Hello readers. I think autumn might be my favourite season for food; the root vegetables start to come in and we can start eating some of my favourite seafood again, mussels, squid and turbot.
As well as root vegetables and shellfish, there is the British autumnal fruit to looks forward to, apples, elderberries and pears. I’ve chosen two desserts from this week’s book using seasonal fruits for you to enjoy at home.
So French So Sweet by Gabriel Gaté is a love letter to sweet treats! Gabriel grew up enjoying the home-grown fruits of his Loire Valley home. This recipe book will teach you how simple it is to make classic French desserts at home. What autumnal food are you looking forward to the most? Tell me on Twitter @AldoZilli.
ALMOND AND BLUEBERY GALETTE
★ 160g plain flour, sifted
★ 80g ground almonds
★ 200g butter, cut into small cubes
★ 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
★ 200g caster sugar
★ 4 large egg yolks
★ 50g flaked almonds
★ 200g blueberries
★ Cream, ice cream or fruit sauce, to serve
SERVES: 8 PREPARATION: 15 MINUTES (plus 30 minutes chilling) COOKING TIME: 55 MINUTES
Place the flour and ground almonds in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the butter, lemon zest, sugar and 3½ egg yolks to the well. Using your fingertips, work these ingredients together first until just combined, then gradually incorporate the flour and ground almonds until a dough forms. Shape the dough into a ball, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Butter a 24cm flan tin and sprinkle the sides of the tin with the flaked almonds.
Cut the dough in half. Lightly flour the dough, your hands and the rolling pin and roll each dough half out to a circle to fit the tin. Place one round of dough in the tin. Top with the blueberries, leaving a 1cm border around the edge.
Place the other round of dough on top. Mix the remaining ½ egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of water and lightly brush over the top of the dough. Using a fork, mark a lattice pattern on top of the dough.
Bake the galette for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and bake for a further 35 minutes or until the top is firm to the touch. Leave to cool before carefully turning out. Serve the galette with cream, ice cream or a fruit sauce.
POACHED PEARS BELLE HÈLÈNE
★ 200g sugar
★ ½ vanilla pod, split lengthways
★ 6 pears
★ ½ lemon (optional)
★ 150ml cream
★ 200g dark chocolate, chopped
★ 1 litre vanilla ice cream
★ 100g flaked almonds, toasted, to serve
★ Icing sugar, for dusting
PREPARATION: 15 MINUTES
COOKING TIME: 20 MINUTES
Combine 1½ litres water, the sugar and vanilla pod in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Peel the pears. If they begin to discolour, rub them with the lemon half and place them in a bowl of cold water. Add the peeled pears to the simmering syrup and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let the pears cool in the liquid.
Bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Let it cool a little.
Drain the pears and place in a bowl with some ice cream. Spoon a little chocolate sauce over the top, sprinkle with the toasted almonds and dust with icing sugar. Serve immediately.
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