Tag Archives: nutmeg

my aunt bettie’s bread pudding with a soft meringue blanket

my aunt bettie’s bread pudding with a soft meringue blanket

bread pudding

There are a few desserts that will always be on top of my nostalgic pudding list … and one of them is my mom’s bread pudding. She tells me that her version of bread pudding comes from my aunt Bettie from Kroonstad in the Free State. In this recipe you don’t use slices of bread but rather bread crumbs and you add nutmeg and this soft meringue blanket on top. In my version I used ghee to add a nutty flavour to the dish and if you want to be a traditionalist you can add some apricot jam on top of the pudding before you add the meringue. In our house, bread pudding was always served with homemade custard or a crème anglaise.

Watch me make this by clicking here.

mom's brood pudding recipe

This dessert’s simplicity lends itself to different interpretations and countless variations and any type of bread may be used – although white breads are the more commonly used. For me bread pudding is definitely comfort food with a big C.

bread pudding

But where does the original bread pudding come from? Bread puddings date back many centuries. Its origins can even be traced back to the days of the Romans! Back in those ancient times citizens could ill-afford to waste food so a variety of recipes stale bread were invented and became commonplace. Bread pudding was one of these recipes. Bread puddings were not only made by the Romans. Ancient versions of bread pudding include Om Ali, an Egyptian dessert made from bread, milk or cream, raisins and almonds; Eish es Serny, a Middle Eastern dish made from dried bread, sugar, honey syrup, rosewater and caramel; and Shahi Tukra, an Indian dish made from bread, ghee, saffron, sugar, rosewater and almonds.

bread pudding

my aunt bettie's bread pudding with a soft meringue blanket
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 2 Cups bread crumbs (6 slices of bread)
  • 2¼ Cups milk
  • 4 Egg yolks – beaten
  • ¼t Nutmeg
  • 2T Sugar
  • 3T Melted ghee (clarified butter)
  • ¼t Salt
  • To smear on after the first bake
  • 2T Apricot jam (optional)
  • For meringue
  • 4 Egg whites
  • 2T Sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
  2. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for a few minutes and then add all the other ingredients.
  3. Put in a buttered baking dish and bake for one hour.
  4. While the pudding is baking beat the eggs till soft peaks and then add the cream of tartar + salt + add the sugar spoon by spoon. Beat till you get a soft meringue.
  5. Smear some apricot jam thinly on top of the pudding and then add the meringue on top of the pudding - bake till golden brown for about 8 minutes.
  6. Serve with homemade custard.

spiced ricotta pancakes + figs + naartjie honey

spiced ricotta pancakes + figs + naartjie honey

“Peel a fig for a friend and a peach for your enemy” – English proverb

ricotta pancakes with figs

I love figs. Such an ancient fruit, yet still with us today … I also agree with the believe that figs are a symbol of abundance, fertility and sweetness. So when my eyes caught a few fresh figs on the shelf in the supermarket the other day, I had to have them and do something with them. They were dark purple, plump and looked so ripe and juicy. I had ricotta at home and I decided to make ricotta pancakes with figs. Using Nigella’s Ricotta Hotcakes as a basis I changed her recipe by adding a few spices like nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves as well as naartjie zest – which just gave it that ‘pick-me-up’ spicy-citrus flavouring.


I am also curious to dig a little deeper, and scratch below the surface when it comes to things that interest me, so I read up about figs and came across these interesting facts.

Fig Trivia – 10 Fig Facts

1. The Blossoms
Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches – the ‘fruit’ that we eat is the blossom and is pollinated by a special type of wasp. Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little edible seeds that give figs their unique texture.

2. Calcium and Fiber
Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber. Eating a half cup of figs has as much calcium as drinking a half a glass of milk. The food value increases with drying – one dried fig has almost as much calcium as an egg – listen up moms!

3. The Calorie Value
There is approximately 50 calories in one large fig.

4. The Garden of Eden
Many believe it was figs that were actually the fruit in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, not apples.

5. Fig Puree
Fig puree can be used to replace fat in baked goods.

6. The scientific name – Ficus carica
The common fig is a deciduous tree that grows to heights of up to 6 meters in the genus Ficus, from the family Moraceae, known as common fig tree. It is a temperate species native to the Middle East.

