Have you ever read a recipe wrong or read the wrong recipe but still ended up with a yummy end product and think your mistake should have been included in the original recipe? Well that happened to me this week.
I was making a new recipe that I had saved from a magazine – I source a lot of my recipes from the weekend magazines. This recipe was for Blueberry and Strawberry Hotpot. Those of us who have grown up in the UK might associate a Hotpot with Betty’s Hotpot in the Rovers Return in Coronation Street – though I was never sure what they actually put inside it! Well this recipe called for a mixture of strawberries and blueberries mixed together with sugar and corn flour and topped with a crumble type mixture with added almonds and pecans.
As I was using this recipe from a magazine (which was full of recipes using strawberries and blueberries) the pages had become muddled. I had one page with the picture and the ingredients and little did I know that the method was on another page. I began with washing and slicing the strawberries, washing the blueberries, placing both in a large bowl, adding the sugar and corn flour. I then read in the method that you need to add brandy, I thought it was really strange as I couldn’t see the brandy on the ingredients list, but thought it must be typo. I went to the liquor cupboard and found what I thought was cherry brandy and added a healthy amount to the bowl of fruit. I carried on reading the method and it slowly dawned on me that I was not reading the correct column and went in search for the other page, only to see that, brandy was not on the ingredient list and it wasn’t in the method after all! As a secret (or not so) lover of alcohol I thought this added alcohol couldn’t hurt… thank goodness I was right! I managed to follow the rest of the recipe correctly, though probably adding fewer nuts than the original recipe asked for.
The other amusing element to this brandy story was that it turns out that what I thought was cherry brandy actually was a wine that my dad had made 30 years ago and had just put it into a cherry brandy bottle. So it seemed that I had put a very well-aged homemade wine into this desert.
Thankfully the hotpots were an absolute hit. The fruit became a bit jelly like due to the corn flour and had a good balance of tartness and sweetness. The topping was similar to a crumble but had a lovely crunchiness from the nuts. It was a real comfort desert. Even though it is served hot, the combination of fruits makes it a perfect summer desert.
300g strawberries quartered
50g caster sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp corn flour
3 tbsp red wine
45g almonds chopped into slivers
45g chopped pecans
¼ tsp all spice (or just cinnamon)
75g muscovado sugar
75g softened butter/margarine
- Heat your oven to 190c/gas 5. In a bowl mix the berries, caster sugar, vanilla, corn flour and alcohol. If the fruit isn’t cold, chill in the fridge whilst making the dough.
- In another bowl, blend flour, nuts, spices, and muscovado sugar, then rub in butter/margarine to make a crumbly dough.
- Pour the berry mix into 4-6 individual muffin tins or oven safe jam jars. Then divide up the dough into 4-6 balls and flatten the slightly, pushing them firmly on the berries like a lid.
- Place the muffin tins or jars on a baking tray and bake for 20-30 minutes until bubblying and brown. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
- They can be made up to 2 days in advance, keeping them somewhere chilled. Then reheat before serving. Also suitable to freeze.
First Published on Arutz Sheva 12/07/15