combine the melted 100g White Chocolate, 300g Cream Cheese and 175g Cranberry Sauce until well combined.

Divide the cream cheese mixture between the 4 glasses, spreading the mix to the sides of the glass.

Take 50g Cranberry Sauce and warm ever so slightly with 15g Icing Sugar and juice of ½ a Lemon. I gave mine 10 seconds in the microwave just to loosen it up a little.

Top each of the desserts with a quarter of the sweetened sauce and refrigerate – they only need 15 minutes or they can be left covered for a day or two.

Garnish with any Extra Biscuits and the zest of ½ a Lemon before serving.


Chocolate and Cream Cheese Monkey Bread

I made a double batch of the sweet dough I use to make my Super Garlicky Cheesy Tear’n’Share Loaf and Garlic and Mozzarella Swirl Buns to try making a sweet bread too. After a bit of internet browsing and cookbook perusing I ignored them all entirely and made this up – it worked wonderfully!

A monkey bread is usually made in a bundt type tin and so the balls of dough are more layered than my traybake affair so whether this is in fact ‘monkey bread’ I don’t know. Or care to be honest. It tastes good and its near enough!

I am aware that I have now basically repeated my recipe for this dough 3 times but I find it really quite irritating when following a recipe to have to keep flicking backwards and forwards to different blog posts (the same reason I put the quantity of each ingredient within the recipe so you don’t have to keep scrolling to the ingredient list). So, sorry, not sorry.

Makes about 40-45 golf ball size morsels


For the Dough:

90ml (6 tbsp) Water
2 x 7g sachets Fast-Acting Dried Yeast
500g Strong White Flour – I sometimes substitute White Spelt Flour
50g Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes
40g Salted Butter or Low Fat Spread
2 Eggs
140ml Skimmed or Semi-Skimmed Milk

For the Filling:

250g Cream Cheese
200g Finely Chopped Dark Chocolate or Chocolate Drops/Chunks
50g Icing Sugar

For the Coating:

40g Cocoa Powder
80g Granulated Sugar

To Make the Dough:

Add 6 tbsp of fairly warm (not hot) Water to a small bowl and add 2 x 7g sachets Fast-Acting Dried Yeast and 50g Caster Sugar. Whisk to combine a little (it won’t combine properly) and set aside.

Measure 500g Strong White Flour and  1 tbsp Sea Salt Flakes into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Tip – If you have stand mixer or a processor with a dough hook, this is an ideal time to use it.  Some electric hand whisks also come with dough hooks in which case break those out after the next step. You can stir and knead by hand but why would you if you don’t have to?!

Add 40g Salted Butter or Low Fat Spread, 2 Eggs, the by now frothy yeast and water mix and 140ml Skimmed or Semi-Skimmed Milk to the flour and stir until a dough is formed.

Tip – The dough will be quite soft and sticky – this is a good thing!

Knead the dough until is it smooth and super stretchy – a good 10 minutes if kneading by hand, if not a bit longer – 5 to 7 minutes if using an electric mixer.

Tip – Knead the dough on a floured surface but try not to add too much extra flour to the dough as this will dry it out. If it feels like its getting a bit dry, knead in a little more milk or water. 

Leave the dough in a large covered bowl somewhere warm for about an hour to rise – it should about double in size.

Tip – You can just leave this on the side in the kitchen but it’ll take twice as long. An airing cupboard or similar is ideal but I don’t have one so depending on the time of year, I usually put one of my ovens onto a super low heat and pop it in there – I’ve been burnt by doing this on occasion by being impatient and its started to cook the dough a little by having it on too high a heat. Don’t do this! You could also warm the oven a little, pop the dough in and then turn the oven off – just don’t keep opening the door to let the residual heat out.

While the dough is rising, make the filling by thoroughly mixing the 250g Cream Cheese, 200g Finely Chopped Dark Chocolate or Chocolate Drops/Chunks and 50g Icing Sugar and putting it into the fridge to chill back down and firm up a little.

Prep the coating by combining 40g Cocoa Powder and 80g Granulated Sugar in a shallow bowl. Set aside. 

Once risen, tip the dough out onto a floured surface and give it a quick light knead. No need for electric power here. Split the dough into thirds and roll each third into a long sausage to about the thickness of a 2p piece. Cut each sausage into about 15 pieces. The exact number is not cause for concern.

