Blackberry Lemon Pudding {gluten-free}

Blackberry Lemon Pudding is the most deliciously sweet and tart gluten-free dessert, cakey on the top with an ooey gooey blackberry lemon sauce puddled beneath.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a plate

This Blackberry Lemon Pudding is the dessert of late summer. With the summer heat chastening it might just be safe enough to turn your oven on again and if you do then you must make this delicious dessert.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a table

Blackberries are without doubt my favourite berry. I have a deep affection for them as they grow abundantly in our area of North London so July to August we are never in short supply. It’s rare though that I actually pick the berries myself as Luke is obsessed with local foraging, as I’ve mentioned before. He only need leave the house for a half hour Billy walk to return absolutely laden with plump juicy berries. Of course it’s usually on a Monday when I am faced with three days of solo childcare so have no hope in hell of doing anything worthwhile with the berries save keeping a few in the fridge for eating. The rest have to be frozen for weekend baking.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a plate

I spend all week dreaming up the best use of the blackberries and my favourite recipe that I have made this blackberry season is this Blackberry Lemon Pudding. It has been such a huge hit in our house with the tartness of the blackberries pairing beautifully with lemon.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a plate

This gluten-free sponge uses a simple mix of a plain gluten-free flour blend (I use Doves Farm which is xanthan gum free) and ground almonds, leavened only with whisked egg whites. Lemon juice is added to the finished batter which gives the result of the batter separating during the bake so a soft cakey sponge gives way to a sweet lemon blackberry sauce puddled beneath.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a plate

I have made this Blackberry Lemon Pudding for a few Sundays now after our roast dinner and each time it is received with rapture, especially when served with a rich dollop of unsweetened whipped double cream.

Blackberry Lemon Pudding on a plate

Blackberry Lemon Pudding {gluten-free}

Blackberry Lemon Pudding is the most deliciously sweet and tart gluten-free dessert, cakey on the top with an ooey gooey blackberry lemon sauce puddled beneath.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: British
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 351kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs separated
  • 75 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 190 g caster sugar + 1 tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 3 lemons juice and zest
  • 40 g gluten-free plain flour
  • 40 g ground almonds
  • 200 ml whole milk
  • 200 g blackberries

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
  • First whisk the egg whites until they have reached soft peaks. Scrape the egg whites out of the mixer or the bowl and set aside.
  • Don’t worry about cleaning the mixing bowl and into it add the butter, sugar and lemon zest then beat until light and creamy.
  • Add the egg yolks one at time.
  • Whisk together the flour and almonds then beat into the mixture as well.
  • Stir in the milk and lemon juice, the batter may look a little curdled but don’t worry about it.
  • Then fold in the egg whites into the lemon batter until completely incorporated and finally stir in the blackberries.
  • Pour the batter into a 1 litre ovenproof pudding dish and bake for 50 minutes. Check after about 35-40 minutes to make sure the surface isn’t browning too much, if it is place a tent of foil over the top.
  • Remove from the oven, leave for 10-15 minutes to rest then sprinkle with caster sugar and serve with whipped double cream.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Lemon Sponge in Delicious Magazine

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 48mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 570IU | Vitamin C: 35.6mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 1.4mg

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Triple Citrus Shrub

Triple Citrus Shrub is a wonderful way to start your day. Fresh orange, lemon and grapefruit puree smartened up with raw apple cider vinegar for all its health benefits and a good glug of honey to sweeten up the proceedings.

Triple Citrus Shrub

I have been beginning every morning with a generous glass of Triple Citrus Shrub to help aid my digestion, provide me with the necessary vitamin c to ward off this ghastly flu that is doing the rounds and generally because it is pretty delicious.

If you are unfamiliar with a shrub, it is a specially brewed drinking vinegar. Originally produced to preserve the fruit juice of the season, they can also be made with alcohol instead of the vinegar, but that makes a very different kind of shrub that probably isn’t going to be your first choice to accompany your breakfast toast. The recipe can be pretty basic by just steeping together fruit, vinegar and sugar and if you have used enough vinegar and sugar it can keep for an absolute age in the fridge. Depending on how much you like the zingy vinegar taste you can dilute your shrub as much or as little as you like. I found that I started out diluting it a lot then got a little bit more generous in my fingers of shrub as I got more and more into it.

