Saturday, 18 August 2012

Thanks a Bunch!

Budino di Semolina al Forno, con Uva Fresca e Mandorle
Baked Semolina Pudding with Grapes and Almonds

Yep, I guess it was my day for grape dishes today! First the salad and then this delicious and simple dessert! I am a great fan of semolina pudding at all times and this combo of grapes and almonds was perfect!

As with any recipe though, it was the spice that made it really special- cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla, along with a little lime zest, gave this pudding a more complex and interesting flavor. That with the crunchy toasted almonds and the juicy fresh grapes... well- it is a pretty difficult dessert to beat! So grab yourselves a bunch of grapes and give it a go!

I measured 2 coffee mugs full of milk and brought it up to the boil in a small saucepan. I added a pinch of salt and a heaped tablespoonful of Stevia. I then gently poured in the semolina, stirring swiftly with a whisk all the time, until I noticed it begin to thicken.  I then added a teaspoon of cinnamon, a half teaspoon of vanilla essence, a little pinch of nutmeg and 2-3 pieces of lime peel and whisked these in until nice and smooth. 

I kept it on a low simmer and stirred occasionally, but in the meantime, quickly toasted a handful of almonds to add into the pudding. As soon as they were done, it was time to turn on the oven, get it hot and ready and get busy with assembling this little sweet dish of mine!

I spooned out a nice thick base of pudding and then pressed grapes into it at equal distances between each other and then pressed an almond into the spaces in-between. I then added a second, thick layer of semolina on top and repeated the same procedure... easy!

The finishing touch would be a nice sprinkle of cinnamon sugar and having added that, I placed it, still rather hot, into the hot oven for around 10 minutes. I had the temperature at 33°F. After 10 minutes, everything is nicely up to temperature and the sugar has begun to dissolve slightly- and it is at this point that you turn on your broiler and give it 2-3 minutes to really become a nice color.

This was delicious piping hot, but I am pretty sure that it would have been equally delicious cooled. In any case, it is wonderful that with such a short cooking time, the grapes remain juicy, crisp and fresh and the contrast with the crunchy almonds really works well! At least it did for me this evening... but you are going to have to try it for yourselves to find out! So why not go ahead and do so- and enjoy!

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