Figs, pears, stilton & berries

Figs, pears, stilton & berries

Fruit platter with stilton

A heap of fresh fruit and some stinky cheese. These are a few of my favourite things.

You know what it’s like. You’re wafting about the market, picking up fresh fruit because it all looks so good. Juicy and soft fresh figs, plump grapes and glistening berries in crates – it’s all just too tempting!

Figs, pears, stilton & berries - a dessert with a difference

And then you pass the guy handing out samples of cheese – probably my favourite part of any market. Before you know it, a lump of that cheese has joined the fruit in your basket.

Now, what to do with it all?

Currants, figs, seckel pears & thyme roasted grapes

A fruit and cheese plate is the obvious avenue to head down. Just add some bread or crackers and you’re in business.

I wanted to step it up a notch, this time.

Figs, pears, stilton & berries

I’m often roasting green grapes when they’re in season. They’re the most perfect addition to salads, especially when you roast them with fresh thyme. Sweet, savoury and oh-so juicy.

To get more colour onto the plate, I blitzed the blackberries into a smoothie-type concoction with buttermilk and yoghurt. A little tart and slightly sweet – a nice match to the creamy and pungent stilton that also comes to the party.

Eating it all together is an absolute joy – a perfect snack on its own or easy, sweet ending to a lunch or dinner.

Figs, pears, stilton & berries


Print Recipe
Figs, pears, stilton & berries
A delicious combination of fresh fruit and berries, sharp stilton cheese and blackberry smoothie.
Figs, pears, stilton & berries - a dessert with a difference
Figs, pears, stilton & berries - a dessert with a difference
  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  2. Get your green grapes, olive oil, balsamic and thyme leaves into a small ovenproof dish. Toss the ingredients to coat all the grapes, then bake for 30 minutes - stirring a couple of times during cooking.
  3. Set aside to cool before using.
  4. Put the blackberries, yoghurt, buttermilk and sugar into a blender or processor and blitz until smooth. Alternatively use a stick blender. You can sieve the mixture if you like, but it isn't necessary.
  5. To assemble, spoon the smoothie into the base of 4 small serving dishes. Lay the halved pears in the centre, then lean the fig halves against them.
  6. Arrange the black corinth grapes and stilton around (as much or as little as you want), then garnish with herbs and flowers.
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  • Josie Spicer

    These photos look like they belong in some fantasy world at a castle banquet – perhaps Rivendell.
    I never thought about roasting grapes either – will have to give it a shot, thanks.

    • Thanks Josie. It sure does give an air of abundance and feasting when you pile fuuit on platters like that!

  • You have such a fantastic feel for color, as well as flavor. Really amazing.

  • KevinIsCooking

    What stunning photos here John. Now if we were neighbors I’d make excuses to borrow that cup of castor sugar or have a cup of coffee to witness this and some of your other creations getting photographed. The plating and styling are just TOP notch.
    I know I mentioned it to you before, but just yesterday the first green buds started appearing on our fig tree. So excited to beat the birds to this years crop in due time… hopefully!

    • You’d be more than welcome to drop by anytime, Kevin! And good luck with the figs!

  • When you roast grapes, it’s a game changer. This is so beautiful John! I will keep all this in mind as I walk through our market tomorrow morning… Though, I think I will only see strawberries and goat cheese. But, roasted strawberries has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

  • I really need to remember to start roasting grapes. And I agree with the sentiments below – the shots in the series are stunning!

  • Linda Roisum

    John, I saw this post last week and fell in love with your photos and simply had to make it. So when I went to the grocery store over the weekend, I made sure I had all that I needed. And I made your recipe for lunch yesterday with a few minor modifications. I substituted roasted strawberries for the figs which are not in season at the moment where I live and also added red grapes to the mix with the green and black as well as a few pistachios for some crunch. Absolutely delicious! I’ll definitely be making this again.

    • That’s fantastic Linda! That’s the beauty of such a simple recipe, you can taylor it however you want!

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    I know there is a recipe in there somewhere 😉 But wow, those photos!

  • I’ve thought about roasting grapes and when I have them I forget 🙁 I love roasting grape or cherry tomatoes they lend such a sweetness to the dish! This recipe is definitely on the “do” list. Now, to your photos and colors — WOW!! I don’t even see the individual items because it looks like the most beautiful combination. You certainly have the artistic eye. I am so glad Nagi introduced me to you! Spring is here and I can’t wait to plant our herbs — I could see some of our purple basil in there. If you’ve never tried it — it is great. It’s beautiful in bouquets and it tastes delicious. Now — back to studying your photos 🙂

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