Triple Citrus Shrub

I mentioned at the top that I have been drinking my shrub to aid digestion and that’s because I have been really suffering with horrible acid reflux for the past couple of months of this pregnancy. I am trying to avoid drinking copious amounts of Gaviscon or bicarbonate of soda to ease it (as I did when I was pregnant with Cole) as it plays havoc with your gut and so I’m trying all sorts of natural remedies to counteract it instead. So far I’ve got off pretty lightly this pregnancy with my complaints (save the initial morning sickness) but this acid reflux is really getting me down as it’s making me dread eating or drinking since anything seems to be sparking it off.

Triple Citrus Shrub

So here comes the shrub. I had been drinking diluted apple cider vinegar in the mornings which among its many health benefits like reducing blood sugar levels is said to aid digestion. This is due to buying the raw unfiltered vinegar which contains the ‘mother’ which is a by-product of the fermentation process and contains lots of healthy proteins, enzymes and friendly bacteria to help repair your gut. However, I had not been getting on so well with the apple cider vinegar as it seemed to be producing an initial heartburn which wasn’t pleasant. So when I found myself with copious amounts of orange, lemon and grapefruit flesh going begging as a result of my Homemade Mixed Peel I tried my hand at turning it into a very basic shrub to help the apple cider vinegar be ingested more pleasurably.

The experiment has been great. I am a great believer that if something is working for you then it works and don’t question it too closely. I am not by any means a nutritional therapist but I am feeling better drinking my shrub everyday, whether it’s the placebo effect or is actually doing something pretty beneficial to my gut is beyond my knowledge but it is delicious and you can’t knock the amount of vitamin c that the shrub contains and so far (touch wood!) I have yet to have a cold this winter.

Triple Citrus Shrub

I didn’t make my shrub in any traditional way as by the time I started properly investigating the recipe then I had already blitzed up all my fruit flesh in the blender and it was too late to steep the whole citrus segments in the vinegar which is what I learnt later I should have done. However, the method I did use was quick, easy and produced a shrub that was available to drink straightaway. All I did was blend the citrus flesh, boil up the puree with a good amount of honey, re-blend the sweetened fruit with the vinegar and pour it into a kilner jar to store in the fridge.

Triple Citrus Shrub

You can dilute the shrub any way you see fit. In the mornings I am happy with a quarter part shrub whisked in with three quarters cold water. However, I have also been finding in the evenings that if I mix the same amount of shrub with three quarters sparkling water then I have my very own healthy fancy cocktail. If I’m feeling especially exotic I have been known to add a sprig of mint in to really jazz it up.

Homemade shrubs are a favourite of mixologists at the moment as they can create really excitingly flavoured cocktails and I can totally see why with all the tangy sweet and sour notes going on. For now though, I can feel pretty saintly as I drink it. Talk to me in a few months though when I am free to glug a bit of gin into my shrub as well. Still perhaps, not at breakfast time.

Triple Citrus Shrub

Triple Citrus Shrub
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Triple Citrus Shrub

Triple Citrus Shrub is a wonderful way to start your day. Fresh orange, lemon and grapefruit puree smartened up with raw apple cider vinegar for all its health benefits and a good glug of honey to sweeten up the proceedings.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: British
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 486kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 lemons
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 450 ml honey
  • 500 ml raw apple cider vinegar with the mother

Instructions

  • Carefully remove the peel, pith and seeds from the fruit until you are left with only the flesh.
  • Place all the fruit flesh into a blender and blitz until smooth. You should have about 1 litre of fruit puree.
  • Pour the fruit puree into a saucepan along with the honey, whisk them together and heat gently until boiling.
  • Remove from the heat and pour back into the blender.
  • Pour in the apple cider vinegar and blitz for a minute or so until mixed completely.
  • Pour into a large jar and leave to cool then store in the fridge.

