Week­end brekkie

FIGS WITH YO­GHURT HONEY AND ROASTED BAR­LEY CRUM­BLE

Ruislip & Eastcote & Northwood Gazette - - Sound Out - Syrah Sol­e­vari Re­serve Wirra Wirra Church Block 2016 Smooth Red

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS:

(Serves 4-6)

400ml thick Greek yo­ghurt 6 per­fectly ripe figs 2-3tbsp runny honey and hon­ey­comb

Few thyme sprigs (op­tional) For the bar­ley crum­ble: 100g plain flour

Pinch of fine salt

100g but­ter, cubed and chilled

75g golden caster su­gar 75g bar­ley flakes

METHOD:

1. First, make the bar­ley crum­ble. Heat the oven to 1750C/ 3350F/gas mark 5½. Com­bine all the in­gre­di­ents in a large bowl. Mix and rub the in­gre­di­ents thor­oughly to­gether un­til you have formed clumps and lumps.

2. Line a large bak­ing tray with a piece of bak­ing parch­ment. Tip out the mix­ture onto the tray and dis­trib­ute evenly. Place in the oven for 20-30 min­utes, turn­ing the crum­ble over three or four times dur­ing bak­ing, un­til it is evenly golden all over. Re­move from the oven.

3. To con­struct the dish, spoon the yo­ghurt out onto a large serv­ing plate or plat­ter and spread it evenly over the base. Halve the figs, or quar­ter them if they are large, and scat­ter the pieces over the yo­ghurt. Cut the hon­ey­comb up into small sticky bits and dis­trib­ute this, along with the runny honey, in, around and over the figs.

4. Scat­ter over a few gen­er­ous hand­fuls of the bar­ley crum­ble, and fin­ish off with a lit­tle shake of leaves from the thyme sprig, if us­ing. LAST night I had on more lay­ers than a cake in a British Bake Off Show­stop­per Chal­lenge. It was the first proper chilly night in our house­hold this au­tumn and slip­pers, jim jams, two jumpers and a blan­ket didn’t quite take the edge off the cold. I was mak­ing notes about a glass of red wine (it’s how I rock and roll) and pon­der­ing what to write about this week. When it struck me.

I was snug­gling up – I was hold­ing a glass of red wine, it made me feel bet­ter – and so my friends, here’s three au­tum­n­friendly reds to warm your toes.

My light switch mo­ment red came with

(£11.99, Vir­gin Wines, 13.5% abv). It is cre­ated in Ro­ma­nia by pro­duc­ers Cramele Re­cas and is the in­spi­ra­tion of Aussie wine WITH maker Hart­ley Smithers. It’s a deep red, verg­ing on the colour pur­ple yet is not quite full-bod­ied as I can slightly see my fin­gers through the glass. It oozes aro­mas of vanilla and liquorice, black­cur­rants and black cherry. To taste, a good sprin­kling of spice flashes in and out of dark fruit flavours and a veil of vanilla. There’s a de­cent acid­ity which fresh­ens, the tan­nins are in­te­grated and the last­ing ef­fect is one of spice.

Hold my hand as we zip off to McLaren Vale in Aus­tralia for

(RRP £13.49, Wait­rose, Ocado, 14.5% abv) which is a blend of caber­net sau­vi­gnon, mer­lot and shi­raz. This wine is an­other com­pote of warm­ing dark fruits, with con­fi­dent shouts from plums and damsons. The wine has been aged in a mix of French and Amer­i­can oak, which to­gether bring over­tones of vanilla and choco­late; but there is still a light­ness of touch with the wave of a wood­land breeze.

For my fi­nal choice I’m go­ing to take you to Spar.

I tasted (£4.99, 13% abv) at Spar’s sea­sonal tast­ing the other week, where many months of work by the Spar

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