With just one month to go before spring officially starts here in the Antipodes, here are some extra special winter pudding ideas with deliciously sophisticated Mānuka honey – to keep your cockles warmed and your spirits high.
One of the best things about winter is hovering close to the oven, while a big batch of cookies, brownies or pastry fills the air with spicy goodness. Honey can replace sugar in lots of recipes, sweet or savoury, and Mānuka honey will make any recipe special. When using honey instead of sugar for cakes, biscuits and brownies, you may discover that your baking will be denser and keep its gooiness. That’s partly because honey naturally has a high moisture content so will help your mixture retain moisture.
The True Honey Co. Mānuka honey we recommend using for desserts and baking is our 300+ MGO. Because of its distinctive, complex flavour, a little Mānuka honey goes a long way. In most cases you can adapt any recipe that uses honey by swapping out half or all of the honey for Mānuka honey.
If you love to crack a fine toffee shell with your spoon, here’s a recipe for impressive – yet not too tricky to pull off – Mānuka honey Brûlée , by the talented Nadia Lim. Its delicate vanilla and orange flavour is a favourite of ours.
Nadia’s recipe for Rustic apple cinnamon pie with honey yoghurt cream is also a hard one to beat when apples are plentiful. We can confirm this one is a winner, and have of course adapted the honey yoghurt cream with Mānuka honey.
Lemon curd, Mānuka honey and berry pastries
This Mānuka honey lemon curd is lovely to make ahead. It will keep in the fridge for a week, and can be used to fill tart cases, lemon meringue pies or these scrumptious, flaky little pastries.
Here’s what you’ll need:
6 large free range eggs
Juice and finely grated of 2 lemons
4 tbls Mānuka honey
4 tbls mild tasting honey
250ml melted coconut oil or unsalted butter
375g block frozen puff pastry, thawed
250g blueberries or raspberries
- To make your Mānuka honey lemon curd, place the eggs, honeys, coconut oil/butter and lemon juice/zest into a saucepan.
- Gently heat on a low temperature, whisking until the mixture thickens. (Don’t try to rush this by cranking up the heat, or you’ll make sweet scrambled eggs!)
- Set aside to cool, then chill for around 90 minutes.
- Place your pastry on a baking tray lined with baking paper and roll it out into a 15cm x 30cm rectangle. Prick the pastry with a fork all over.
- Cover the pastry with a second sheet of baking paper, then a baking tray (making a pastry/baking tray ‘sandwich’).
- Bake at 180°C/355°F in the middle of your oven until its golden and crisp (around 15 minutes).
- Once your pastry has cooled, slather your honey lemon curd on top, scatter with berries and drizzle with a little more honey, if you fancy.
- Slice and serve with yogurt or ice cream.
It can be hard to find tasty dessert recipes that are egg, dairy and gluten free. That’s why we’ve been testing out this scrumptious recipe for oven roasted pears with Mānuka honey and walnuts. And it couldn’t be easier!
To make four servings, use:
2 large ripe pears, halved and cores removed (a melon baller will do this beautifully)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp Mānuka honey (warmed until it’s runny)
75g chopped walnuts (or try hazelnuts or pecans)
Make them like this:
- Preheat your oven to 175°C (about 350°F) and set a rack halfway up.
- Place halved pears on a baking sheet, cut side up.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and chopped walnuts and drizzle 1/2 teaspoon honey over each one.
- Bake in the oven 30 minutes. Remove, let cool and enjoy!
- Serve as they are, or top with a goodly dollop of Raglan Coconut Yoghurt
Storing your Mānuka honey
It’s a bit of a natural miracle, is Mānuka honey. Although it contains no additives, it has its own in-built preservative compounds to keep it tip top. In fact, they’ve found honey in the pyramids that’s still edible (although who’d want to test that theory?). To keep yours nice, we recommend storing it in the cupboard or pantry, with the lid tightly closed – as ants are also partial to a spot of honey.
Warming and melting Mānuka honey
Some recipes require honey to be runny. We recommend warming the amount you need gently in a bowl that’s sitting in some hot water. You could also warm the whole jar this way, but you will lose the label. To stop Mānuka honey clinging to your spoon, try a little baking spray or neutral tasting oil on the spoon, and watch the honey slide right off!