So we have been working our way through the River Cottage Cookbook for school this year. We have blogged our slow and steady progress.
Who knew when we began this book that we would feel compelled to try every single recipe and instead of a chapter a week we have absorbed every word and we are happily doing a chapter every couple of weeks!!!
I thought we would finish up by the end of the year and have the last chapter “Chocolate” under control by now. I had this idea that we could retry truffles for Christmas… but sorry friends and family we have been mastering other skills and se7en will not be making truffles this year either.
We have finally made it to Chapter 5 and FRUIT!!!
With so much to try and so many different types of fruit, where does one begin… We just began at the beginning of the chapter and marched our way through and when we couldn’t find a particular fruit we went onto the next recipe and saved that one till later…
We began with smoothies:
- Frozen Strawberry Milkshakes: We just can’t get enough of these!!! Pop your cleaned strawberries into the freezer overnight and at breakfast time cover them with milk in the blender and sssshhhhshshs…. done!!! Well you can add sugar into the blend… but what my kids don’t know they won’t miss so I don’t bother.
- Peach Pear and Raspberry Smoothie: We didn’t have raspberries so we used blueberries – very good!!! But not as good as the strawberry…
- Strawberry Fool: We have never tried any sort of fool before so we thought we would give it a go…Hood #6 was given the task and did she do a great job!!! She smushed the strawberries and whipped the cream and folded them together. Sounds better than okay!!!
- Summer Fruit Tart: Why we didn’t make yummy fruity tarts before I just don’t know they just never occurred to me. A basic sweet pastry and all the fruitiness on top. This was so pretty and so yummy… We had to learn how to make creme patissiere, which sounds so fancy but is really just a sweet custard. Definitely a “make again and again” recipe.
- French-Style Apple Tart: Where have we been and why have we never made this before!!! I have always wanted to make a tart like this but thought it would be much too difficult. Turns out to be totally, totally delicious and so easy!!!
- Lemon Tart: Hmmmm!!! We made this for the Flour Chapter but had to have another go at it!!!
- Lemon Curd: Who doesn’t love, love, love lemon curd…
- Orange and Strawberry jellies: Seriously why have I never thought of this before, brilliant!!! Freshly squeezed orange juice with gelitine!!! I don’t think we will ever, ever buy packet jelly again!!!
- Lemonade: Our celebrity chef has always loved lemons and zesting is part of his daily routine!!! So he just loved making this lemonade with a syrup!!!
- Baked Apples: I don’t know why but we hadn’t made these for years and their has been a general resurgence of the baked apple in our home – yum!!! Everybody loves them!!!
- Banana Bread: We make banana bread all the time. But this is not just banana bread!!!
What About a Fruity Fool:
There were a couple of recipes we didn’t get round to trying:
- Mango and Orange Smoothie: We still want to try this, but couldn’t find a mango!!!
- We passed on Rhubarb Fool and Rhubarb and Ginger Smoothie… I just can’t do rhubarb, never could… I can never understand folks passion for Rhubarb… so nope!!!
- Gooseberry Crumble: We are dying the try this, just waiting for the bush to produce!!!
- Bramble Jelly: Because we don’t have hedgerows in our neighborhood, let alone Bramble-berries
- Sweet Chili and Redcurrant Jam: We were a bit stuck on the Redcurrants… not readily available around here!!!
And what was the major lesson that we learnt from this chapter… All those impressive fruity desserts don’t actually require too much effort, it is more about knowing what to do. And once you “know how” you can apply it to a whole lot of different fruits. Really you don’t have to do too much to turn a fruit into a delicious dessert. The trouble in our house is that as it lands in the fruit bowl it vanishes!!!