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Persian Ambrosia

Posted Jan 11 2009 5:24pm


This is one of those dishes that I read in a Claudia Roden book ages ago and thought, nah - that sounds just like fruit salad with cream on top. Then one night I tried it and realised that it was way more than that. Now you have to be a fan of cream to like this, but if you are, well come on in because the water is hot.


On our way home from school today Fin spotted these English raspberries outside the green grocers. I thought they were long gone so we snapped them up, along with some plump dates, local cream and bananas. I already knew what Fin was planning - Persian Pudding.


I'm not going to give a recipe because it's really a method thing.


Basically you layer up your sliced fruit in small pretty bowls, sprinkling it with chopped nuts (Pistachios, almonds, pecans or shredded coconut) and chopped dried fruit (dates, figs or prunes) as you go.


Banana is a good one to use alongside a tarter fruit such as a berry. Don't slice the berries. Mango and Persimmon would also be fantastic if they are in season near you.


When you have this all ready, sprinkle over a few teaspoons of rosewater or a half teaspoon of orange blossom water. Pour double cream (heavy cream) over the whole lot, allowing 70-90ml per person. Cover the bowls and put them into the fridge for a few hours or even overnight to allow everything to become friendly. The cream absorbs into the dried fruit and nuts, making the whole thing a little cheesecakey when you finally come to eat it.


Allow it to come up to room temperature a little before eating or you won't taste a thing, and don't eat this after a rich meal!
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