Winter provides plenty of great fruits for comforting sweet endings.
Mandarins are sweeter than other citrus varieties and are so easy to peel and delicious to eat as a snack that not many of them finish up in desserts. However, here are some ideas:
- Heat segments in a little orange or mandarin juice, thicken with cornflour or arrowroot and serve in pancakes or over ice cream.
- Make an orange jelly using coconut cream and add mandarin segments.
- Chop mandarins and add to and orange cake or muffins.
Tamarillos can be expensive but they can be ‘stretched’ by combining with other fruits such as apple or banana in crumbles, or frozen blueberries in cheesecakes. As with mandarins, tamarillos explode with flavour and are a great source of vitamin C. Plus tams are high in potassium and low in sodium — a desirable balance for a healthy diet — and a good source of vitamin E and beta carotene which, like vitamin C, help protect against free radicals.
Bananas are such a popular everyday snack that they’re often forgotten as a dishy dessert. But banoffee pie, bananas jubilee, banana cream pie and banana cake (served warm with yoghurt) are yummy, inexpensive and very appealing. Botanically bananas are berries and considered one of the world’s healthiest. A very good source of vitamin B6, they also contain substantial amounts of manganese, potassium, vitamin C and copper.
And don't underestimate the apple — its phytonutrients can help regulate blood sugar.
Cinnamon ‘n raspberry jam doughnut yoghurt is the perfect match for this crumble dessert. Any leftover crumble can be stored in the refrigerator for weeks. Serves 4
1 cup gluten-free flour
100g chilled butter, diced
½ cup each: shredded coconut, brown sugar
100g sliced almonds
4 apples, peeled & sliced
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
¼ cup sugar
1½ cups The Collective Limited Edition Doughnut Yoghurt or use natural yoghurt of your choice
- To make the crumble, preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a roasting pan.
- Place the flour and butter in a food processor and mix until well crumbled. Tip into a bowl and add the coconut, brown sugar and almonds. Mix well.
- Spread the mixture in the roasting pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden, stirring often. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes about 4 cups.
- Cook the apples, raspberries and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until softened and cooked. Cool.
- To serve, place some apple and raspberry combo in 4 tall glasses. Top with half the yoghurt and about a ¼ cup of the crumble mixture. Garnish with more yoghurt.
Prepare ahead if necessary and reheat — covered — in the microwave. Serves 6
1½ cups plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 pinch salt
75g butter, chopped
½ cup cream
4 large tamarillos
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ cup sugar
¾ cup water
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Lightly grease a round 20cm baking dish.
- Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor and whizz quickly to combine. Add the butter and whizz until well mixed. Pour in the cream and mix until a ball forms. Cover and chill while preparing the tamarillos.
- Peel the tamarillos and coarsely chop. Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Roll out the dough to a 23cm x 30cm rectangle. Spread the tamarillos over the top. Sprinkle with the brown sugar mixture. Roll up from the long side.
- Cut into slices about 4cm long. Place, cut-side down, in the baking dish. Boil the sugar and water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour down the side of the baking dish.
- Bake for about 20 minutes. Great served hot with whipped cream or yoghurt.
This mandarin topping is a great disguise for plain cheesecakes purchased from the supermarket. Serves 8
125g plain biscuit crumbs
75g butter, melted
½ teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 tablespoon powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons water
250g spreadable cream cheese
½ cup caster sugar
¼ cup each: lemon juice, mandarin juice
1 cup cream, whipped
11g packet orange flavoured jelly crystals
1 cup boiling water
6 large mandarins, peeled & segmented, pith removed
460g can lychees, drained and patted dry
75g chocolate, chopped
- Lightly oil a 22cm round, loose-based cake pan.
- Combine the biscuit crumbs, butter and mixed spice. Lightly press onto the base of the cake pan. Freeze, until hard.
- Soak the gelatine in the water for 5 minutes then dissolve in the microwave. Cool.
- Beat the cream cheese and caster sugar, until soft and smooth. Add the citrus juices plus the cooled gelatine. Mix well. Lightly fold in the whipped cream. Pour onto the base. Chill, until firm.
- Combine the jelly and boiling water, stirring to dissolve. Stand the bowl over icy water to cool and thicken. Stir often.
- Cut the cheesecake into 8 wedges. Stand on a cake rack. Arrange the mandarin segments and lychees on the cheesecake wedges.
- When the jelly is thickened, drizzle over the mandarins and lychees. Place in the refrigerator to set.
- Melt the chocolate over and drizzle a little over each wedge.