Plums, Apples, and/or Pears, Baked in Marsala or Port

One of the popular flavours of last century, around the ’70’s, was to bake fruit in Port or Marsala (a dark, sweet fortified dessert wine, produced in Sicily). The popularity of it has waned, though, to the extent that Marsala is now hard to find in stores and outlets.  However, I still like it, to the extent that once or twice a year, the bottle comes out and some fruit goes into the oven. See this delicious Pear dish.

Inevitably, cinnamon is paired with the Marsala, and it is a good combination, along with lemon and butter.

Today’s dish uses this combination in a bake of pears, apples and/or plums. At this time of year we are using plums on their own – it is Plum Season and my friend has gifted a bucket of home grown juicy fruit. They are baked and served with their juices along with cream, marscapone, or icecream, and can be added to pies and pastries, or included in icecreams, yoghurt deserts, and summery drinks (alcoholic or not).

Similar recipes include Pears Baked with Marsala, Baked Apples with Star Anise, and Rosemary Roasted Pears.

Browse all of our Desserts, and all of our Plum dishes. Our Apple recipes are here and Pear dishes here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Rose Strawberries with Sweet Yoghurt Cream

Strawberries are very very cheap at the moment, and it is the perfect time to make a few strawberry dishes. Here we are marinating them in Kewra Water and Rosewater, and they will be served with a thick, drained and sweetened yoghurt. It is a delicious Summer dessert. Pop the colours further with a few blueberries and a couple of basil leaves or shreds of kaffir lime leaf.

The drained yoghurt is delicious and can be used in so many ways. Leftovers will keep a few days in the fridge. Read more about making it here. There are ideas on how to use them here.

Similar recipes include Baked Plums with Marsala or Port, Green Tea, Mint and Strawberry Cooler, Strawberries with Lemon,  and Strawberries with Mint Raspberry Sauce.

Browse all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Desserts. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Summery Apricot Sweet Salad with Orange and Thyme

I am not a great fan of cooking summer fruits – its quite rare for us to do so. I love the fresh summery taste of our stone fruits and most generally they are served as-is – to eat as the mood takes us, or perhaps as a post-meal grazing plate with some great cheeses.

How good it is to come home from the green grocers with my trusty cane basket full of cherries, apricots, plums, peaches, nectarines, peacharines. There is nothing better! Toss in some bunches of fresh herbs tucked into the corners of the basket. Mostly I grow herbs at home, but there are always some that have flowered or are yet to be large enough to be picked.

Today, I am sticking to the no-cook rule-of-thumb, but making a sort-of fruit salad, using just apricots. Use ripe, juicy apricots for this one.

I do have an cooked Apricot recipe if you are interested – Baked Apricots with Orange and Honey. Or try this great, tangy, Indian, Apricot Chutney recipe.

You can browse all of our Apricot recipes are here. You might also like to browse our Desserts. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Strawberries with Lemon

Strawberries! It is Wimbledon time, and great strawberries are still available in our greengrocers, so we mix them up with some lemon or lime juice and munch while we watch replays.

We have some similar recipes. Try Strawberries with Mint and Raspberry Sauce, Strawberries with Sticky Balsamic, and Baked Strawberries.

Or browse all of our Strawberry recipes, and all of our Desserts. And explore all of our Mid Summer dishes for more inspiration.

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Pere al Forno con Marsala e Cannella | Pears Baked with Marsala and Cinnamon

Beautiful raisin flavoured baked pears for wintery nights.

Aaah, the thought of these makes me feel hungry. First made in our household about 20 years ago they still feature occasionally in our kitchen, especially in winter. They are a great way to take the evening chill off of the kitchen – turn the oven on, pop in the pears and perhaps some parsnips to roast, pour the wine and put some Italian music on in the background.

Are you looking for similar dishes? Try Baked Plums with Marsala or Port, Roasted Rosemary Pears, and an Autumn Fruit Salad.

You might like to browse our Dessert recipes, and our Pear recipes. Check out our easy Late Winter recipes.

This recipe is one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2005. You can browse more of those recipes in the Retro Recipes series.

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An Autumn Fruit Salad with Pomegranates, Pears and Apples

A quick dessert celebration of Autumn. Apples, Pears and Pomegranates are brought together with yoghurt and a touch of spice for a quick, easy and delicious dessert. It’s also wonderful at breakfast time (top your cereal or oats with it) and an any-time snack. Try it also with our Bondi Bircher Muesli.

Are you looking for Pomegranate Recipes? Try making your own Pomegranate Molasses and Pomegranate Honey.

Or try these Desserts – Butter Glazed Apple, Baked Apple with Star Anise and Baked Pears with Marsala.

For more recipes, browse all of our Apple Recipes and our Pear Recipes. Find more Pomegranate recipes here, and other yoghurt recipes here. Or take some time to browse our Mid Autumn Recipes.

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Old Fashioned Baked Rice Pudding like My Mother Made

 

Rice pudding is such a traditional dish, born from Mother’s, Grandmothers’  and Great Grandmothers’ Winter collections of recipes. I always know when the best of Glorious Autumn is over because I bake a rice pudding. It varies every year – sometimes it is as early as early April, and sometimes as late as mid May here in the Southern Hemisphere. A dish of extreme comfort and warmth, there is something about it that connects me with my great line of ancestors.

This old fashioned, rustic dish is rather dark from the cinnamon and the brown sugar. Use white sugar if you prefer a lighter version.

Are you looking for Rice Puddings? Try our Greek Rice Pudding and Bengali Rice Kheer. Or try some other desserts – Sago Payasam, Baked Apricots with Honey and Orange, and Baked Strawberries.

Looking for more? Explore all of our Rice Puddings and all of our  other Desserts . Feel free to browse other vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006 in the Retro Recipes series. Or try our easy Mid Autumn recipes.