Notes

The shrub can be kept in the fridge for up to a month.
Yield 1 litre

Nutrition

Calories: 486kcal | Carbohydrates: 125g | Protein: 3g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 618mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 112g | Vitamin A: 1025IU | Vitamin C: 146.7mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1.5mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

I think the reason I was so quick to blitz my fruit was because I’m always itching to use my Vitamix® Pro750 Food Blender, Copper UK Model which was a birthday present from Luke back in December. Words cannot express how much I love it, it’s my new kitchen baby. It makes the most deliciously smooth smoothies, healthy green soups and date purees for baking. I am in no way sponsored by Vitamix, I just love my new toy.

The apple cider vinegar I like is Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, 946ml which I used in this shrub, the Vinegar Cake I am posting about next week and every day uses like salad dressings and marinades. It’s very delicious and supposed to be very good for you too.

The Amazon links above are affiliate links which means if you click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. It’s just a way for me to fund my shopping list for the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!!

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

These Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins are light, bright and zesty. Gloriously gluten-free but moist, bouncy and incredibly moreish.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

A friend commented that since I’m on a maternity break from the cake stall that I must have a lot less cake wastage in my house. Ha, I invited her to come and visit the muffin graveyard that was currently overtaking my kitchen. At that particular time when she made the innocuous remark I had about 35 Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins crammed on top of my workspace that were begging for a home. These little guys were good muffins, every one of the six batches I made were fine but not quite the muffin I had in mind when I began my quest to come up with my ultimate gluten-free Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffin.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

With the cake stall all my bakes are tried and tested recipes which I have made many many times and perfected. I don’t sell out every week, although that is the aim and usually there is not much left. Rest assured though all the unsold cake goes to good homes afterwards as I offer it to my fellow stall holders who have braved the cold day alongside me. The cakes and bakes which I make for recipe testing though don’t always have such a happy ending as quite often I can be absolutely inundated with half-finished, mediocre tasting fare which haven’t reached the potential I had intended. A lot is given away but those that fall way below par end up in the bin.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

My current adventure to develop the perfect gluten-free Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffin can only be blamed on Cole. We were having lunch at a café together a couple of weeks ago when his head was turned by the collection of Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins standing to attention on the counter directly in his eye line. Every muffin in different brightly coloured cases, the icing glinting from the sunlight strewn window. There was no doubt, these were toddler catnip. He mewed for one from the moment we sat down and feeling magnanimous I acquiesced that he could have one for dessert.

As it turns out we were stuffed after our lunch but he still wanted a muffin so I got him one for later. Unfortunately they were not gluten-free so I went without. But the craving had set in and since we had no plans in the afternoon I decided that whilst he ate his muffin he could stand at our kitchen counter and watch whilst I showed him how to make the gluten-free version. Totally for his benefit you understand.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

So that’s what we did and it was great fun. However the end result wasn’t quite what I had intended, they were okay but the texture wasn’t right at all. In my ratio of gluten-free flours I had obviously used far too much almond flour. They were not the light and fluffy muffin that I was hoping for, a bit dense and claggy and certainly not enough lemon. I ate one slightly disappointed, resolving to give the recipe another go the following day.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

Two weeks and 60 muffins later I finally reached the ultimate goal and that’s the recipe I am sharing here. These Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins are the perfect muffin to begin your day, break up your afternoon with alongside a cup of tea or treat yourself to after dinner. There is plenty of zest in the sponge which is fluffy from the final selection of gluten-free flours:

  • sweet rice flour
  • oat flour
  • almond flour

The top is drenched with a tangy lemon icing and sprinkled with more poppy seeds for a little crunch.