Roll each piece of dough into a very rough ball and place out on a floured work surface (you could do this in two batches if needed). Press each ball down a little and make a small indent in the middle of each to receive the filling.

Take the cream cheese and chocolate mixture and put about half a teaspoon into the indent in each dough ball.

Tip – I did this en-masse rather than one at a time as I wanted to make sure that my cream cheese mix was evenly(ish) distributed though all the dough balls.

Pick up each piece of dough and wrap the dough around the cream cheese mix so that it is fully(ish) enclosed.

Roll each of the dough balls in the cocoa/sugar mixture and place into a large roasting tray, or two smaller ones, or one smaller one but double layers. Or a bundt tin – whatever you fancy.

Gently cover the tray and leave for about 40-45 minutes in a warm place to rise again.

Meanwhile, add a little boiling water to the remaining cocoa/sugar mix until the sugar has mostly melted and it is the consistency of thick hot chocolate.  Set aside.


10 minutes before the end of proving, pre-heat the over to 200c or the equivalent.

Remove the cover from tin and drizzle the cocoa and sugar syrup over the balls then put into the oven. Check after 10-12 minutes and removed from the oven when all puffed up and cooked through (check a middle one).


Serve a little warm.

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pudding

Last weekend I was up in Harrogate for my friend Gemma’s birthday and, mostly due to her 5 month pregnancy, it was a much quieter affair than usual. (We did of course spend some time in her shop, The Champagne Concept!) I usually end up baking something and this year we headed to Gemma and Laurence’s friends’ house (they have actual born small kids and a big house so its easier) with a raclette based feast and this pudding.

I started with a Nigella brioche bread and butter pudding recipe and adapted it to be chocolaty without being too chocolaty. It worked a treat actually although I’d probably cover the top with foil for the first or last 10 minutes of cooking to prevent it browning quite so much.

Serves 6-8



500g Brioche Loaf
8 tbsp Milk Chocolate Spread
100g Dark Chocolate Chips
2 tbsp Caster Sugar
5 Eggs
500ml Double Cream
250ml Semi Skimmed Milk

Preheat the oven to 170c

Slice a 500g Brioche Loaf into 16 slices (half it, half each half then quarter each quarter)

Tip – Try not to push the bread down as you cut or the slices will be a bit pathetic!

Lay 8 of the brioche slices out on a board, then dollop 8 tbsp Milk Chocolate Spread over them.

Make sandwiches using the remaining slices of brioche and the cut each in half diagonally. You should now have 16 pieces again.

Line an oven dish.

Tip – Use a pre made liner if you have one but if you need to make one, take a square of greaseproof paper and fold it in half (neatly). Fold it again into quarters and then make a triangle keeping the centre of the paper as the point. Fold again to create a narrower triangle. Hold the paper over your dish with the point roughly in the centre. Cut the paper into a pie piece shape to make it a bit longer than half of the base length and one side. Open it up and ta-da you have a liner. To make it fit properly, scrunch the whole thing up a few times then open it back up – this softens the paper and makes it more pliable – Magic!

Squidge the 16 triangles into the dish – I tried to be pretty but I had to give up a little in the end and just mush it all in!

Sprinkle over 100g Dark Chocolate Chips making sure they fall into all of the cracks and crevices.

Separate 3 Eggs and discard the whites.

Make up the custard by mixing 2 tbsp Caster Sugar with the 3 egg yolks, 2 whole Eggs, 500ml Double Cream and 250ml Semi Skimmed Milk.

Pour the custard over the pudding and leave it to soak in for a minute or two before putting it into the oven for 45 minutes.

Tip – As I mentioned, I’d be inclined to check the pudding after 30/35 minutes and cover it with foil if it was looking too brown.

Serve the pudding fresh from the oven with lashings of custard. Or Cream. Or crème fraiche if you must.

Fig Upside Down Cake

I’ve had a fig obsession for a little while now as evidenced by my recent forray into figgy pizza and I’m totally obsessed with this upside down cake which I first made a few weeks ago. Admittedly my second attempt wasn’t quite so great but that could have been avoided if I’d been a bit more au fait with the lifespan of figs kept out of the fridge so when I went to cut them up they hadn’t been mostly off! Sad times.