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Baked Figs with Thyme

This morning some eggplants were baking for a planned eggplant and yoghurt dish, and I decided to pop figs into the oven alongside the eggplants, for a great breakfast treat. These are easy – figs, thyme and olive oil. Delicious. Roasting or baking figs intensifies their sweetness. Ten minutes or so and they are ready.

If you are looking for other Fig recipes try these – Roasted Sweet Potato and Fresh Figs, Figs with Rosewater and Almonds, Fig Salad with Almond Butter Dressing, and Figs with Pecorino.

Browse all of our Fig recipes, our Breakfast recipes, all of our Baked recipes, and all of our Dessert recipes. Or take some time to browse our Late Summer dishes.

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Sakkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal with Milk

Sakkarai Pongal is short grained, raw rice cooked in jaggery and milk with mung dal, simmered until thick and then garnished with ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. It is not the traditional Milk Pongal cooked completely in milk, but is a definite favourite. It is a distinctive dish from Tamil Nadu, and also cooked in Sri Lanka and some other states in South India.

Pongal is a festival in January where we thank the Sun for the bounty that it brings us. Sakkarai Pongal is cooked in the morning as the sun rises and is presented as part of the devotions. Read more about the Pongal Festival here. And all of our dishes for the Pongal Festival are here.

But Pongal, the dish, can be made at any time. There are sweet versions like this one (called sakkarai), and you might like to try the other versions: Sakkarai Pongal from Jaffna; and Sakkaria Pongal without Milk. Check to see if we have since posted other version. Or explore some Kitchari dishes like Buttery Steamed Kitchari.

And there is are savoury versions, and we have a couple of versions of Ven Pongal. You can see recipes here.

Otherwise, browse all of our Rice dishes, and all of our Indian dishes. You might like to take some time and browse all of our Mid Summer recipes.

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A Good Brew – Prunes in Tea with Spices, Mandarin and Lemon

I recently read this characterisation of hot drink imbibers:

Tea drinkers are golden oldies fans. Those who take it from a pot, never from a bag, are classical music snobs. Instant coffee drinkers go for hits from the ’70s and ’80s. Short black aficionados turn into whatever is new and funky. The only people who drink herbal teas are folk singers and old hippies.

That makes me a fan of golden oldies and an old hippie folk singer, yet a lover of the new and funky.

Thank goodness that characterisation is not true today, and along with good espresso coffee, tea has found a rightful place after losing out to coffee for a while. Herbal teas are available in cafes and restaurants, chai is a perfectly acceptable cafe-based low-caffine drink for non-coffee drinkers.

They say tea was discovered in 2737BCE when Chinese Emperor Shen Ning infused dried camellia leaves in water to make a pleasant drink that gave him vigour and focus.

Thank goodness for that. Today we use tea in preparing a dessert or breakfast dish with tea and prunes.

Similar recipes include Baked Plums with Marsala or Port.

You can also browse other breakfast dishes or our deserts here and here. You might also like to check out our tea and chai recipes.

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Sago Payasam | South Indian Dessert

A classic dessert of Tamil Nadu

Sago Payasam is a classic dessert in Tamil Nadu in South India, along with Vermicelli and Rice Payasams. Payasams are sweet desserts, the milk condensing and thickening as it cooks and the sugar sweetens this thick mixture to a level almost beyond the experience of cooks outside of India. Hold back on the sugar to begin with if you do not have a sweet tooth.

You might also like our Payasam recipes here and here. Or our Sago recipes here and here. Explore our Indian Desserts here, or the more general Dessert recipes here and here.

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Strawberries with a Mint Raspberry Sauce

Nigel Slater with a dessert of strawberries and raspberries.

I love Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries II and perhaps it is even better than the first volume. While browsing through the June recipes (ie those suitable for December in Australia), it was his pairing of strawberries and raspberries that grabbed my attention. The festive season is notoriously hot in many parts and it is beach and BBQ weather every day. Berries are prolifically available in Australia at this time, and their gorgeous colours and flavours suit the season well.

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Eliappe, Sweet and Delicious Pikelet-like Dosa

A delicious, surprising Indian pancake style dish

This recipe is adapted from Festival Cookbook by Vilma Patil. Eliappe recipes vary wildly. Some cook Eliappe in molds, some in a wok, some cook them free-form. Some ferment the batter, some do not. Some cook over a very hot pan, some cook them more slowly. Some include additional ingredients.

This is my interpretation of Eliappe, sweet and delicious pikelet-like dosa snacks. If you cook it differently, I would love to hear. If you like this, you should also check out the Goan Surnoli.

This is especially good for Pongal Festival in South India.

You might also like to browse all of our Desserts. Or you might be interested in our Poha (flattened rice) recipes. Explore our Dosa recipes too.

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MID SPRING Teas and Drinks, and Sweet Desserts for Spring Enjoyment | Seasonal Cooking

Inspiration for Mid Spring Healthy Living

At all times of the year, sweet things are important to balance the other tastes. As the warmth comes in, the longing for sweet bites decreases a little. Spring fruits and early Summer fruits hit the market, and we are content.

Celebrating Spring

Some gorgeous inspirational Desserts for you this Mid Spring. You can also browse

Other gorgeous Springtime posts include:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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MID AUTUMN Teas and Drinks, and Sweet Desserts for Autumn’s Sweet Tooth | Seasonal Cooking

Sweetness for Healthy Mid Autumn Living

At all times of the year, sweet things are important to balance the other tastes. As the cold comes in, the longing for sweet bites increases. Perhaps it has to do with the energy provided.

Enjoy some Sweet inspiration for Autumn deliciousness. You can also browse:

If you have difficulty with any links, please let us know. We would love to fix them for you.

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