Not only can I see these Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins standing the test of time in our family but the recipe is so adaptable that you can easily swap out the lemon zest and poppy seeds for perhaps blueberries, orange zest or something more adventurous. I’m thrilled I cracked this muffin, as is Cole so he can now have Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins on tap.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

If you make these Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins {gluten-free}

These Lemon and Poppy Seed Muffins are light, bright and zesty. Gloriously gluten-free but moist, bouncy and incredibly moreish.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 396kcal

Ingredients

  • 250 ml whole milk
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml light olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • zest 3 lemons
  • 150 g sweet white rice flour
  • 125 g gluten-free oat flour
  • 100 g almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons black poppy seeds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Icing

  • 225 g icing sugar
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon

Instructions

  • Place muffin cases in a 12-hole muffin tin and pre-heat the oven to 170°C.
  • Place the milk, sugar, olive oil, eggs and lemon zest into a large bowl and beat together until smooth.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the sweet rice flour, oat flour, almond flour, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat together until smooth.
  • Divide the batter into muffin cases, filling to just below the top.
  • Place the muffin tin into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.
  • As soon as the muffin tin has been taken out of the oven, then lift out the muffins and leave on a cooling rack to cool completely before drenching with icing.
  • Make the icing by beating together the lemon juice and zest with the icing sugar until the icing is just pourable.
  • Spoon the icing over each muffin then leave to set.

Nutrition

Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 120mg | Potassium: 197mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 75IU | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 1.2mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

For these muffins I used almond flour, as opposed to ground almonds which kept the muffins fluffy. Finely ground almond flour isn’t as easy to find though and here in the UK I have to order it from Amazon. It’s not cheap (it’s gluten-free baking what can I tell you!) but a 1kg bag will keep you going for some time. I love RealFoodSource Certified Organic Extra Fine High Protein Almond Flour (1KG) which is ultra fine flour and works perfectly in these muffins.

For more info on almond flour see my post on nut flours which gives the breakdown of the different between ground almonds, almond meal and almond flour.

As for sweet rice flour I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free. I have no idea why it’s so difficult to get in the UK but I use sweet rice flour a lot so this was a real find. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

Gluten-free oat flour is thankfully a lot easier to get hold of but you will still have to order it from Amazon. I order it in bulk since it’s one of my favourite flours and the brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4)

The 12 hole muffin tin I always use and will thoroughly recommend due to its durability and ease of washing is the MasterClass 12-Hole Non-Stick Cupcake Tray / Baking Pan, 35 x 27 cm

Some of the links above are affiliate links so if you decide to buy anything using the links then I will get a small commission from Amazon at no cost to you. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf was the first gluten-free cake I developed for the cake stall three years ago. It is a firm favourite amongst my customers and ever since its creation I have never failed to include it as part of my weekly menu at the market. It is always the first to sell out and the one which provokes the most conversation with my customers.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

I don’t know why I have waited so long to write about my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle, I guess I wanted to do it justice as it’s my most requested recipe. I’m glad I waited this long though as the photographs were finally taken in collaboration with Tara from Fork & Dram as part of our food styling day last month. Tara is an amazing photographer and stylist and has been of invaluable help in focusing the look of my photography.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

I have limited time to work on the website these days as I am a full-time mum to Cole during the week and bake and work on the market stall at the weekends. Pockets of time where I can make and photograph my food specifically for the website are like gold dust. Tara has helped me understand how I can achieve photos I can be proud of efficiently and without any complicated set-ups or props.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

I was thrilled then that Tara helped me capture the beauty of this cake. No to go all crazy-cake lady on you but this cake is kind of like my BFF. I can make this cake in my sleep, I never go to a market without it and it’s reliably delicious. That’s not to say that it was the easiest recipe in the world to develop, on the contrary getting the cake to rise evenly without falling in the middle was a bit of a stumbling block at first but there are tricks to ensure perfect results every time.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

Do follow the recipe precisely, mix the butter and sugar on a low-medium speed until light and fluffy which ensures a good rise and then when the cake is finally in the oven don’t open the door for at least the first 40 minutes. I do like to check on my cakes to make sure they are all nestled comfortably in the oven after the first 20 minutes but this cake has a tendency to fall like a sozzled sailor on a two day shore leave. Resist the temptation.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf

