Food blogger Kerstin Rodgers and award-winning South African chef, Reuben Riffel, have developed a range of tasty recipes using South African stone fruit.
South African plums, peaches and nectarines are at their seasonal best during the UK winter, until mid-April, and are widely available in UK supermarkets.
- Rich Lady peaches Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a juicy golden fleshed peach with a very sweet flavour
- Alpine nectarines Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a red blush skin nectarine with a golden tinge and yellow flesh
- Sapphire plums Ã¢â‚¬â€œ a dark purple skin plum with a gold-pink flesh
- 8 to 10 South African nectarines halved and pitted
- 200g unsalted butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 2 vanilla pods, split
- 320 all butter ready rolled puff pastry
This upside down tart is commonly made with apples but other fruits also work well such as pears, plums nectarines or peaches. It’s very easy to make but have the courage to let the nectarines caramelise; let them cook slowly for enough time so that their juices blend with the butter and sugar. You will also need a bit of courage to flip over the pie. You will need a frying pan that has an oven proof handle.
- Smear the butter generously on the bottom and sides of the frying pan.
- Place the nectarine halves, cut side up into the pan; pack them in tightly, they will shrink as they cook. Then sprinkle over the sugar and add the vanilla pods. Place the frying pan over a medium heat, the butter, sugar and nectarines will take about 15 to 20 minutes to turn a lovely golden colour.
- Preheat the oven to 200c.
- Cut the puff pastry into a circle that covers the circumference of the frying pan; this will be the lid (and eventually the bottom) of the tart tatin.
- Remove the frying pan from the heat and flop the puff pastry circle over the frying pan and put it into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes or until the pastry is pale gold and risen.
- Remove from the oven and prepare a flat plat larger than the frying pan. Then hold the plate over the frying pan and quickly flip it over so that the pastry is on the bottom. Remove the frying pan, nudging any displaced nectarines back into place. You will now see the beautiful sunset-hued tarte tatin.
- Enjoy with a scoop of crÃƒÂ¨me fraiche or double cream.
- 150g self-raising flour
- 100g candied or crystallised ginger
- 100g sultanas
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 100g dark brown sugar
- 100g suet (or vegetarian suet)
- 1 tsp mixed spice powder
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 6 South African plums, stones removed, sliced thinly
- 1 apple, cored, grated
- 75ml dark rum
- 2 eggs
- 225ml milk
This is of course a traditional Christmas recipe; a steamed pudding in the style of a Christmas pudding. If you have never made a steamed pudding before, it might seem a bit intimidating but it’s really not difficult to make. You will need string, a size 2 pudding bowl, greaseproof paper and tinfoil. Serve with brandy butter or cream.
- Mix the flour, sultanas, breadcrumbs, sugar, suet and spices together then add the South African plums and apple, rum, eggs and milk.
- Thickly butter a size 2 pudding bowl and sprinkle with sugar (this helps it to be lit if you want to set fire to it when serving).
- Butter and sugar a piece of greaseproof paper big enough to cover the top of the pudding bowl. Then pour in the batter. Cover the bowl with the greaseproof paper then a layer of tinfoil. Smooth it down so that it makes a seal. Then tie a string around the lip of the pudding bowl, knot it and make a’handle’ by looping the string over to the other side of the bowl then tying it again.
- Prepare a pan deep and wide enough for the bowl to sit in with a lid that will fit over the top. Place the pudding bowl in the pan and fill halfway up the bowl with hot water. Place on a medium heat and steam the pudding for at least three hours (though you can steam it for up to five hours), checking every so often to make sure the water hasn’t run dry.
- After three hours, remove the bowl from the pan and serve immediately. If you want to keep it until Christmas Day, replace the greaseproof lid and you can add more rum to keep it moist. To reheat, steam it for another hour.
- 10 South African plums, halved and pitted
- 200g caster sugar
- 150g butter
- 2 star anise
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- 250g of ricotta cheese
- 3 tbsp of date syrup (honey is a good alternative)
- 50g pine nuts
- 30g poppy seeds
- Icing sugar to finish
- 4 sheets of filo pastry
This is a very typical African dish, usually savoury but here made with South African plums to make a stunning dish for a dinner party dessert.
