Monthly Archive: January 2017



Poached pear and figs with toasted almonds

For 4


8 dried figs

1 cinnamon quill (about 8-10cm long)

2 star anise

2 cloves

1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthways

the juice of 1 lemon and 1 strip of its peel (make sure there is no pith attached)

100g unrefined caster sugar

4 firm ripe pears (Williams, Comice, Conference or concord)

60g flaked almonds, toasted


Little Melton pear yogurt – as much as you want

Remove the woody stem from the figs and cut into halves or quarters, depending how big they are.

Place in a pan (that will comfortably hold the pears) and add the spices, vanilla, lemon juice and peel and the sugar.

Add 600ml water and bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

Peel the pears and cut in half lengthways. Remove the core and seeds with a teaspoon or melon-baller, and add to the simmering liquid.

The liquid needs to just cover the pears, if there isn’t enough then top up with boiling water. Bring to the boil, then return to a rapid simmer.

Make a cartouche by cutting a disc of baking parchment the a little larger than the diameter of the pan (use the lid as a template) and cut a small hole in the middle (to let steam escape). Sit this on top of the pears and cook for at least 20 minutes, although the pears may need 30-40 in total. They’re cooked when a thin knife can be very easily inserted. Leave to cool completely in the pot, then store, covered in the liquid, in the fridge for up to 5 days.

To serve, place 2 pear halves in a bowl along with the equivalent of 1 fig, spoon on some of the poaching liquid and dollop on the pear yogurt then scatter with the almonds.

Note: the poaching liquid can be used several times for poaching fruit. It can also be reduced to a syrup before being strained and used to drizzle over desserts or mixed with tonic water or sparkling water as a refreshing drink. Or add a slug of gin if it’s that time of the day!


Recipe (c) Peter Gordon 2011



Sweetcorn and blueberry fritters with bacon, rocket and avocado salad

For 4–6 (makes 8–12 fritters depending on the size)


100g flour

50g wholemeal flour

50g polenta

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

2 eggs

330ml buttermilk (or use a runny unflavoured yogurt)

50ml extra virgin avocado oil, plus more for cooking the fritters (or use a light olive oil)

1 corn cob, husk removed (or 150g canned corn kernels, drained)

1 punnet blueberries (you can use frozen ones)

1 large avocado

1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

30 ml (2 Tablespoons) lemon juice

smoked streaky bacon – as much as you want

2 handfuls of rocket


Little Melton blueberry yogurt – as much as you want

Sieve the flours, polenta, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and 30ml of the avocado oil in a large bowl, then tip the dry mixture in and whisk it briskly to form a thick batter. Leave for 15 minutes before cooking to allow the polenta to expand.

Lay the corn cob flat on a chopping board. Using a serrated knife, cut the kernels from it and add these to the fritter batter along with the blueberries. Mix and leave for 15 minutes.

Halve the avocado, remove the stone and scoop the flesh from the skin using a large spoon. Cut into chunks and mix with the tomatoes, the remaining 20ml avocado oil and the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper and put to one side.

Cook the bacon and keep warm.

Heat up a wide fry-pan and drizzle a few teaspoons of avocado oil in. Give the fritter mix a gentle stir and dollop spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan then cook over a moderate heat until coloured. Don’t overcrowd the pan.

Carefully flip over and cook on the other side until they’re cooked in the centre – it’ll take around 3–5 minutes all up, depending how large you make them. Once cooked, take from the pan and sit on a platter while you cook the rest.

To serve, place 2 fritters on each plate, lay some bacon on top and dollop on the blueberry yogurt. Toss the avocado salad with the rocket and sit on top.


Recipe (c) Peter Gordon 2011