All the faffing is worth it though and to be honest even when the cake did fall, or didn’t rise properly, it was still amazing in flavour. Boy, does the Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle pack a punch. It made sense to me when I initially developed the recipe to add blueberries into a lemon drizzle. Blueberries provide such a delightful gentle counterbalance to the tang of citrus. But the cake is then taken stratospheric with the inclusion of peppery aromatic Basil. Lemons, fresh blueberries and basil are all added into the cake batter and then dredged over the top of the just baked cake to form the signature drizzle.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

The recipe method was originally inspired by the lemon drizzle cake featured in Outsider Tart’s cookbook Baked in America which is one of my favourite baking books. The key to their Drizzle is to use an almond paste which imbues the cake with an unbeatably moist texture. The taste of the almonds is barely noticeable, especially with the over-the-top citrus notes, the fragrance of the basil and the gentle pop of blueberries.

The beauty of using an almond paste here also means you don’t have to use very much flour as the ground almonds in the paste do a lot of the work for you. So with only a scant amount of flour in the recipe, an easy shop bought gluten-free flour is more than fit for purpose.

I’m very happy to finally share my Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf and thank you to Tara from Fork & Dram for helping me bring the cake to life.

Singing with citrusy aromatic flavour this gluten-free Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf is a showstopper of an everyday teatime cake.

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free}

Blueberry Basil Lemon Drizzle Loaf {gluten-free} simply sings with citrusy aromatic flavour. This everyday teatime cake is an absolute showstopper.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 40 mins
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 10 slices
Calories: 504kcal

Ingredients

For the almond paste:

  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white

For the cake:

  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 210 g caster sugar
  • 210 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 150 g gluten-free plain flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 120 g blueberries

For the drizzle:

  • 80 g blueberries
  • 28 g basil leaves removed and finely chopped
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 175 g granulated sugar

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160°C on the fan setting* and line and grease a 9 inch x 5 inch loaf tin.
  • First make the almond paste by placing the almonds in a food processor and blitzing until finely ground. Add the caster sugar, golden syrup, vanilla extract and egg white and blitz again until a paste has formed. Set aside for a moment.
  • Place the basil leaves, lemon zest and orange zest in a food mixer along with the sugar. Whisk for a few minutes together until fragrant.
  • Add the butter, one cube at a time and beat on high until light and fluffy.
  • Scrape the almond paste into the creamed butter and sugar and beat until combined.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt then beat it into the rest of the batter.
  • Roll the blueberries around in the empty flour bowl so that they are gently coated with the remaining dusting of flour then stir into the batter.
  • Pour into the cake tin, smoothing the top then bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  • To make the drizzle place the blueberries in a small saucepan with a dash of water and heat for about a couple of minutes until the blueberries are just beginning to soften but not so that they have burst. Leave to cool.
  • Pour the blueberries into a medium sized bowl along with the lemon juice, basil leaves and granulated sugar. Mix together.
  • Remove the cake from the tin onto a wire rack, making sure there is a baking tray underneath to catch the excess drizzle.
  • Prick the cake all over with a cocktail stick and then spoon the drizzle over the cake.
  • Leave to cool completely before serving.

Notes

*I find that due to the moistness of this cake that the fan setting helps set the cake a bit better. However, if you don’t have a fan setting on your oven then 180°C is fine for a conventional oven but do check after half an hour to make sure the top of the cake isn’t browning too much. If it is, then pop a piece of loose foil over the top of the cake.

Nutrition

Calories: 504kcal | Carbohydrates: 67g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 180mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 945IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 1.5mg

SHOP THE RECIPE

I have a few loaf tins but this Loaf Tin 2lb Alan Silverwood is my absolute favourite. It’s just a great size, slightly bigger than your average 2lb loaf tin so bear in mind for some recipes. It is made of anodised aluminium so conducts heat brilliantly, making the cake bake evenly all the way through. It’s really hard wearing and pretty much completely non-stick but has no coating. However because of the anodised aluminium you mustn’t put it in the dishwasher or it will ruin.

The link above is an affiliate link which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!!

