Bill Granger recipes: Our chef takes the edge off ultra-sweet desserts with tart-flavoured fruits
Berries, citrus fruit, rhubarb, green apples and gooseberries are guaranteed to keep flavours vibrant and zingy
Sunday 01 June 2014
I don't have a particularly sweet tooth, but I do love a dessert at the end of a meal – a contradiction that I get around by using fruits that have a naturally tart note in many of my desserts.
Berries, citrus fruit, rhubarb, green apples and, for a short time only, gooseberries are guaranteed to keep flavours vibrant and zingy, cutting through any cloying sweetness or rich creaminess in a dessert.
I've played with this juxtaposition of flavours in two of the recipes here, then pushed the boat out a bit more with the grapefruit jelly by serving it with a citrus salad that has some lemon slices thrown in. And before tightening your lips, give it a try. You'll be surprised at how the sharpness in the lemon brings out the sweetness in the other tart fruit.
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, and 50 Sekforde Street, London EC1, tel: 020 7251 9032, grangerandco.com. Follow Bill on Instagram at bill_granger
Frozen redcurrant and blackberry cheesecake with toasted hazelnut and sesame
Dip ice-cream cones into the nutty topping, or serve the scoops in bowls topped with warmed berry sauce and a dusting of hazelnut and sesame.
200g redcurrants, stalks removed
60g caster sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
200g cream cheese
300g full-fat Greek-style yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla paste
130g condensed milk
For the hazelnut and sesame topping
50g blanched hazelnuts
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tbsp demerara sugar
Place the berries in a small pan with the caster sugar and 2 tablespoons water. Cook over a low heat, stirring gently, until the sugar has just dissolved. Add the lemon juice and set aside to cool.Place the cream cheese and yoghurt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the vanilla paste and condensed milk. Whiz to combine.
Spoon 250g of the cooled berries into the food processor and whiz again until well combined. Churn in an ice-cream maker then store in a freezer. Alternatively, tip into a container and cover. Freeze for 2½ hours. Return the mixture to the food processor and whiz again until smooth. Freeze for at least another 2 hours before serving.
For the hazelnut and sesame topping, preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Tip the hazelnuts and sesame seeds on to a large baking sheet. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring a couple of times until toasted and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Whiz in the food processor until almost smooth then stir in the sugar. Set aside.
Remove the frozen cheesecake from the freezer about 10 minutes before serving. Heat the remaining cooked berries in a small pan. Take the ice-cream, berries and hazelnut and sesame to the table for everyone to help themselves.
Gooseberry and ginger pudding
This is one of my favourite ways of using gooseberries, a fruit with a season so short that if you blink you'll miss it. Warm and comforting, this pudding would probably be better suited to a colder time of the year, but no doubt the notorious British weather will soon give us a cold drizzly day on which to enjoy it…
Gooseberry and ginger pudding (Tamin Jones)
3 tbsp demerara sugar
1 small orange
200g caster sugar, plus extra to dust
150g plain flour
½ tsp ground ginger
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp milk
100ml butter, melted
Pouring cream, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Tip the gooseberries into an approximately 1-litre oven-proof dish. Stir through the demerara sugar and squeeze over the juice of the orange. Set aside.
In a large bowl beat together the eggs and caster sugar with electric beaters until pale and creamy. Sift the flour, ginger and baking powder over the mixture. Beat on a slow speed until combined. Fold in the milk and butter. Spoon the batter over the gooseberries, smoothing the surface with a spatula.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Leave to cool for 5 minutes. Dust with caster sugar. Serve warm with pouring cream.
Pink grapefruit jelly with mixed citrus salad
Fresh and cleansing – the perfect dessert for a garden lunch.
Pink grapefruit jelly with mixed citrus salad (Tamin Jones)
12 gelatin leaves (20g)
100g caster sugar
750ml freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
Soak the gelatin in a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Pour 100ml boiling water into a large heat-proof jug. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Remove the gelatin from the water and squeeze out any excess. Add it to the sugar syrup and stir until fully dissolved. Pour into a large bowl with the pink grapefruit juice and stir well. Chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or until set.
Peel and slice the oranges, lemon and 2 of the clementines. Place on a platter and squeeze over the juice of the remaining clementine. Cover and chill.
Serve the jelly in bowls with the mixed citrus salad.
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