This recipe started life taken from this recipe on Broma Bakery and actually I haven’t changed it an awful lot, just substituting  a little for what I had to hand and making it wheatard friendly. I also had a learning curve regarding the cooking time – it is tricky to check that the figs are caramelized on the bottom and the cake is cooked through but not overcooked. I took mine out too early – no major panic, I just put it back in the oven to bake  little longer.

The original recipe is in cups and I’ve not converted it – cups are really quite easy to use. Most measuring jugs contain a cup measure or a set of measuring cups can be picked up really quite cheaply from nearly everywhere. To measure butter – just mush it on in the cup!

Serves 8



6 tbsp and 1/2 cup Butter
1 cup light Brown Sugar
12 Figs
2/3 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
3/4 cup Creme Fraiche
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Orange Extract
1&1/2 cups White Spelt Flour (or Plain Flour)
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes

Pre-heat the oven to 180c.

Line a large pie dish or springform tin with a disposable liner or greaseproof paper.

Spread 6 tbsp Butter over the bottom of the lined dish.

Tip – I just used my fingers to mush it over. You could melt the butter first and pour it in if you prefer. I couldn’t be bothered to mess up another pot so I went with the smushing method. 

Sprinkle 1/3 cup Light Brown Sugar over the butter layer and then cut 12 Figs in half lengthways (top to bottom) and lay them cut face down on the butter and sugar.


Tip – Remember that the cut figs will eventually be the presentation face of the cake so try to lay them in some kind of fairly attractive manner. Or don’t, whatever floats your boat! My OCD tenancies overtake my ‘I don’t care how the food looks’ tenancies in this sort of instance. 

Cream 1/2 cup Butter and 2/3 cup Light Brown Sugar using an electric hand whisk or stand mixer until light and fluffy.

Beat 2 Eggs into the mix one at a time, beating well in between each.

Beat in 3/4 cup Creme Fraiche, 2 tsp Vanilla Extract and 1 tsp Orange Extract until well combined.

Stir 1&1/2 cups White Spelt Flour, 2 tsp Baking Powder and 1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes into the batter.

Tip – Don’t use the electric whisk at this point, just some gentle manual labour and a metal spoon or spatula as overbeating the flour will make it tough. 

Spoon the batter over the fig with relative care to not move the figs too much. Vaguely smooth over the top to make an even layer.

Bake for 50 minutes before checking to see if the batter is cooked all the way through.

Tip – Use a skewer or knife in the middle thickest section.  

Lift the greaseproof paper or liner gently to see if the butter and sugar has formed a caramel layer over the figs underneath.

Tip – Put back in the oven and recheck at 5 minute intervals until cooked.  The above picture required about 15 minutes more cooking. 

Leave the cake to cool for 10-15 minutes and then turn the cake out onto a large serving plate.

Tip – Put the serving plate over the top of the cake pan then slide the whole thing over the edge of the worktop counter until you can rest one hand underneath the cake pan. Take the weight with this hand while placing your other hand palm down on the underside of the serving plate. Lift the whole shebang and flip over. Place back on the counter and then lift the cake pan off then peel away the greaseproof paper or liner.

Tip – Beware of hot caramel seepage – a slightly lipped serving plate is a good idea.

Serve in slices with creme fraiche or if it’s that kind of day; custard or clotted cream.

Wedfest – Afternoon Tea – Sticky Toffee Buns


Way back when, my good friends, Gemma and Laurence, now owners of the The Champagne Concept in Harrogate, got engaged and proceeded to arrange what became fondly known as ‘Wedfest’ over a bank holiday weekend in May 2015 at Rise Hall in the East Riding of Yorkshire.

Rise Hall is a beautiful venue owned by Sarah Beeny, the renovation of which was the subject of a Channel 4 show called Beeny’s Restoration Nightmare. As it was early days for Rise Hall, G&L were able to essentially hire the hall as a shell and bring in everything that that wanted (most venues have lists of approved suppliers to choose from), importantly including the food and drink.

As a result, we ate well. So well. We had an evening hog roast, scrambled egg breakfast spread, mostly cooked by the groom, a wedding breakfast of carved-at-the-table lamb, an evening buffet of Harrogate pork pies, carvery ham and the cheese cake cheese, (its a cake of cheese, not a cake with cheese. Oh never mind – look at the picture) and a street food breakfast van to mop up the hangovers. And did I mention they deal in champagne? Yeh we were drunk! In hindsight, three of those pork pies was excessive. I continue to have no regrets. I’m lying I had 4.

