Stewed Blueberries with Bay Custard and Gin

This is a pretty wicked Summer dessert, definitely for hot Summer days. The beauty of it is that the custard and blueberries can be prepared ahead of time – eg the day before – and then it takes but a few minutes for the dessert to come together.

As the title suggests, blueberries, slightly stewed, are served with icecream, a bay-flavoured custard, and savoiardi biscuits soaked in gin, rosewater and blueberry syrup. It sounds amazing, right? And it is (the gin-soaked biscuits are out of this world), but the title belies the ease with which this dish is created. Best to note that it is an adult dessert only!

Of course, it is an Ottolenghi dessert, from his book Plenty More which we are trying to cook all the way through. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit our preferences and what is available from our garden, fridge and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column. In the recipe below we have substituted a custard made with custard powder for the egg-based one, as we don’t cook with eggs. It sounds horrific, I know, but I assure you it tastes just as good. Feel free to use your favourite method.

Also, blackberries are originally used by Ottolenghi but they are notoriously difficult to find here, so we have used blueberries. It might be Ok to use frozen blackberries – but warm them through with the sugar rather than cook them.

Similar recipes include Strawberry and Black Pepper Icecream, Poached Oranges with Vanilla Ricotta, and Sweet Rhubarb with Cloves and Black Pepper.

Browse all of our Blueberry recipes and all of our Desserts. Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Late Summer recipes.

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Indian Custard | Besan Payasam

This Payasam is better than custard.

Often called Chickpea Porridge, this dish is not a porridge in the traditional sense, nor a custard. It is a South Indian Besan Payasam.

The recipe is simple. Take some chickpea flour. Add some saffron, sugar, cardamom, cashews and maybe some dried or fresh fruit and you have something sent directly from heaven, I am sure. And it is made in under 10 minutes. True instant food.

This is a dessert, but it is also great for breakfast. It can form a replacement for egg custard in lots of recipes. Imagine it layered trifle like with fresh fruit.

I like to call this dish a custard, despite being a payasam.

Are you after more Payasam recipes? Try Sago Payasam, Nachi’s Payasam, and Bengali Rice Kheer.

Other recipes that use Besan include: Chickpea Fingers with Tomato Salsa, Farinata with Onions and Tomato, and Eggless Pasta and Noodles.

You can browse all Payasam recipes here, and all Besan recipes too. Or explore all of our Desserts. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or simply explore all of our Early Winter dishes.

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