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You don’t have to forego all treats in January

You don’t have to forego all treats in January

THE days are dark, the weather is cold and everyone is coming down from their Christmas high, so what better way to warm the soul than with two rich and delicious desserts?

This week’s recipes are all about traditional home comforts to make us feel a little better about January. The winter fruits strudel is the perfect end to a lovely winter meal that will have everyone asking for second helpings and the apple and plum crumble is a great twist on a much–loved dish. So, while January may be all about ‘new year, new you’ there is nothing wrong with going back to some old favourites to put a smile on your face.

WINTER FRUITS STRUDEL

(Serves 6)

1 × 375g ready rolled sheet of butter puff pastry

Plain flour for dusting

15g unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons of blackberry jam

4 tablespoons of ground almonds

1 apple

1 pear

70g blackberries

½ a teaspoon of allspice

1 tablespoon of caster sugar

1 egg, beaten

Start by heating the oven to 190C. Get your sheet of puff pastry and cut it in half width ways. Roll it out on a floured work surface and get it as thin as you can. Brush with the melted butter in the middle, leaving a border of about 2cm around the rectangle.

Next, peel and core the apple and grate into a colander (squeeze out as much juice as you can). Finely slice the pear, then mix the apple and pear with the blackberries and spread the fruit evenly over the pastry. Sprinkle with the all spice and the caster sugar.

The next stage is the rolling. Start on the long side of the rectangle and roll up the pastry to form a log shape. Brush over with the beaten egg and place on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and puffed. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

APPLE AND PLUM CRUMBLE

6 apples, peeled, de–cored and chopped

8 plums, stone removed, chopped

100g sugar

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

100g butter

100g flour

50g almonds

Start by lightly stewing the apples by placing them in a pot with 50g of sugar and 25g of butter and cooking for five minutes at a low heat – you do not want the apples to lose their shape or make a puree.

Get your baking dish ready and add in your plums with the cinnamon and one tablespoon of sugar. Add in your apple mix and leave to side.

To make your crumble, place the cold butter and flour in a processor and pulse until the texture is like breadcrumbs. Stir in the almonds and the remaining sugar and cinnamon and scatter over the plums.

Cook for 40 minutes at 180C until golden. Serve with custard.

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