The first food encountered by early arriving guests however, was an afternoon tea, which I was honoured to be asked to make. Eek – squeaky bum time! Now I can bake ok, I enjoy baking and I even put a bit of pressure on myself by entering the odd bake-off event but this was on a scale that I’d never encountered.  60 people to cater for, including at least one wheatard and a gluten and dairy free mother of the groom. As I graduated from the Anderson/McInroy school of “Never Knowingly Under-Catered’, I had a lot of cakes to make. And I had to try and make them look a little bit pretty (not my forte by any stretch).

I came up with a plan involving going to my house in Grimsby to bake the day before and cadging a lift off of my father over the Humber Bridge the morning of. My father did a stunning job of sous cheffing for me which was a huge help, especially considering he wasn’t invited to the wedding – he did get a sneak peek at Rise Hall however! Logistics, sorted, I just had to figure out what to bake!

I considered scones a no brainer for afternoon tea so I made my White Spelt Scones which I served ready filled with clotted cream and jam. Next up was a groom request for lemon drizzle so I made a tray-bake version of these Lemon and Cointreau Drizzle Mini-Cakes (without the Cointreau, if only I’d thought of that addition before!). I then searched though my numerous Cookbooks for a great gluten and dairy free chocolate cake and after a couple of tests, settled on this Nigella Lawson Flourless Chocolate Orange Cake.

Lastly, I wanted to make what had then become a bit of a classic in my repertoire – these sticky toffee buns. Adapted from a Simon Hopkinson recipe for Hot Sticky Toffee Pudding, I’ve made this as a tray-bake, a layer cake and finally these mini-cakes/buns. I won a category (best tasting I think) in the summer of 2014 at the Bermondsey Street Festival bake off with them which cemented my decision.

The overriding themes with all of my chosen bakes were ease, previous experience and transportability.  The scones were split and filled, the toffee buns iced and drizzled and the chocolate orange cake garnished on site in the most amazing butlers pantry kitchen.  All in all, I was super proud of how everything turned out and there was nothing left, so I took that as a good sign – I also received quite a lot of lovely compliments from the other guests, which led to some serious blushing but was lovely to hear. I’m not sure L ever did get his square of lemon drizzle however 😦

Serves 12


Cake Ingredients:

175g Dates
275ml Boiling Water
50g Salted Butter or Low Fat Spread
1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
75g Demerara Sugar
75g Dark Brown (Muscovado) Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
175g Self Raising Flour
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

Sauce Ingredients:

200ml Double Cream
80g Salted Butter
80g Dark Brown (Muscovado) Sugar
1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes

Buttercream Ingredients:

140g Salted Butter
280g Icing Sugar
1/4 of the above sauce

3 Small Dates

Firstly, make the sauce by gently heating 200ml Double Cream, 80g Salted Butter
80g Dark Brown (Muscovado) Sugar and 1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes in a small saucepan.  I keep stirring the mix until everything is melted and a a little thickened. This shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes or so. Don’t let it boil for long as it could end up tasting bitter.

Leave the sauce to cool and thicken whilst making the cakes.

Preheat the oven to 180c or equivalent.

Line a 12 hole muffin tin.

Tip – you can use muffin cases if you wish. I used this 12 hole mini sandwich cake tin from Lakeland (an older version that I got half price!) which has loose bottoms for super easy removal. I just greased these tins with butter. Neutral flavour frylight spray should also do the job. 

Using sharp scissors, snip 175g Dates into the jug of a blender or bowl of a food processor (not a stand mixer – you need blades here). Cover with 275ml Boiling Water, put the lid on and leave the dates to soak for 5 minutes.

Tip – If using ready cut dates, skip the cutting stage. Obvs.

After the dates have soaked, blitz them to a smoothish paste.

Tip – I now proceed to make the bulk of the cake mix in a blender as its the best way I’ve found to break up big lumps of muscovado sugar that inevitably form and minimises the washing up. If you only have a little processor, dump the date mix into a mixing bowl once pureed then blitz the sugar quickly and proceed manually. At a stretch, you could use a stick blender to blitz the dates. If you have no processor whatsoever, you’re going to struggle. Check out my Recommendations page for some tips of cheap mixers to purchase – it’ll be worth it. 

