Dauntingly I’ve found myself with quite the backlog of recipes to post. My rather unscripted process is to cook something new with a vague thought in the back of my mind that it might turn out to be blog-worthy. I scrawl notes as I go, take a couple of off-the-cuff photos and squirrel it all away thinking it’ll only take a week or so for me to realise their full bloggy-glory. Clearly this is far from my child-rich, time-poor reality.
However! I’m sneaking some time in today to write up this quick and seriously delicious fruit cook-up which was an idea passed on to me a few years ago by a good friend. My second daughter has just turned one so I’m back on the small-person, food-introduction wagon once more. I can hardly remember having done this the first time! I’m hoping to bridge the gap between cooking food for the littles and the bigs much more efficiently than first time around. This little recipe is an absolute gem where this is concerned. I found myself falling into the “one spoonful for you, one for me” rhythm all too quickly before I reminded myself (somewhat begrudgingly) that it’s kind of my job to fill her stomach before my own. I shouldn’t have worried as there was ample left for me to wolf down when her tiny back was turned.
This isn’t a custard, by any stretch, but the addition of the almonds at the end of the apple cooking time gives it a somewhat loosely comparable custardy consistency. Semantics aside, this is yum from start to finish. You could easily add this to your breakfast repertoire for the whole family and find yourself leaping out of bed with glee on your assigned Apple Almond Custard Day. It would also pass very nicely as a nutritious mid-week lunch or even dessert. The coulis adds a beautiful layer of fruity sweetness on top of the tart, creamy yoghurt and finishes this healthy little dish off to perfection.
QUICK BERRY COULIS (serves 2)
INGREDIENTS (makes 1/2 cup approx)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (or fresh if you can get your hands on them)
1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
1. Put all ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat with the lid on, but slightly ajar. Cook for 3 minutes then remove from the heat. If you’re reckless like me you can blitz them straight away but the cautious, patient person hidden deep inside of me would recommend you allow the liquid to cool for 5 minutes before blitzing briefly with a stick blender to break the berries down a little (you can skip this step if you don’t have concerns over berries being a choking hazard for your little one).
2. Return to the heat and simmer gently for approximately 5 further minutes, lid off, to reduce the liquid down to an almost jam-like consistency. Remove from the heat, pour into a small bowl and set aside to cool. If not using straight away store in a container in the fridge (will keep for 3-4 days).
APPLE & ALMOND CUSTARD
1 medium apple (100g approx once peeled/chopped)
1/2 cup water
Zest of half a lemon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure maple syrup
1/3 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
1. Peel the apple and chop into small chunks.
2. Put all the ingredients, except the ground almonds, into a small saucepan and simmer gently for 10 minutes (lid on/slightly ajar) until the apples are tender but not mushy.
3. Add the ground almonds and give it a quick stir before removing from the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving (I blitz the apple mix just a little with a stick blender to break the chunks down to baby-friendly size).
4. Place a large spoonful of the apple and almond custard into a bowl, top with a good dollop of greek yoghurt and some berry coulis to finish.