Apple and Peach Crumble

You can use other fruit for this tasty dessert, but apple is always a winner.


6 peeled and cored apples
4 ripe peaches
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
2 cups flour
2/3 cups softened butter
2/3 cups brown sugar

apple pie


  • Set the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Cut the fruit into pieces and place in a pie dish.
  • Sprinkle some brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger on top.
  • In a mixing bowl add the flour and rub in the butter until it looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the sugar and mix it in.
  • Place the crumble on top of the fruit.
  • Put the crumble in the oven until it's golden.
  • It takes about 20 minutes.

Tastes great with cream or ice cream.

Serves 4

Fruit Kebabs with Mascarpone Cheese

Don't use fruit that is too soft, or it will just disintegrate. Things like pineapple, nectarines or peaches make a good combination. For kids who are problem eaters this is a great way to introduce fruit to them. You can do this often, just leave off the sauce.


Fruit for grilling
4 wooden skewers
superfine sugar
4 Tbsp mascarpone cheese


  • Cut the fruit into wedges and put them in a grill pan.
  • When they are done attach them to the skewers.
  • Sprinkle some sugar over the fruit.
  • Serve with mascarpone cream cheese.

Serves 4

Poached Pears in Chocolate Sauce

Poached pears can do with a lift like this. This is a nice, impressive one to serve your guests - easy at the same time.


1 orange, zested
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
½ cup superfine sugar
2 Tbsp sherry
4 pears, peeled with stalks remaining
chocolate sauce

poached pears


  • Cut the orange in half.
  • Squeeze the juice into a saucepan with the zest, vanilla, cloves, cinnamon sticks, sugar and sherry.
  • Add a little water and bring to a boil.
  • Add the pears and reduce to a simmer.
  • It takes about 20 minutes.
  • Add a little of the syrup to each dish with the pear and cover in chocolate sauce.

Serves 4

Sweet Pastry

You can make quite a lot of this and keep it in the freezer. Take it out when you need it.


1 cup butter
½ cup superfine sugar
1 egg
3 cups flour


  • Mix the butter, sugar and egg.
  • Add the flour.
  • Wrap in plastic film and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • When using this crust to line a pie pan, don't make it too thick because it's just basically a casing.
  • To blind bake this after you have lined the pan with dough, put it in the fridge for 1 hour, then line it with aluminium foil and put some uncooked rice inside.
  • This is done so that the base does not rise up during cooking.
  • Set the oven to 160°C/320°F and bake for about 10-15 minutes.

Makes 3 tart shells

Chocolate Tart

This is a chocoholic's dream and it's so easy. You can use the rest of the mixture for chocolate mousse, but don't leave it in the fridge longer than a day because the eggs may go bad.


1x sweet pastry (see recipe)
2 cups milk
½ cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup good quality chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup flour
4 eggs, separated

chocolate tart


  • Use sweet pastry as the shell. Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F.
  • Bring the milk and half of the sugar to boil (leave a little milk behind to mix with the flour).
  • Add the vanilla.
  • When the milk has boiled, add the chocolate.
  • Sift the cornstarch, flour and salt together into a bowl.
  • Mix this with some of the milk to make a paste.
  • Add the boiling milk to the paste.
  • Return to the stove until it thickens, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from the heat and fold in the egg yolks.
  • Whisk the egg whites to stiff peak stage.
  • Add the rest of the sugar slowly.
  • Keep whisking until all the sugar is mixed in.
  • Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and pour into the pastry shell.
  • This should take about 20 minutes to bake.

Makes 1 Tart

Baked Nectarines

This is as easy as it gets.


2 nectarines
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp brown sugar
4 graham crackers, crushed
3 Tbsp slivered almonds
4 Tbsp mascarpone cheese


  • Set the oven to 180°C/350°F.
  • Cut the nectarines in half.
  • Take out the seeds and scoop the flesh out.
  • Mix the butter, brown sugar, crushed cookies, nectarine pulp, and almonds together and spoon into each nectarine.
  • Place the nectarines on a baking tray.
  • Leave in the oven for about 15 minutes or until soft.
  • Serve with spoonful of mascarpone cheese.

Serves 4

Strawberry and Balsamic Meringue Pie

The taste of the balsamic vinegar is great with the strawberries. A lot of people are not keen on lemon curd, finding fruit and meringue a better option.


1x sweet pastry recipe (see recipe)

2-½ cups frozen strawberries
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup water

Meringue mixture
2 egg whites
½ cup superfine sugar

meringue pie


  • Blind bake the pastry.
  • In the meantime place the strawberries in a pan with the water on a gentle heat.
  • When the strawberries are soft add the sugar and balsamic vinegar.
  • Let the pastry cool for a few minutes.
  • Set the oven to 120°C/250°F.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they become stiff and add the sugar gradually, but keep on whisking.
  • Place the strawberries on top of the pastry with a little of the syrup and cover completely with the meringue mixture.
  • Place the tart on a baking tray and leave it in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the meringue is hard.

Makes 1 large tart.

Apple and Pecan Pancakes

I wanted to use fruit with pancakes and found that grating it is the best option. This dessert is more like crepes than American pancakes.


1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
4 Tbsp superfine sugar
2 eggs
2 cups milk
4 apples, grated
4 Tbsp pecan nuts, chopped

  • Sift the flour and salt together and add the sugar.
  • Add the eggs and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  • Pour in the milk while continuing to whisk to a smooth batter.
  • Pour the mixture through a strainer to get rid of any lumps.
  • Add the apples and pecans.
  • Leave the mixture in the fridge for 1 hour before making the pancakes.
  • I think it's easier to fry the pancakes in a small pan.

Makes about 20 small pancakes

Bread and Butter Pudding

I have to include an old family favorite and spice it up a little. I don't think my Nan used cream, but it makes it richer, a proper dessert.


7 slices white bread, crusts cut off
4 Tbsp butter, softened
4 Tbsp raisins
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 Tbsp cream
8 Tbsp milk
3 egg yolks
8 Tbsp superfine sugar
1 tsp brown sugar for the top
½ tsp cinnamon

bread and butter pudding


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter the bread and cut the slices into triangles. Butter a dish for the pudding. Place the triangles in the dish in 2 layers. Sprinkle the raisins in between the layers. Add the vanilla extract to the cream and milk. Bring the mixture to the boil.

Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Leave the cream mixture to cool for a few minutes, and then slowly add the mixture to the egg yolks, stirring constantly.

Pour the custard over the bread and let it stand for 20 minutes before baking. Put the dish in a double boiler. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the pudding begins to set. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon on top.

Serves 2