SEPTEMBER 2018 | Wai Lin Coultas
Think endless days of warm sunshine and we think of coconut rather than the humble sago.
Yet the starchy pearls hail from New Guinea, the Moluccas and Southeast Asia too; being extracted from piths of various tropical palms. This dessert is thus for recent returnees from pleasurably wintering in balmy parts of the Asia Pacific to the delightful Tasmanian spring – the perfect welcome home!
1 tbsp culinary lavender*
1 cup boiling water
2 cups raw sugar
80 g raw sago pearls
400 ml coconut milk
120 g + 50 g salted roasted hazelnuts, warmed
16 g + 8 g shredded coconut, dry toasted
½ red apple, cored and vertically sliced into 12 segments
½ lemon, juiced
3 small fresh strawberries, each topped and vertically sliced into 12 segments
12 fresh strawberries
4 sprigs fresh mint tips
*Available at Bridestowe Lavender Estate, Port Arthur Lavender and Tasmanian Lavender Gifts; they are dried flower buds of the ‘Munstead’ variety of the English lavender with the sweetest fragrance; creating a lovely sweet citrusy flavour in cooking.
To make the lavender syrup, bring to boil lavender, water and sugar in a saucepan and simmer for 15 minutes.
Strain out the lavender and simmer liquids for 20 to 30 minutes to 350ml syrup.
To make the sago pudding, soak sago pearls in coconut milk and 250ml lavender syrup for 30 minutes in a pot before stirring to a boil.
Continue stirring on lower heat till pearls are tenderly translucent and liquids absorbed.
Spoon pudding into 4 dessert glasses to firm up covered in fridge for 1 hour.
Warm covered pudding glasses in oven pre-heated to 55°C for 15 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss sliced apples in lemon juice.
To plate: 1 dessert glass, top ¼ of 120g nuts on pudding and 3 slices of lemon-laced apple over nuts, sprinkle ¼ of 16 g toasted coconut over, and top with 9 strawberry segments and a mint tip sprig.
Serve on warmed plate garnished with more strawberries, nuts and toasted coconut.
Photo | Wai Lin Coultas