Baked Pear & Amaretto Cheesecake with Del Monte

img_4662

If you’re of my generation (40 something and rapidly heading towards 50) you’ll probably remember the Sunday tea time treat of tinned fruit and evaporated milk that you used to have.  It’s not something you tend to see too often now though.  However tinned fruit is not just tasty and convenient, but it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals.  A product no longer confined to just grabbing the tin opener, opening the tin and pouring the contents into a bowl before smothering it with evaporated milk or ice cream; or simply just placing a ring of pineapple on to your gammon steak; you can use it in many different recipes, to prepare delicious food without the faff and fuss of having to peel, slice and prepare it yourself.

Del Monte canned fruit

I’ve adapted a baked cheesecake recipe that I use and have incorporated a tin of Del Monte pears which pair perfectly with almonds and Amaretto for an added depth of flavour.

Del Monte canned fruit

Base:

  • 50g Unsalted butter
  • 8 Digestive biscuits, crushed

Cheesecake:

  • 400g Philadelphia Cheese
  • 250g Mascarpone Cheese
  • 410g Del Monte tinned pears, drained
  • 3 Eggs
  • 60ml Amaretto
  • 15g Ground almonds
  • 75g Caster sugar
  1. Heat the oven to 190ºC (170º Fan).
  2. Line a 20cm / 8” spring form tin with baking parchment.
  3. Melt the butter, add this to the crushed biscuits and mix together thoroughly.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Pour this biscuit mixture into the base of your prepared tin and press down evenly.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Place in the fridge to cool whilst you prepare your cheesecake filling.
  2. In a food processor, add 150g of the drained pears, the Philadelphia and mascarpone cheeses, the eggs, Amaretto, almonds and the sugar.  I find that using my Kenwood food processor makes this an incredibly easy and quick process
  3. Blitz these together until smooth.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Drain the remaining pears from the juice and cut into approx. 5mm pieces.
  2. Stir the pear pieces into the cheesecake mixture to evenly distribute.
  3. Pour this mixture over the biscuit base in the tin.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Bake in the oven for approx. 40 mins until the top has started to colour and there is still a very slight ‘wobble’ in the middle of the cheesecake.

Del Monte canned fruit

  1. Turn off the oven, but leave the cheesecake in there, with the door slightly open until it’s cooled completely. (Leaving the cheesecake to cool slowly in the oven allows it set fully and prevents it from cracking).
  2. Remove the cheesecake from the tin and serve, cut in to small slices.

Del Monte canned fruit

I was sent a selection of canned fruits from Del Monte along with a gift voucher to purchase additional ingredients with to develop this recipe. 

Review – Patak Chicken Tikka Masala

img_3744

In a hurry?  No time to cook from scratch? Need a quick and tasty dinner cooked straight from the freezer?  Yes, sometimes we all do!

Although I’m not normally one to buy ready meals, sometimes we all have to make sure dinner is on the table quickly if we’re in a rush, and the other night was no exception. As I was late in from work, and rushing to get out the door again, it called for me to have a ‘quick on draw’ dinner.  Luckily, Patak’s had sent me one of their new range of frozen Chicken Tikka Masala ready meals to review so I could get this out of the freezer, into the microwave and on the table in a matter of only 10 minutes, which was hardly time to get changed and ready to go out again!

Patak's Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal

The packaging says it’s medium strength, however I personally think it was quite mild. The chicken was lean and stayed succulent in a generous portion of sauce and the pilau rice stayed in individual grains and not a gloopy lump of stodge. The smell was so tantalising that my husband appeared and miraculously managed to have a fork in his hand to dig in and share my dinner; the cheeky boy!

Patak's Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal

As the mother of a son at Uni, I think this would also make a perfect freezer filler for him during study time when the books are calling and there is less time for him to cook his own curry from scratch.

