I know fruit can be rather prosaic, particularly when served as a dessert; more so when it’s fresh fruit salad. Lets face it; when we want dessert, we want a hint of indulgence and rarely does fruit hit the mark. This recipe, however, would arguable please anyone. And I really think this is a great dessert after a heavy or rich meal. If you place a big plate of baked fruit in front of your guests, hand them a fork with a bowl of yoghurt cream, I can assure you, they will be clapping.
This dish is simple but I promise, you will get great rewards for a little bit of effort. What’s more, it fills the house with an intoxicating aromatic scent; you’ll be closing the windows to keep it in the house for as long as you can.
You can choose any fruit you like, but it must be resilent to baking. You could consider including other fruit such as apples and figs.
1 vanilla pod, halved
4 cinnamon quills
4 star Anise
100ml plain yoghurt
100ml fresh cream
3 tbs brandy
4 tbs brown sugar
Pre heat the oven to 180C.
Begin by halving or quartering the fruit and removing the stones and cores. Place the fruit in a baking tray.
Splash the brandy and generously sprinkle the brown sugar over the top. Scatter the vanilla pod, cinnamon quills and the star anise amongst the pieces.
Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, at which point, remove the tray from the oven and gently baste the fruit with the brandy syrup. Replace the tray back in the oven and continue to bake for a further 15 minutes.
While the final baking is underway, whip the cream to soft peaks, then fold the yoghurt through. The yoghurt cream does not need any added sugar – the fruit will give loads of sweetness.
When the fruit is cooked, it should be soft and tender but not mashable – it should be able to hold it’s shape.
Place the fruit on a large plate and gently spoon the brandy syrup over the top. Add the vanilla pod, cinnamon and star anise for that extra element of presentation. Give everyone a fork and let them loose.
One word of caution: the syrup will be scalding, so please take care. Perhaps let the dish sit for a few minutes to cool to a safe, palatable temperature. This dish would easily cope with being served at room temperature.
Without the brandy, you could serve this dish as a breakfast, chilled from the fridge.