7. The Family
Figs may not look like it, but did you know that figs are a member of the mulberry family?

8. The Language
English – Fig
Spanish – Higo
Afrikaans – Vy
French – Figue
German – Feige
Italian – Fico

9. The History
Figs are originally from small Asia and are one of the first fruits cultivated ever. The Greeks made mention of them and around 60 BC and Plato promoted the fig as being an important nutrition for athletes. A story is known of the Greek government that had forbidden all exports of figs once in order to assure themselves of a good outcome at The Olympic Games. The ancients Greeks knew about 29 fig sorts. Today there are more than 600 different fig types.

10. Idiom
English Idiom: “I don’t care a fig”
Meaning: Complete lack of concern about an event.
Origination: Probably originates from the abundance of this fruit.

Source: valleyfig.com, foodandtravel.com.au, caloriecount.about.com, wikipedia.org, crfg.org,


spiced ricotta pancakes + figs + naartjie honey
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5
  • For crumpets
  • 250g Ricotta cheese
  • ½ Cup milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 100g Plain flour
  • 1t Baking powder
  • 2t Naartjie Zest (you can replace with orange)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of cloves
  • Butter for frying
  • Naartjie honey
  • 1 Cup honey (I used orange blossom honey)
  • Juice of one orange or naartjie (you can replace with orange)
  • 1t Naartie peel
  • 1 Clove
  • To serve
  • 5 Fresh figs - quartered
  • 5t Crème Fraiche
  1. For pancakes – Mix the ricotta, milk and eggs together and then add all the dry ingredients - mix everything together. Don’t overwork the mixture. Heat a bit butter in a non stick pan – then “spoon ” a dollops of batter into the pan and cook each pancake for about a minute each side till golden brown.
  2. For honey - simmer all ingredients for 5 minutes and allow to cool down a bit.
  3. To serve - Drizzle with syrup + add the figs + the Crème Fraiche.


flambéed sweet apple omelette = a delicious yellow glowing matter

flambéed sweet apple omelette = a delicious yellow glowing matter

flambéed sweet apple omelette=a delicious yellow glowing matter

Watch me make this by clicing here

Flambéed Sweet Apple Omelette – Every now and then you experiment with something new, sometimes the outcome is just ok and other times it just blows you away. This is what happened to me when I tasted my own rendition of a sweet omelette – whoop whoop – it blew me away and it is so easy to make! But first let me tell you the story how I ended up with fruit and an omelette of all things…

I draw my inspirations from many different people … one person who really inspires me is Lidewij Edelkoort. What a fascinating woman – she is well-renowned as an international trend forecaster in any form of design. The other day I read on her website that yellow is a currently one of the primary fashion colours of the season – and as she says… “ the power of yellow with its strength and radiance, is able to change all volume and all surfaces, giving glow to all matter”. She shared some intriguing, and quite amazing references when it comes to eggs… she took us to France with “eggs + soldiers”…and then to Spain for an omelette. It just got me thinking. Before I knew it, I was traversing the world, the internet and my hoards of cookery books for something, yellow, eggy and interesting…. I eventually found something quite enticing and a recipe that woke up my taste buds….it was an egg + pear omelette … a dessert of all things.

I decided to use apples instead of pears and then used our local brandy to flambé the dessert. It did not stop there though… being my cheeky self, I added some cream, a pinch of nutmeg, a dose of cinnamon, a star anise and a heap of expectation….taste for yourself … it is delicious!

flambéed sweet apple omelette=a delicious yellow glowing matter


flambéed sweet apple omelette
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4
  • 2T Butter
  • 4 Granny Smith apples – cored, peeled and cut into 1 cm slices
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 2T Sugar
  • 4 Large eggs
  • 2T Cream
  • 1 Big pinch nutmeg
  • 1 Pinch salt
  • 3T Brandy
  1. On medium heat in a big non-stick pan - melt the butter and add the star anise, cinnamon, apples and 1T of sugar.
  2. Cook with the lid on for 10 min and then cook without the lid for a further 10 min.
  3. Stir from time to time but be careful not to break the apples.
  4. In the mean while beat the eggs, cream, nutmeg and salt together.
  5. Then pour the eggs over the apples.
  6. Cook till the eggs are set. Lift it on the sides to make sure it stays loose and your egg mixture does not stick to the pan.
  7. Invert the omelette onto a large serving dish, sprinkle a tablespoon of sugar over the omelette and pour the 3 tablespoons of brandy over the dish. Ignite the brandy and then shake the platter till the alcohol burns of and extinguishes itself. Serve immediately.
  8. Tuck in and enjoy!