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Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake {gluten-free}

This gluten-free Golden Beetroot Carrot Cake is the best carrot cake you will ever taste. Full of sweet earthy goodness thanks to using both golden beetroot and carrots; complex with pecans, sultanas and apples; perfectly complimented with a not too sweet cream cheese buttercream and adorned with the delightful crunch of a salted pecan praline and candied beetroot and carrots.

Gluten-Free Cherry Cake

Cherry Cake on a cooling rack with a cake knife sitting in front of a bowl of cherries

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Infused Olive Oil

This Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Infused Olive Oil is such a useful ingredient to have in your kitchen toolbox. It takes no time at all and will amp up humdrum roasted veg, grilled meats and salad dressings.

Lemon Garlic and Thyme Olive Oil
If you cook a lot then there are a bunch of tasks which you will be doing on a regular basis like chopping onions or crushing garlic. It’s these menial jobs which can sometimes add a good few minutes onto preparing your meal and let’s be honest, those few minutes can sometimes be better spent thumbing through Grazia or hopping amongst the Sky channels.

This is why I love infused oils; garlic is such a good infused oil mainly because of garlic’s innate tendency to burn easily, so while I am very careful about using fresh garlic in the oven, if all the garlic flavour is within the oil then you don’t need to worry. Also I do get fed up of always peeling and crushing those suckers, I must do it nearly every day. So having an oil where the hard work is done for you is so useful.

How to use Lemon Thyme and Garlic Olive Oil

This particular infusion of olive oil is brilliant for:

  • slathering over a chicken before it goes on to roast.
  • drizzled over barbecued meats or steamed vegetables for instant flavour
  • substitute your usual olive oil for this one in salad dressings which cuts out mincing about with mustard and vinegar emulsions, chuck this onto your leaves and you’re golden.

So the main thing I am really trying to get across here is that for about 30 minutes of not too stressful labour of a weekend you can produce an oil that will help you cut down time on your cooking for the next couple of weeks. Just as long as you like all your meals flavoured with lemon and garlic, but who doesn’t?

Dried Thyme | Stroud Green Larder

Can you use different herbs?

Of course you can use whatever herbs you like, the woodier herbs tend to dry better than the more leafy ones so will impart flavour more easily. Rosemary is a particular favourite.

Infusion Tips:

  • It is important to use dried herbs rather than ones picked fresh as mould will gather on fresh herbs floating about in oil.
  • The same goes for the garlic and lemon but I advise you fish those out of the oil anyway then you don’t have to worry about botulism or anything.

Peeling the garlic

This recipe requires you to peel a whole head of garlic. If you find this a bit of a nuisance then you obviously haven’t seen Martha Stewart’s excellent tutorial which explains how the job can be done in under a minute. And since I tested it out for this recipe I can confirm that it does actually work.

Alternative Flavour: Chilli Oil

The other oil infusion I also regularly make is chilli oil. Prepare it in the same way as the garlic infusion by simmering the oil with 1 red chilli then removing the chilli before you decant it.

If you make this Lemon Garlic and Thyme Olive Oil then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Infused Olive Oil

This Lemon, Garlic and Thyme Infused Olive Oil is such a useful ingredient to have in your kitchen toolbox. It takes no time at all and will amp up humdrum roasted veg, grilled meats and salad dressings.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: British
Servings: 500 ml

Ingredients

  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 strips lemon zest
  • 500 ml olive oil

Instructions

  • First of all dry the thyme by putting the herb on baking parchment on a baking tray and place in the bottom tray of an oven at the lowest setting you have. Leave the door slightly ajar and bake for about 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Remove and peel all the garlic cloves from the head of the garlic.
  • Then place the garlic, along with the lemon zest and olive oil in a wide bottomed saucepan.
  • Heat the oil on a low setting, never bringing to a simmer, for about 30 minutes.
  • Remove the lemon and garlic with a slotted spoon and leave the oil to cool before decanting into a jar along with the dried thyme.

