You can say one thing for our recipe posts – they’re definitely international!
We’ve gone from China, via the USA to this week where we’re in the North Africa/Middle East region with pitta and hummus recipes.
Pitta and hummus is a mainstay in our house. It’s a quick, healthy snack when you don’t feel like cooking.
They’re both fairly inexpensive to buy – both less than a pound for a standard pack.
Being so easy to pick up in the shops, I’ve never really thought to make my own at home.
What was I waiting for? Home made versus shop bought – now I know – there’s no comparison, home made wins hands down!
So long as there’s a tin of chickpeas in the larder and a jar of tahini in the fridge, you can whip up a delicious batch of hummus in 5 minutes flat… and make it just to your taste. As much or as little lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper as you like – and the consistency you prefer.
Lots of people insist on making hummus using dried peas. Yes, it will probably turn out even better – but unless you own a pressure cooker (I don’t) which will cook the beans in under half an hour, that quick snack will have to wait until tomorrow. I’ll make some using dried beans some day soon to see how it compares.
You can spice things up a little (or as they say on the X Factor, “Make it your own”). Add a little smoked paprika, ground cumin, caramelised onions, sun dried tomatoes, chopped chillies, coriander or parsley – just not all at once mind!
You can make and cook off a big batch of pitta and store the excess in the freezer – just defrost as needed and pop them in the toaster.
I have to say that they were delicious straight from the oven though…
… and there weren’t any left from this batch for the freezer!!
- 4 egg whites
- 200g/7oz caster sugar
- pinch of cream of tartar
- 150g/5oz blueberries
- 300ml/10½fl oz whipping cream
- 50g lemon curd
- Preheat the oven to 100ºC/200ºF/gas mark ½
- Line a large oven tray with baking parchment
- In a heat-proof mixing bowl, gently mix the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar over a simmering saucepan of water (make sure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water). Keep stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved
- Remove the mixing bowl from the saucepan and, using an electric mixer, beat on a slow speed rising gradually to a high speed. Continue for about 3-5 minutes until the meringue forms stiff peaks
- Spoon the meringue into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle
- Pipe 3 graduated circular shapes and 6-8 meringue kisses on to the parchment paper
- Bake for 1-1½ hours depending on how sticky or hard you want the finished meringue
- Put the blueberries into a small saucepan with a tablespoonful of sugar and cook on a low heat for about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool
- Beat the whipping cream until thickened and forms peaks. Set aside
- When cooked, remove the meringue from the parchment paper (you may need to use a palette knife) and allow to cool completely on a wire rack
- Put the largest meringue round on to a large plate and top with ⅓ of the whipped cream, ⅓ of the blueberry mixture and drizzle with ⅓ of the lemon curd
- Repeat with the two other circles of meringue (the smallest goes on the top)
- Decorate with the meringue kisses