Berry and bright

Chef Derek John­stone cre­ates a de­li­cious dessert from fes­tive fruits

The Herald on Sunday - Sunday Herald Life - - Food And Drink -

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

Method:

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

Method:

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

Method:

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.

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