Notes

This should keep well for about 2 weeks.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

These easy Roasted Aubergine and Courgettes are sprinkled with sumac and tossed with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon before serving. A wonderful vegetable dish which can be eaten hot or as part of a salad buffet.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

This is an excellent standby week night meal which takes moments to prepare. The vegetables don’t even need peeling, just minimal chopping and then 30-40 minutes roasting in the oven.

Aubergines and courgettes are often misunderstood vegetables as they seem difficult to cook correctly. Sometimes with watery or oily results.

However this recipe is so easy and absolutely foolproof that aubergines and courgettes will become your absolute go-to veg choice when you are looking for a quick meal.

courgette and aubergine3

Why this recipe works so brilliantly

  • Minimal prep time so ideal if you need a hands off dinner.
  • The sumac, fresh herbs and lemon balance out the richness of the roasted vegetables.
  • You can make ahead as this dish is just as good eaten at room temperature.
  • Roasted Aubergine and Courgette can accompany a variety of different meals.

If you need more veggie side dishes then why not try:

English Mint Potato Salad
Garlicky Slow Braised Tomato and Aubergine
The Best Homemade Coleslaw

courgette and aubergine

Do you need to salt aubergines?

Yes and no. Years ago aubergines were much more bitter so they required salting to make them more palatable. The bitterness has been bred out of them now though so there is no more need to salt for that purpose. However, aubergines do soak up a lot of oil when cooking so salting them prior to cooking helps the aubergine to absorb less oil.

I’m happy to report though that there is no need to salt the aubergines in this recipe. We are looking for speed here.

TIP:  If you feel the end result is too oily then you can pat the vegetables dry with clean kitchen paper before tossing with the herbs and lemon.

What is Sumac?

Sumac is popular in middle eastern cooking. It has a tart lemony flavour. Lovely sprinkled over salads, grilled meats or vegetables.

Here it adds a tanginess to the roasted vegetables, cutting through the richness of the olive oil.

How to Roast Aubergine and Courgette

There is minimal prep involved here.

  1. Cut each vegetable into 8 wedges, by slicing in half width ways, then cutting the halves length ways twice.
  2. Toss in the olive oil, sumac and salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 30-40 minutes (depending on how large your vegetables were to begin with).
  4. Finally toss with the fresh herbs and lemon.

Roasted aubergine and courgette2

What to serve with Roasted Aubergine and Courgette

  • Lamb Kebabs
  • Roasted Chicken
  • Toss through with pasta for a vegan main dish
  • Serve drizzled with garlicky yoghurt
  • Take to a pot luck for a healthy veggie option

If you make this Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Roasted Aubergine and Courgette with Sumac and Herbs

These easy Roasted Aubergine and Courgettes are sprinkled with sumac and tossed with fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon before serving. A wonderful vegetable dish which can be eaten hot or as part of a salad buffet.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 210kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 aubergines
  • 2 courgettes
  • 60 ml olive oil
  • ¾ teaspoon sumac
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 10 g mint leaves roughly chopped
  • 10 g coriander leaves roughly chopped
  • 10 g parsley leaves roughly chopped
  • Wedge of lemon

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
  • Prepare the courgette and aubergine by slicing off the stems. Cut each one in half width ways. Halve each again lengthways and then cut into 16 wedges in total.
  • Place the wedges on a baking tray then toss with the olive oil, sumac and salt and pepper.
  • Roast for 30-40 minutes, checking halfway through to give a good mix around.
  • Once the aubergine and courgette are soft, lightly browned and slightly crispy at the corners then remove from the oven.
  • Sprinkle over the fresh herbs, mixing together with a squeeze of lemon.

Notes

  • Cut aubergine browns quickly so don’t leave it hanging around the kitchen after you have turned it into wedges.
  • You can enjoy this dish hot from the oven or cooled and served at room temperature.
  • Lovely served with grilled lamb or chicken or tossed through pasta for a vegan option.

Nutrition

Calories: 210kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 161mg | Potassium: 821mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 734IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 46mg | Iron: 1mg

Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2014, but was updated in August of 2019 to make the recipe instructions clearer as well as nutritional information and expert tips.