Mango & Passion Fruit Sorbet with Exotic Fruit Salad

This is as lush as a fruit salad can get!  Not too sinful but so full of flavour and deeply refreshing on a hot summer day, oh yes!  As the sun made its first appearance this year I could not wait until summer to make this! This sorbet is easy to make and you don’t need an ice cream maker; you just need a good-sized tub to freeze the sorbet in and some room in your freezer.  You can do all the fruit prep in advance and then just chuck it all together at the last minute!


I suggest making the sorbet the day or so before you need it as you will have to take it out three times to break up the ice crystals that will form in the preparation – I would say check on the sorbet every hour for the slushy stage.  You can use an ice cream maker if you have one – which will be easier; but the tub method really isn’t too much work! There are a couple of supermarkets that now sell ready-shaved coconut (coconut shavings) Waitrose, I believe, being one of them!

Mango & Passion Fruit Sorbet with Exotic Fruit Salad

This serves 6 and takes about 25 minutes to prep plus the freezing time.

You need:

125g of caster sugar
Juice of 2 limes
2 medium sized mangoes
5 passion fruit
1 small pineapple
1 ripe papaya
9 lychees (a can in juice would do just fine)
1 pomegranate
1 tablespoon of clear honey
1 small, fresh, coconut

Do it:

Place your sugar in a pan with the juice of 1 lime and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.  Peel and chop the mangoes.  Halve the passion fruits, scoop out the pulp and set half aside and half rub through a sieve.  Place the mango, passion fruit juice and syrup in a blender and whizz until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a large freezer container and thoroughly mix in the un-sieved passion fruit pulp pips and all.  Pop into the freezer and leave until slushy (around an hour or so) then take out and whisk to break up the ice crystals – you can use a food processor, an electric whisk, a fork or a blender to do this.  Return the tub to the freezer and repeat this process two more times then allow to freeze until needed.  If you are using an ice-cream maker then just follow your instructions.

Onto your fruit salad – cut the top and base from the pineapple; peel, remove the brown ‘eyes’ and cut into wedges then slice crosswise to make half-moon shapes. Halve your papaya and remove the seeds (which is a bit tricky so take your time) and slice.  Peel your lychees and halve away from the stone, saving any juice.  Alternatively, if you are using a can then reserve about a tablespoon of the juice. With the pomegranate you need to cut in half and, holding over a fairly deep bowl, whack the living daylights out of it with a wooden spoon (or something similar) until nearly all the seeds, and juice, have fallen into the bowl.  Do the same with the other half and then just pick out any seeds that are still attached to the skin and any sour yellow membrane that may have fallen into the bowl.

Just before serving juice your reserved lime and mix into the honey.  Crack your coconut, prise the flesh away from the shell and with a potato peeler shave some curls from the coconut flesh.

Take your sorbet out of the freezer about 30 minutes before you need to serve and pop in the fridge to soften. To plate up all you need to do is arrange your fruits on plates and sprinkle over the reserved fruit juices, honey and lime juice; scoop a large portion of the sorbet onto the fruits and scatter over the coconut shavings.


Shoulder of Lamb with a raisin & rosemary stuffing

All of a sudden, the sun is shining and spring seems to be here!  Hooray for that!  Lamb is that quintessential spring meat and some fantastic Welsh lamb should be appearing very soon in your local butchers and supermarkets.  Not to put a damper on New Zealand imported lamb as it is very tasty – but, thinking about carbon footprints it is much more preferable to eat meat that is far closer to home.  Looking forward to Easter I sometimes feel that the traditional, humble, lamb has been usurped by the fattened turkey!  Terrible, terrible; think again if you are planning on turkey this Easter.

Lamb has an element of sweetness, especially the shoulder; pair that with a slightly sweet stuffing and they compliment each other so well.  Lamb does take well to sweet vine fruits and, also, other fruits such as apricots and dried figs!  This would make a very special Easter roast and is more of a spring roast than a wintery recipe.  The stuffing takes very few ingredients from scratch and takes very little time to prepare.  Just remember to have some butchers string to tie up the meat – I get mine from my local butcher.

Shoulder of Lamb with a raisin & rosemary stuffing 

Shoulder of Lamb with a raisin and rosemary stuffing

Shoulder of Lamb with a raisin & rosemary stuffing

Serves 4 and takes around 2 hours to prepare and cook

You need:
1kg boneless lamb shoulder

25g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, crushed
100g fresh breadcrumbs
50g raisins
The juice and zest of 1 orange
A few sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped

Do it:

Preheat your oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.

Melt the butter in a small pan and add the onion and garlic, cook until soft.  Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and add the butter and onion mixture along with the raisins, rosemary and the orange juice and zest.  Season it all with some salt and pepper and mix to bind the stuffing together with your hands.

Open the lamb out flat and spread the stuffing over then gently roll the lamb and tie with some butchers string.  Any remaining stuffing could be put in a small ovenproof dish and covered with tin foil and then cooked in the oven with the lamb.

Place the lamb in a roasting tin and cook for around 80 minutes.

Serve with some buttered baby leeks and new potatoes.