Another week, another post drought here on Cooksister. Aaaargh.
I have to say, I do not know how people undertake their own DIY house renovations. Even just trying to project manage somebody else to do my renovations is doing my head in! It eats up all your time and energy and I hardly cook (true confession: we had sardines on toast one night this week. Mea culpa.), let alone blog. It’s just a whirl of carpenters and plumbers and porcelain vs. ceramic tiles and choosing door handles. On Wednesday night Nick and I were standing in the large room formerly known as “two separate bedrooms”, staring at the wall we had taken down in preparation for redistributing the space. I turned to Nick and said “well, I guess we’ve passed the point of no return now!!”
Still, life goes on, and last weekend before true chaos descended on the new house we did manage to take advantage of the FABULOUS weather and host a little braai in our new place. We sat in the garden among the bumblebees who were all lazily exploring the flowering hedge (some sort of pyracantha, I think), enjoying the sun and later moved to the conservatory where we feasted on Nick’s marinated chicken thighs. Given that we are still not living there and all cooking utensils and ingredients have to be ferried across from our old place, desserts tend to be simple. Last week I made my volcanic baked apples for friends – this time round it was an old English favourite: blueberry fool.
Now a fool is an ancient English dessert in which whipped cream, puréed fruit, sugar and possibly a flavouring agent are mixed together, with the classic being gooseberry fool. I have noticed on recent visits to gastropubs that such old English desserts are enjoying a revival – rhubarb crumble, lemon posset, and all manner of fruit fools are gracing all sorts of upmarket pub tables. Although the theme that my co-founder Johanna selected for this month’s Waiter, There’s Something in My… event was bistro cooking, she expanded the theme slightly to include the kind of food that you might find in a gastropub – which is why this is my (hilariously late) entry into this month’s WTSIM. The pistachios are an entirely untraditional addition but looked gorgeous on the cover of a recent Sainsbury’s magazine – so I proceeded to be inspired
BLUEBERRY FOOL WITH PISTACHIOS (serves 4)
1 x 300g punnet fresh blueberries
500ml whipping or double cream
a little caster sugar (of desired – I didn’t use any)
4 Tbsp crushed roasted pistachios (I used salted)
Place the blueberries in a small saucepan over low heat with about 50ml of water (and a little caster sugar is you like it sweet). Simmer until the berries start to break up. Use a fork to break them up further and continue to simmer until all the berries have been roughly crushed. Allow to cool.
In the meanwhile, crush the pistachios roughly and beat the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the cooled berry mixture into the whipped cream, leaving swirls of colour rather than mixing it in completely.
Scoop equal amounts of the cream/berry mix into 4 wine glasses or glass bowls, top each with a Tbsp of crushed pistachios and serve.