Add 50g Salted Butter or Low Fat Spread, 1 tsp Sea Salt Flakes, 75g Demerara Sugar, 75g Dark Brown (Muscovado) Sugar, 2 Eggs and 1 tsp Vanilla Extract to the blender or processor and blitz until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and gently fold in 175g Self Raising Flour and 1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda.  The mixture will start to froth a bit, don’t be concerned, this is the bicarb starting to work.

Tip – Several times, I have added the flour to the belnder and combined that way to make this a truly one bowl mix but it over mixes, develops too much gluten and makes the cakes tough so I’ve learnt to not be so lazy and actually just use another bowl. Plus, it gives you another bowl to lick out. Bonus. 

Fill the 12 muffin tins to a little below their rim.

Tip – This recipe is apportioned to my mini cake tins so with slightly smaller tins, you may have mix left over. No bother, either make a second, probably smaller batch or make a small tray-bake with the leftovers. 

Pop into the oven for circa 20 minutes. A skewer will never come out truly clean because of the sticky nature of the buns but you want to make sure there is no runny mix left in the middle and they will feel good and springy to the touch.


Leave the buns on a wire rack to cool. If using a non stick tin like mine, leave them into the tin to mostly cool then use a plastic knife to release them. Take them straight out of the tin if using liners.

Meanwhile, make the buttercream by beating 140g Salted Butter and 280g Icing Sugar together.

Add 1/4 of the toffee sauce a little at a time. Make sure the sauce is totally cool before doing this.  if the mix seems a little loose – it wants to be able to hold its shape – add extra icing sugar a bit at a time.

Tip – I like to whip butter icing with an electric whisk to give it a nice light texture but you could make this by hand with a wooden spoon or spatula, just beat it for as long as you can be bothered. 

Leave the buttercream to the side somewhere cool whilst you fill the buns.

Take half of the sauce mix and fill a piping bag with a medium round nozzle. My method for doing this is shown in the picture below.


Tip – I don’t own a piping bag, this was a disposable one but I do keep a couple of cheap plastic nozzles lying around which I sometimes use with a sandwich bag with the corner cut off for make-do piping. I’m not really a pretty piping kinda gal but I’m yet to find a better method of injecting filling into a cupcake. 

Prod each (now cooled) cake from the top, in the centre, with the bag nozzle and squeeze about 3/4 teaspoon of sauce into the middle. Repeat until all cakes are filled.

Spoon a good dollop (technical term alert) of the buttercream onto the top of each cake.

Drizzle the remaining sauce over the cakes in a gung-ho messy fashion.

Quarter 3 Small Dates using sharp scissors and press onto the top of each cake for a final nipple like garnish. Classy.

2015-05-04 22.41.05

Scotch Pancakes with Bourbon, Peach and Ginger Compote

I love pancakes. Thick, thin or savoury, I’m in. I’ll extend to their near cousins the waffle too. And I’m not shy about having them for meals that aren’t breakfast or brunch either.

This is a pretty classic scotch pancake recipe made a little more grown up with the addition of booze.  I last made this on pancake day as the dessert course for a major pancake feast. Serve with some crème fraiche to cut through the sweetness of the compote. The scotch pancakes can of course also be made and topped with anything else like golden or maple syrup.  Bacon would be a great addition for breakfast.

Apologies for the shoddy photo.

Serves 4 – 262 Kcal per serving


Scotch Pancake Ingredients:

125g Self Raising Flour
2 tbsp Caster Sugar
1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes
1 Large Egg
150ml Skimmed Milk
Frylight Spray (not the Olive Oil one)

Bourbon, Peach and Ginger Compote Ingredients:

1 tin Peach Slices or Halves in Juice
1 ball Stem Ginger
1 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Bourbon

To make the compote:

Chop 1 tin Peach Slices or Halves in Juice into small pieces and add to a small saucepan along with a finely diced 1 ball Stem Ginger and 1 tbsp Dark Brown Sugar. Place on a medium heat and bring to a gentle boil, stirring the sugar in until melted.

Add 2 tbsp Bourbon and leave the compote to simmer gently while you make the pancakes.

Tip – Add a little water if the compote starts to become dry. 

To make the Pancakes:

Measure 125g Self Raising Flour, 2 tbsp. Caster Sugar and 1/2 tsp Sea Salt Flakes into a medium mixing bowl and stir to combine.

