I have another brilliant guest post for you today from the lovely Federica over at Whatever Gets You Through The Day. Matilda is napping right now so I'm catching up on ironing/eating/blogging whilst I can...I should probably be sleeping as well. I hope you are all well and that you enjoy this post.
As the sharp, cold winter replaces the autumn's benevolent mildness, you'd be forgiven for wondering what happened with all your time. Days seem to fly fast, in the frenzy of busy working lives spent tucked inside an office, away from the fleeting daylight. One day you're strolling home in the glory of a bright end-of-summer evening; the next you raise your head from your computer screen in the middle of the afternoon, and see nothing but pitch black sky outside your window. While the world outside suggests that it’s late enough to sort out dinner, the clock tells a different truth, one that requires more patience than your grumbling stomach can possibly muster.
This calls for comfort food. An afternoon snack you can savour with a mug of piping hot tea, while you're looking outside, yearning for those late sunsets that feel a lifetime away. Pair the warm notes of a cup of Earl Grey with the beautiful summer keepsakes of a dessert made with blueberries and creamy yoghurt, and you’ll get the best of both worlds: a reminder of the glorious past seasons, and the warmest hug you can get from the present one. Proof that, if icy cold comes with heartwarming hot drinks and soft cake slices, winter's not all too bad.
These Blueberry Yoghurt Slices evoke the kind of memories that those who grew up to the smell of home baked treats have the privilege of conjuring to stop the mean blues from creeping in. A stream of reminiscence that starts while you’re kneading, covering your hands with sticky dough, just like you used to
when you were a carefree child helping out your mum. Back then, you would hold her hand while she cut the dough into squares, following her precise gestures as if they were a sacred ritual, as she happily giggled at the sight of her little baker in an oversized apron. Every time you caught her looking away, you’d try to steal a piece of raw dough, only rarely succeeding at your cheeky plan: the corner of her eye was always set on your sticky little hands, quick to cast stares of doom and disapproval.
As you wait for the oven to do its job, you remember the long, stretching minutes you used to spend kneeling near the oven door, your little nose almost touching the hot surface, while you witnessed the miracle of raw dough raising and becoming golden brown. The delicious smell coming out of the kitchen, anticipating an equally delectable taste, triggers another childlike urge: taking a bite while your treat’s still hot, mindless that good things do come to those who wait. To fully enjoy their softness and delicate flavour, these Blueberry and Yoghurt Slices are best served cold, and benefit from resting overnight.
This is comfort food at its best. While it won't bring last summer back, it will ease your nostalgia for the late sunsets that used to be, sweetening your wait for the time to enjoy them again. Until then, here’s to enjoying the cosy, simple pleasures of a winter afternoon in.
Blueberry Yoghurt Slices
(Adapted from The Cutting Edge of Ordinary)
Makes 12 slices
260g plain white flour
2 tsp baking powder
90g granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
240ml double cream, plus extra for garnishing (optional)
240ml plain low-fat or fat-free yoghurt (you can also use lemon-flavoured yoghurt if you want to
experiment with a different taste)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°, and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and nutmeg in a large bowl.
- Add the blueberries, and stir until they’re all lightly covered in flour.
- Pour in the yoghurt and double cream, and continue stirring until just moistened.
- Transfer the dough to a non-stick baking mat or floured worktop. Gently lift and fold it four or five
- times, then place on the baking tray.
- Spread it into a 7 to 8-inch square, about 1 inch thick. Use a silicon spatula to even out the surface.
- Using a floured pizza cutter or knife, divide the dough in 12 slices, without tearing them apart yet.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Leave aside to cool down, then cut following the tracks you created before baking.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped double cream on the side if you like.