For the first in my ‘Well Seasoned’ series of damson recipes I am pairing the sharp fruitiness of my damson puree with a creamy chia and linseed pudding, laced with fragrant Madagascan vanilla and topped with slices of Victoria plums given to me by some family friends who (lucky souls) have a seemingly unending supply from the trees in their garden.
The world seems to have gone a bit chia crazy of late. They are founding members of the newfangled, endlessly lauded group of miraculous ‘superfoods’. If many of the more vigorous claims bandied about on the internet are to be believed, they will cure all manner of ailments, make you more intelligent, thinner, well rested and certainly give you a lovely air of superiority in your early morning Bikram yoga class…if I sound bitter, just put it down to the fact that I frankly lack the constitution for 6am sun salutations, and if I ever managed it, it would be fuelled by strong coffee and strong coffee alone! While some of these claims are probably overstated, chia seeds do contain a very decent numbers of vitamins and minerals, which is rather nice.
However, what appeals to me most about these South American seeds is their incredible texture. Chia seeds can absorb vast quantities of liquid and as they do so they set in to the most unctuous and lightly gelatinous ‘pudding’ – think a perfectly set panna cotta, but with seeds. Alternatively – and much less appetisingly – think tiny delicious frogspawn.
To top it off, this chia and linseed pudding could not be more easy to make. I simply swirl together the seeds, yoghurt, vanilla infused milk and honey and leave overnight to set, before drizzling over the damson puree, adding a good dollop of yoghurt and slices of the lovely Victoria plums. The end result is deliciously creamy and mellow – perfect for a luxurious, but frankly pretty angelic breakfast or dessert that is a wonderful way to showcase our delightful damsons.
Chia and Linseed Pudding with Damson and Vanilla
I know that the vast majority of chia pudding recipes use nut milk as the base, which is lovely but given that I love a good bit of dairy, I find good old cow’s milk and yoghurt makes this so much creamier and more delicious. If you are less keen on a cow then feel free to substitute plant-based alternatives…unsweetened hazelnut, coconut or almond milk and a dollop of coconut yoghurt works just as well.
- 150g chia seeds
- 40g linseeds (brown or golden)
- 90g thick, set natural yoghurt + more to serve (I used Skyr Icelandic yoghurt as it has a lovely, creamy texture)
- 450ml full fat milk
- 1 Madagascan vanilla pod (or a few drops of good quality vanilla extract)
- Runny honey to taste
- 4 tablespoons damson puree
- 2 large Victoria plums
Pour the milk into a medium sized saucepan. Split the vanilla pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds, adding both to the milk. Gently heat until the milk is hot (don’t boil). Leave to infuse and cool.
Once the milk is cool, pour through a sieve into a mixing bowl to extract the vanilla pod. Add the chia and linseeds and the 90g of yoghurt. Stir until well combined and add honey to taste. Pour into serving bowls and refrigerate for until set (preferably overnight).
To serve top with a dollop of natural yoghurt, a couple of spoonfuls of damson puree and slices of the Victoria plums.