Sunday Kitchen: Feeling fruity

The Dunbrody House’s star chef, Kevin Dundon, shares his favourite recipes

Blackberry Cheesecake Profiteroles

Blackberry curd

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Sunday World

There’s just one more week of freedom for the kids, though some are back to school already. To hang on to that holiday feeling a little longer, here are two recipes for one of the tastiest foraging crops out there right now — blackberries. Our chefs forage regularly here in Dunbrody, and this year blackberries seem to be especially abundant around the estate. I remember picking blackberries from a young age, which always resulted in purple-stained hands, face and probably clothes. But it was worth it, for us kids anyway, as mum used to bake a delicious apple and blackberry tart with the fruits of our search. Needless to say, if you’re picking blackberries in fields, please do it safely, respecting signage and keeping animals at a safe distance. Back to today’s recipes, and my first is a blackberry curd. Enjoyed on its own or added to other desserts, it’s the same idea as lemon curd, just with a tasty autumnal twist. Next up is a modern take on profiteroles, combining choux buns with cheesecake. Profiteroles can seem challenging, but if you take your time, it’s easier than you think — and totally worth the effort. Happy cooking, Kevin


Ingredients (serves 6): For the pastry: ■ 125ml milk ■ 125ml water ■ 10g caster sugar (optional) ■ 110g butter ■ 250g flour ■ 5 eggs For the filling: ■ 125g blackberries ■ ½ lemon juice ■ 20g icing sugar + extra to serve ■ 380g cream cheese ■ 180ml whipped cream

Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 170C. 2. To make the choux pastry, pour the milk, water and caster sugar into a saucepan and add the butter. Bring the mixture to the boil. Remove from the heat, immediately add the flour and stir vigorously. 3. Return to a low heat and continue stirring until all the flour is incorporated and the mixture leaves the sides of the saucepan, forming a smooth ball. 4. Transfer the pastry into a bowl, and immediately add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition, until smooth and glossy. 5. Using a piping bag with a large nozzle, pipe 12 even circles of choux (2 per person) onto a tray lined with baking paper. 6. If adding a craquelin topping (see top tip above), cut out 12 craquelin discs and place on top of the choux buns. 7. Place in the oven for about 35 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150C and continue to bake until cooked through and golden brown. Once done, turn off the oven and leave to cool with the door slightly ajar. 8. Next, make the filling. Place the blackberries, lemon juice and icing sugar in a blender and pulse for a minute or so until smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve to catch any segments. 9. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese with the blackberry puree. Fold in the whipped cream to form stiff peaks. Place in the fridge until needed. 10When fully cooled, half the choux buns horizontally, add the cheesecake filling, then carefully sandwich together again. Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Blackberry curd


Ingredients (serves 4): ■ 250g blackberries + extra to serve ■ 50ml water ■ ½ lemon, zest and juice ■ 50g caster sugar ■ 2 large eggs ■ 60g butter, cubed

Method: 1. Place the blackberries. water and lemon juice in a blender and pulse for a minute or so until smooth. Pass the mixture through a sieve to catch any segments. 2. Transfer the mixture into a bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water over low/medium heat. 3. Add the lemon zest, caster sugar and eggs. Continuously whisk by hand for approximately 5 minutes, until the curd thickens. Then slowly whisk in the butter. 4. Transfer the curd into serving glasses and set aside to cool. 5. Once fully cooled, cover with cling film and store in the fridge. Enjoy within five days. TOP TIP: Although delicious on its own, this blackberry curd can also lend a tasty seasonal twist to a range of other desserts. Why not stir in a little mascarpone or yoghurt for a blackberry fool, spread the curd between two sponge cakes or just swirl it into some vanilla ice cream. For the season ahead, you could also combine blackberries with some raspberries for an autumnal mixed berry curd.

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Essentially a thin biscuit layer, craquelin is the perfect way to give choux buns a modern twist, with no piping skills required. The sweet topping is made with 55g brown sugar, combined with 70g soft butter and 70g plain flour. Roll the mixture to about 2mm thick between two sheets of baking paper. Then place in the freezer for 15 minutes to set, before cutting out discs and placing on top of the choux buns before baking, giving them a delicious crisp texture.

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