We celebrate Tu Bishvat, the birthday of the trees, with fruit and nuts. These gluten-free florentines are just the ticket, and great to make with children. I have used only fruit for these but you can add nuts and for extra indulgence you could drizzle the top with melted chocolate.
This hearty winter dish — Lubia bel kammun — is a classic. Do use dried beans soaked in water overnight, so the beans slow-cook with the beef and the flavour of the two, together with the cumin and spices marry perfectly. The flavour develops and it tastes even better the next day.
Preparation: 10-15 minutes plus overnight soaking of beans
Cooking: 4 hours
Mont Blanc is an indulgent dessert that reminds me of childhood trips with my sisters to see the extravagant windows at Galeries Lafayette over the festive season. Afterwards we would always stop at a patisserie for a Mont Blanc each. Those cakes were five times the size of the mini versions here, which makes me slightly less guilty.
1 duck, roughly 2kg in weight
Chinese 5 spice
1 onion, quartered
1 ½ tbsp sesame oil
1 large cucumber, peeled and seeded then julienned
7 tbsp hoisin sauce, approximately
Toasted sesame seeds
This fruit salad uses one of the star fruits of winter — the clementine. With a sweet caramel sauce and some dark chocolate, it makes an easy and beautiful dessert to serve after a hearty winter meal.
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: 10-15 minutes
12 seedless clementines
6 tbsp honey or golden syrup
125g caster sugar
150g dark chocolate, 70%
This is the perfect season to eat and preserve pears, especially in the UK where we have so many tasty varieties. A friend gave me 2 large boxes of wonderful firm green pears from her garden. Some we ate, some we used for pear and lemon jam, and the rest we used for this great compote.
7g fast acting dried yeast
55g golden caster sugar
200g gram flour
200g gluten-free bread flour, plus more for kneading
½ tsp salt
55g salted butter
1 large egg, beaten
120ml milk, lukewarm
For the filling:
60g plain dark chocolate, finely chopped or grated