Honey and vanilla buttermilk pudding with bananas and lime
( SERVES 6 )
Photo by Tam West
I got the idea for these buttermilk puddings from British chef Mark Hix’s excellent book British Seasonal Food. He describes it as a British version of panna cotta. Since Niue is famous for its award-winning honey (it just won a medal at the British Honey Awards) and its vanilla, I wanted to use them in a dessert. Both seemed the obvious flavourings for such a pudding. Manuka honey is the closest Kiwi honey I could find for the dark, caramelly Niue honey, which I didn’t bring back with me.
I did bring vanilla back and used it in the following recipe. Make this the day before you need it, as has only enough gelatine to lightly set it (it should not be too firm or rubbery) so its texture benefits from long setting and refrigeration. When melting the gelatine, place it in a heatproof bowl then add the 3 tablespoons of boiling water to the gelatine powder. Don’t stir it yet, but place it over another bowl of boiling water so the heat melts it, then stir it up. When adding it to the mixture make sure you get it all or you won’t have enough to set the puddings.
- Place the cream, vanilla and 4 tablespoons of the honey in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and stir until the honey is dissolved.
- Add the gelatine, mix well and cool, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the buttermilk. Pour into six 75ml capacity moulds (or pour 75ml into teacups or small bowls) and set overnight.
- Unmould by running a small knife around the sides of each mould and inverting on to individual plates.
- Place the juice, zest and the remaining tablespoon of honey in a bowl and mix well so the honey dissolves. Add the banana and toss gently.
- Serve some of the banana mixture beside each pudding and sprinkle coarsely crushed mandarin segments on top (if using).
More Niuean recipes from Ray