Berry and bright
Chef Derek Johnstone creates a delicious dessert from festive fruits
With Christmas only two days away, I wanted to share a recipe of mine which is a wonderful way to use up the extra fruit and nuts in your kitchen at this time of year. Combining three of my favourite festive ingredients – cranberries, clementines and pistachios – these Christmas cookies are at their best served warm with a generous scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of white chocolate sauce. This is a dessert that will impress at the dinner table, but is just as delicious enjoyed on the sofa in front of a Christmas film.
Cranberries really come into their own at this time of year, but they’re useful for so much more than accompanying the turkey. Not only are they high in vitamins C and D, but they’re packed full of potassium and iron – great for keeping winter colds at bay. I’ve used dried cranberries here as they give the best results, although you can use fresh cranberries if you prefer.
Quite often, people can be discouraged from making their own ice cream as it can seem quite a daunting task – but it’s actually much more straightforward than you might think. To achieve the best results, you’ll need an ice cream machine. It can be done manually, but you’ll need plenty of time and patience.
This Christmas, I’ll be enjoying the festivities at Borthwick Castle on Christmas Day, creating a sumptuous feast for our guests, who have exclusively hired the venue over the festive period. I’ll then be returning
home to my family later in the day for my own celebrations. So from me, and the rest of the team at Borthwick Castle, have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it arrives. See you all in 2019. Cranberry, clementine and pistachio cookies
Makes 8 Ingredients: 150g unsalted butter 45g soft brown sugar 85g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
150g self raising flour 150g dried cranberries 50g chopped pistachios Zest of two clementines
1. Place the butter and both sugars in a mixer and cream together, then add the yolks and combine until the mixture is light and creamy.
2. Fold in the flour until it is all mixed in, making sure that no flour remains visible in the mixture.
3. Add the zest of the clementines, followed by the cranberries and pistachios. 4. Bring the mixture together and place in cling film. Roll into a cylinder shape and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
5. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3. 6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, then slice into even pieces. 7. Gently flatten each piece of dough until you have a rough cookie shape. Place each piece of dough on a baking tray, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
For the stem ginger ice cream Ingredients:
300ml full fat milk 200ml double cream 100g caster sugar 5 egg yolks
20g stem ginger
1. Place the milk, cream and stem ginger into a pan, and heat until the temperature reaches 85°C.
2. While the liquid is heating, mix the egg yolks and sugar in a heat-proof bowl. 3. Pour the milk and cream mixture onto the combined egg yolks and sugar.
4. Return the mixture to the pan, and cook until a temperature of 83°C is reached.
5. Pass through a sieve, leave to cool and churn using an ice cream machine. For the white chocolate sauce Ingredients: 175g white chocolate 115g full fat milk 50ml double cream 25g caster sugar 25g butter
1. Bring the milk and cream to the boil. Once boiling, add the sugar, stirring constantly.
2. Add the chocolate and butter gradually and continue to stir, to achieve a sauce-like consistency.
To assemble the dish
These cookies are best served warm, topped with a scoop of ice cream and drizzled with white chocolate sauce.