Fattening up your guests – butter biscuits with golden sprinkles, salted caramel sauce, vanilla sauce, crème frâiche ice-cream, and a healthy poached pear!


I was tempted to write – and a partridge in a pear tree, however, despite the lateness of the hour (I admit to nothing so don’t ask) and the fact that sometimes when I am working a lot I have to look out the window to remind myself what season it is (it helps to have deciduous trees outside your window, leaves on tree – late spring summer, yellow leaves autumn, no leaves winter or early spring – I have used this method I am sorry to say but it is true…) . Tonight, however, although it’s black out there, I know that t is not the season for Xmas carols!

The dessert above is one I made months ago and never got round to posting. I didn’t write anything down either – but then for the ideas below you don’ t really need a recipe and so I invite you to unleash your inner creative Goddess – and repair to the kitchen – although if is hot where you are you might want to wait until November…..if however you are down under then now is the time!

Poached pears: lots of recipes for this online, I poached mine in water with a vanilla pod added in. Obviously you peel and core the pears first. And naturally you will seek out a robust pear so that it doesn’t disintegrate on you as you inhale the aroma of poaching. Because mushy pears, like mushy peas must be frowned upon (those of you, who enjoyed English school cooking will know what I am talking about regarding peas).

Salted grape juice Caramel sauce:  I used red grape juice as a base  (NOT Welches) something unsweetened and natural, added some sugar and boiled to caramelize added some butter, although you don’t have to add butter, but it gives the caramel a nice unctuousness. I then caramelized. Added some salt to give it a slightly salty touch, you are looking for subtlety here! The reddish colour is due to the grape juice. Served the caramel a bit warmer than room temperature.

Ice-cream: I think this may have been crème fraîche icecream ( I recently read in a cook book – if you don’t know what crème fraîche is then there is no point explaining and there is no hope for you. I admit that while this is a food-snobs approach to life, it did kind of appeal), The reason I used this  type  of ice-cream, indeed use it a lot with desserts, is that its not overly sweet  in fact it’s a bit tart and this balances out the sweetness of the caramel and richness of the biscuits ( sure vanilla is fine too). The same mantra applies here as to all foodstuffs and most things that come with a price tag in life:  whatever you buy, get the good stuff, it’s worth it!

Butter biscuits: these again made from scratch, by feel and intuition, (as an afterthought as I imagined what would be good with the whole dessert and figuring my guests would like biscuits, yes it was one of those invitations again). So here too no recipe but I remember it was butter, sugar and flour mixed together and then rolled in baking parchment into a log, at which point I put the dough in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or it may have been the balcony, back then no leaves on the trees….I then rolled the cold dough logs in golden sprinkles. If you don’t have any get some, they are seriously cool – I found mine in France, I think it might be worth flying over to find them, honestly. Have you ever seen golden sprinkles before?

Vanilla sauce: poaching liquid from the pears, cream and and egg yolk or two, or maybe just some rice flour to thicken but no eggs – hm cannot remember, but use your favourite recipe, I prefer non eggy custards and non-overly floured custards, hate the taste of flour in a custard if discernible. And make sure you use a proper vanilla pod. But I said that already didn’t I? Oh and I served the custard room temperature.

And then all you have to do is assemble the ingredients and you have quite an impressive offering for your guests! Happy almost Friday all.


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