- Preheat the oven to 200ºc.
- Put the halved plums into a medium saucepan with the sugar, 50g of the butter and star anise. Cook on a medium to low heat until the plums are poached, about 15 minutes. Then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Melt the rest of the butter.
- Placing the springform cake tin on the baking tray, drape the first sheet of filo pastry over and into the cake tin. Brush the surface with the melted butter. Do this with the other three sheets, criss -crossing them so that the entire inside of the cake tin is covered, but you have enough hanging over the sides to eventually cover the filling. Brush each layer with melted butter as you go.
- Mix the ricotta with the vanilla, date syrup (or honey) and the pine nuts. Spread this mixture over the bottom of the cake tin. Then add the plums, removing the star anise.
- Cover the top of the pie by bringing up the hanging down sides of filo and overlapping it on top of the pie. It doesn’t matter if it is crinkly and folded this is all part of the charm. Brush some more melted butter on top.
- Put the baking tray with the pie inside the springform cake tin into the oven. After 15 minutes, slide it out of the oven and remove the springform tin and sprinkle the poppy seeds on the top. Put it back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes until the top is golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool briefly. With a spatula (or two) remove the pie from the baking tray and place on a decorative plate for serving. Sprinkle the top with a dusting of icing sugar.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3-4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 tbsp finely grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp each paprika and cinnamon
- ¼ to ½ tsp red chilli flakes
- 4-5 South African peaches, skinned *
- 1 small sweet potato, cut into small bite-size pieces
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 125ml water
- ½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted
- ½ tsp salt
- 50g raisins
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp pinenuts, toasted
- Chopped coriander
- Heat the oil in a large, wide frying pan over medium heat and add the onion and chicken
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink
- Stir in ginger, garlic and seasonings
- Add peaches, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and their juice, water, olives and salt
- Stir. Bring to the boil
- Cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until potato is soft, 15 to 20 minutes
- Stir in raisins, salt and pepper to taste
- Serve over couscous or rice, sprinkled with pinenuts and coriander
- 8 large ripe South African nectarines
- 200g caster sugar
- 3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and split
- 2 stalks lemongrass, crushed
- 2 limes, halved
- 250ml double cream
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Vanilla ice cream
- Plunge the nectarines in boiling water for 30 seconds
- Transfer them to a bowl of iced water, then drain and peel
- In a pot just large enough to hold the nectarines, stir together 1 litre of water, 200g sugar, the ginger, and lemongrass
- Squeeze in the lime juice, and add the halves
- Bring to boil, add the peaches, and boil for 1 minute more
- Let the peaches cool in the syrup, then cut 4 into chunks and puree the other 4
- Discard the limes, strain the syrup, and reserve it
- Whip the cream with the vanilla and the remaining sugar until medium peaks form
- Fill the bottoms of the glasses with peach puree
- Stir together the peaches, 100ml of the syrup, and a handful of the berries, and divide among four dessert glasses
- Add the cream, top with two scoops of ice cream, and finish with more whipped cream and blueberries
* Top tip: to reduce the fat content, use low fat Greek yogurt in place of the cream and stir in the sugar and vanilla rather than whipping it.
- 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 fresh fennel bulb, finely sliced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3-4 South African plums, halved and pitted
- 50g gorgonzola, coarsely crumbled
- 50g toasted pecan nuts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- fennel slices
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 150C
- Combine the sweet potato, garlic, oil, fennel and spices in a bowl. Season to taste and tip into a roasting tin. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until the sweet potato has caramelised and softened. Cool
- Drizzle the halved plums with oil and grill for 5 minutes, until nicely marked. Cut into slices
- Scrape up the spiced cooking oil and add the 2 tbsp of olive oil. Whisk in the red wine vinegar. Check the seasoning
- To serve, divide the spinach leaves between 4 plates. Toss the roasted sweet potato with the dressing and place on top of the spinach. Arrange a few chopped plums on top and scatter with pecans and gorgonzola