At 550 Calories per pack, it’s possibly a little higher than I would normally eat, however the saturated fat at 3.4g made it a less of a guilt and more of a pleasure and much more of reasonable calorific intake than a take away curry would.  I’d certainly buy a couple of these as quick stand by dinners for my freezer.

Patak's Chicken Tikka Masala ready meal

Thanks to Patak’s PR company for arranging to send me a sample to review.

 

Jersey Royal Potato and Vegetable Curry

image

One of the recipes I’m sharing with you using the deliciously nutty and seasonal Jersey Royal Potatoes in collaboration with Asda is for a vegetable curry. Inspired from a recipe my husband found online, he’s adapted and cooked this one for me (as I’m currently recovering from having knee surgery a couple of days ago, and therefore not able to stand for periods of time). Thanks Will x

The ingredients aren’t set in stone for this one; add or remove ingredients that you do or don’t like. (I personally don’t like mushrooms, but he does, so they went in and I picked them out of my dinner). The Mange Tout came from our garden, the French beans were reduced in price in our local supermarket as they had to be sold on the day, as was the courgette. All other ingredients we had at home as staples in our cupboards/fridge.  It looks like a lot of ingredients, I know!

  • 30ml Sunflower oil
  • 2.5ml Black Mustard seeds
  • 2.5ml Cumin seeds
  • 2.5ml Fennel seeds
  • 2.5ml Fenugreek seeds
  • 3 Cardamon pods
  • 1 medium Red onion, chopped
  • 1 large White onion, chopped
  • 3 sticks Celery, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2.5cm fresh Ginger, grated
  • 5 cloves Garlic, crushed
  • 5ml Salt
  • Medium sweet potato, cubed
  • 10-12 Jersey Royals, cubed
  • 5ml Chilli powder
  • 5ml Turmeric
  • 5ml Cumin
  • 5ml ground Coriander
  • 1 whole Chilli, finely chopped
  • handful of French Beans, sliced in half horizontally
  • 8-10 Mange Tout, sliced in half horizontally
  • 1 cup frozen Peas
  • 1 medium Courgette, diced
  • 50g button Mushrooms, halved
  • Can coconut milk
  • Fresh coriander, chopped.
  1. Prepare all your vegetables as above.  You can keep the following together in bowls as they’ll be added to the curry together in batches:
  • Red and white onions.
  • Celery and carrots.
  • Sweet potato and Jersey Royals.
  • French beans and mange tout.
  • Peas and courgettes.
  • Mushrooms.

(This is how my husband preps his ingredients to cook – I have to leave the kitchen; it’s all too much organisation for me!)

Jersey Royals with Asda

2. In a large saucepan/frying pan with a lid, heat the oil and add your mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and cardamon pods.  Cook for 2-3 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse the oil.  The seeds may start to pop as they cook, don’t worry, this is normal.

3. Add the celery and the carrots, stir to coat evenly in the spiced oil and cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the ginger, garlic and salt and coat evenly.  Cook gently for 4-5 minutes.

5. Add the sweet potato and the Jersey Royals, stir thoroughly and cook for 2-3 minutes.  If the vegetables start to stick to the pan, add a splash of water to loosen the mixture.

6. Add the chilli powder, turmeric, cumin powder and coriander powder, stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.

7. Add the fresh chilli and stir thoroughly.  Cook for 1-2 minutes.

8. Add the French beans, mange tout and stir.  Place the lid on the pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

9. Add the frozen peas and diced courgettes.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Jersey Royals with Asda

10. Stir in the mushrooms.  Place the lid on the pan and cook for 5 minutes.

11. Add the coconut milk, bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, put the lid on and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the vegetables are all cooked.

Jersey Royals with Asda

12. Finally stir through the chopped coriander and serve with boiled rice.

Jersey Royals with Asda

He cooked this on his little camping stove in the garden to tease the neighbours I think with the delicious smells, but we didn’t invite them to share the meal with us! HAHA!

This recipe is cooked in collaboration with Asda and Jersey Royals to highlight the versatility and great flavour of Jersey Royal potatoes.