Peach Iced White Tea

Peach iced tea

Bubble tea. I absolutely luuurve bubble tea. I’ve only actually had it 3 times but that’s enough to fall in love, right? Right?? Fruity iced tea with crazy, chewy tapioca balls in the bottom that shoot up the straw when you least expect it. Oh my goodness!

OK so I’m probably massively behind the curve here and hugely uncool, but I don’t care, deal with it people.

Tea bags

Whilst I would love to recreate the bubble tea experience at home, I feel that would ruin it for me. It’s supposed to be a weird treat on a Sunday afternoon stroll and my straws are way too small. Besides, it’s probably not a good idea to ingest that many e-numbers and that much processed sugar on a regular basis.

However, everyone needs a go to recipe for iced tea. It has to be one of the most refreshing drinks out there and the addition of peaches, just pushes it over the edge into utter awesomeness (real word? Not sure I care…)

Peach Iced Tea 2

We’re in a Choose Your Own Adventure situation here people. (Or we would be, if they wrote a Choose Your Own Adventure book about how you like your tea. I doubt they did, that would probably be a tad dry for your average 10 year old. I’d probably read it though.)

Like your tea a little stronger? Sub your favourite black tea bags for the white tea. Got an insanely sweet tooth? Double (no, triple!) the sugar. Want it to be super peachy? Puree the peaches into the tea once it’s cooled or whack in some peach juice. Don’t even like peaches? Don’t put them in. Duh.

Peach Iced Tea 3

It’s basically majorly customisable and incredibly easy to whip up on a hot summers day. (Not that we have those in England, but we can put the heating on and parade around in a summer dress and sunglasses whenever we like.) You can even pop a little booze in there if you’re feeling cheeky. I’m thinking bourbon….in keeping with the Southern American theme. Do it, you know you want to. Sorry, did that come across a little too ‘pusher’?

Peach Iced Tea 4

Peach Iced White Tea
This version isn’t hugely sweet, as that’s my preference, but you can add more sugar to taste.

Ingredients:

2 ripe peaches
4 bags of white tea
1/2 cup of caster sugar

Slice the peaches and put them in a large jug or pitcher. Throw in the tea bags and pore over 4 cups of boiling water.

Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes and then immediately remove the tea bags. If you leave them for too long the tannins will start making the tea bitter.

Add the sugar and give it a good stir until it’s all dissolved. Add 4 cups of cold water and leave the whole lot to cool. You can take the peaches out once it’s cool if you want, but I don’t think it’s really necessary.

Once cool it’s ready to go. Serve it over plenty of ice,with a slug of bourbon if you fancy it, and a few of the peaches on top.

Pop any leftovers in the fridge, I found that it was still lovely the next day. Enjoy!

Peach & Raspberry Ricotta Crumble Cake

Ricotta cake 1

Following a marvellously sunny and relaxing trip to Sicily, I have become utterly obsessed with ricotta cheese.

I breakfasted on bread with ricotta and honey at every given opportunity, added it to my pasta and chose it as a pizza topping, so I was thoroughly surprised when I returned to London roughly the same size as when I left!

Ricotta

There’s just something about it that’s got me hooked and I’m not exactly clear what it is, so for now I’m indulging my obsession and bringing it home to good old blighty.

Peaches

The owner of one of the B&Bs I stayed in on my holibobs produced the most amazing cakes each and every morning, and those that weren’t eaten were popped in a doggy bag for lunch. Therefore, when I got home I decided that the best way to indulge my ricotta addiction would be in the form of a fabulously fruity cake.

Ricotta cake 2

I chose peaches as, for some reason, my flat is not conducive to effective peach ripening. It seems that every time I buy a punnet of peaches, they start out ridiculously hard and then after a few days in my flat they’ve taken on that odd dry texture (that I’m really struggling to describe!)

Ricotta cake 3It seemed like the best way around this problem would be to cook the peaches. Much like strawberries, peaches can be improved by a bit of heat and sugar, especially if they’re not properly ripe and juicy. The same applies to nectarines, apricots and plums.

Ricotta cake 4

A quick internet scout led me to the Australian Gourmet Traveller website and this lovely recipe for Peach and Raspberry Ricotta Crumble Cake.

All I can say is yum! This cake is everything I hoped it would be. Sweet peaches, slightly sour raspberries, crumbly topping, a hint of lime zest and, best of all, delightfully tangy chunks of ricotta! It’s a wonderfully moist cake, I ate my first slice slightly warm (as my patience had left me) but it’s equally scrummy cold.

Ricotta cake 5

It’s also the first cake I’ve made in my food processor. Slightly more complicated than the cakes I’ve made in the past but definitely worth the effort.

Ricotta cake 6

The original recipe calls for the cake to be served with a lime and vanilla syrup, which I’m sure would be lovely, but I didn’t think it needed the added sweetness. I also omitted the dusting of icing sugar, not on purpose, admittedly!

Ricotta cake 7

Peach & Raspberry Ricotta Crumble Cake
From Australian Gourmet Traveller

Ingredients:

20g sour cream
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
300g plain flour
220g caster sugar
160g softened unsalted butter
30g ground almonds
Grated rind of 2 limes
1tsp vanilla bean paste
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp salt
2 eggs
3 peaches, halved and thinly sliced
125g raspberries
200g ricotta

Start by preheating your oven to 180 C / 160 C fan oven / 350 F and butter and line a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper. (I used a 23cm baking tin as that’s all I could find in John Lewis!)

In a measuring jug stir together sour cream and bicarbonate of soda and set aside for a couple of minutes to foam. It’s best to use a largish measuring jug as the mixture will pretty much double in size.

In your food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, butter, ground almonds, lime rind, vanilla paste, baking powder and salt until crumbly. (If you don’t have a food processor I’m sure that you could rub these ingredients together with your finger tips instead, it’ll just take a little longer.) Take out one cup of the mixture and put it to one side.

Returning to the crumble mix in the food processor, add the eggs and the sour cream mixture and pulse again until it’s smooth.

Spread half of the mix into the bottom of the baking tin, smooth it out and then sprinkle in half of the peaches, raspberries and ricotta (in little chunks) and a third of the reserved crumble mix.

Add the rest of the cake batter, smoothing it over again. Top with the rest of the peaches, raspberries and ricotta and then cover the whole lot with the rest of the crumble.

Pop the tin in the oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until a skewer comes out of the middle clean. If it starts to get too brown, cover it with foil.

Cool the cake in the tin for 15 minutes and then take it out and put it on a rack to cool completely.

Serve with a nice cup of tea!

Ricotta cake 8