From Pure Vegetarian, Paul Gayler, Kyle Cathie Ltd, 2008.
I don’t often make sweets but this one did look as though it might be worth trying. The idea of a pear rosti appealed.
Firstly I soaked dried apricots, about 150g in water for an hour. I also soaked a slightly lesser amount of dried prunes.
While they soaked I melted 3 tablespoons caster sugar in a saucepan with a teaspoon of water. When it was golden I added 20g butter and when it had melted added about 3 tablespoons blanched almonds. I cooked—or tried to cook them—until they had caramelised. Actually I think that the butter quantity quoted was too much and it didn’t work too well. I ended up with a caramel that was very oily and had to put it in the fridge to make it set. Even then it was not right. It was a poorly made caramel inside a butter coating. Not good.
I now made the rosti. Two pears were grated then squeezed tightly to remove any liquid. They were mixed with two egg yolks, maple syrup and a couple of tablespoons semolina. This made a rather loose mixture that made me unsure about how well it would fry. Anyway it was formed into four rissole shapes and fried in butter. The rosti did stay rather soft; they browned but did not crisp up as I imagined they should. I placed them in the oven to keep them warm.
Now 20g butter was placed in a frying pan and melted. About 50ml of honey was added and when it began to bubble the drained apricots and prunes, together with about 150g white grapes also went in. They were stirred around in the honey until coated. About 50ml cognac was poured in and lit. It soon burned out, at which stage the juice of half a lemon was added with a teaspoon chopped rosemary. The cooking now continued until the juices had thickened a little.
To serve a rosti was placed on a plate and the fruits spooned around. Some almonds were placed on top.
I did find this almost too sweet for my palate. The pear flavour of the rosti seemed to be almost lost in the sweet sauce of the fruits. I wasn’t overly excited about this dish.
Ease of cooking: ✔✔✔
We did not eat all of the dish that night but since I made the Tattie Hushie I have been making porridge each morning. I found that the fruits added to the porridge worked wonderfully. I didn’t place the rosti in the porridge with the fruits, but by itself. And now the flavour of the pear came through strongly making the porridge particularly good.