Make a well in the centre of the bowl and add 1 Large Egg.  Start adding 150ml Skimmed Milk bit by bit and whisking the batter until all the milk is combined. Try to whisk any lumps out when the mix is still quite thick as they are harder to get out a more liquid batter.

Turn the oven onto a low heat to keep the batches of pancakes warm as you go along.

Heat a medium frying pan to just smoking point then turn down to a medium heat.

Spray the pan with 3 sprays of Frylight Spray.

Using a tablespoon of batter for each, make 4 piles of batter in the pan, leaving room for each to spread a little. If they spread and touch, it isn’t an issue but try to make them not touch for rounder pancakes.

When little bubbles start to appear on the surface – about a minute, flip each pancake over. Start with the first one you put in the pan and work round in the same order.

Leave the pancakes for another 30-60 seconds and check the colour underneath. when golden brown, remove from the pan and transfer to a plate in the oven to keep warm.

Repeat the process until all of the batter is used, there should be circa 16 pancakes made in 4 batches.

Serve 4 warm pancakes per portion with the warm compote and some crème fraiche.

They can be rewarmed for 20 seconds in the microwave or in a dry pan and will keep for a couple of days.

The compot will last up to a week in the fridge.

Peach and Ginger Crumble

I am a fruit dodger. There I’ve said it. I hate apples, pears, raspberries, blueberries, melon and everything flavoured by them. I can’t tuck into a fresh peach, apricot or orange although I do like their flavour. Strawberries are bearable but only covered in some sugar and I will have some of these softer fruits baked with sugar for a pudding. I can eat a banana in a pinch but I have to buy the kids size ones or I get overwhelmed by the texture.

Crumble is therefore an issue. I love the crumble, but I generally hate the fruit. I am however extremely talented at siphoning crumble off of fruit!. I do however sometime make my own with my preferred 20% fruit to 80% crumble ratio. I have found that I don’t mind a peach crumble, especially with the addition of my favourite spice – ginger.

You have been warned – I like everything very sweet. This recipe is acclimatised to my tastes – you can vary it by leaving out the sugar in the fruit, reducing the sugar in the crumble, even doubling the amount of fruit and/or halving the amount of crumble (wierdos!)

Best served with custard, clotted cream or double cream are also options, as is crème fraiche which works to cut through the sweetness quite well.

Serves 4



8 Fresh Peaches or 2 tins Peach Slices
25g Dark Brown Sugar (Muscovado)
1 ball Stem Ginger
2 tbsp Syrup from Stem Ginger Jar
200g Self Raising Flour
100g Light Spread (Or butter)
100g Caster Sugar
1 tbsp Demerara or Caster Sugar

Preheat the oven to 200c or equivalent.

Peel and chop 8 Fresh Peaches into small chunks and put into a medium saucepan onto a medium heat with a splash of water. Or slice 2 Tins of Sliced Peaches and do them same.

Add 25g Dark Brown Sugar to the peaches along with 1 ball Stem Ginger, finely diced and 2 tbsp Syrup from the Stem Ginger Jar and leave to simmer gently while making the topping.

Dollop little hunks of 100g Light Spread into 200g Self Raising Flour and rub in.

Tip – Using the tips of your fingers rub the spread through the flour until the mixture has the texture something like breadcrumbs. Some bigger lumps won’t kill anyone.

Stir 100g Caster Sugar through the flour and spread mix and set aside.

Check the fruit mix – the sugar should be dissolved and the fruit soft most of the way though. If it at all dry, stir through a little more water. Take off the heat.

Line a tin or oven dish, ideally with greaseproof paper.

Tip – I usually use loaf or cake tin liners from poundland for easy clean-up. Otherwise butter the dish.

Tip the fruit mix into the lined tin/dish and pour over the topping mix. Spread the topping so it covers the fruit.

Tip – I tend to heap the topping slightly higher in the middle to ensure a gooey centre and help the fruit juices to attractively bubble up the sides.

Tip – Perversely I sometimes put a layer of topping on the bottom for extra gooeybits like in the below pic.

Sprinkle 1 tbsp of Demerara or Caster Sugar over the top for crunch and pop in the oven for around 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Serve as mentioned above with custard, cream, clotted cream or crème fraiche.

Warning – the fruit will be hotter than hell – try to give it a few minutes so as not to burn your mouth!