Garden pea custard, pickled vegetables, roast hazelnut crumble

The Recipes / Vegetables

Glenmorangie House, Ross-shire

Pea custard
200g peas
80g baby spinach leaves
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
50ml double cream

Pickled vegetables
Selection of baby vegetables
1 litre cider vinegar
2tsp black pepper
2tsp fennel seeds
2tsp allspice berries
2tsp cardamom pods
Zest of 2 oranges
4 star anise
50g sugar
100ml rapeseed oil

Roast hazelnut crumble topping
50g hazelnuts
100g flour
75g butter
75g sugar

Serves 4

Prepare the pickled vegetables at least a day in advance. Bring the cider vinegar, spices, and zest to the boil and leave to simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in the sugar and taste, adjusting if necessary to your own preference, then leave to cool. Parboil and cool the cleaned and trimmed baby vegetables. When cool, pack the vegetables into separate hot sterilised kilner jars: when two-thirds full, cover with the spiced vinegar, prodding to ensure the spices get right down into the pickle. Fill the jars carefully until well crammed. Top with rapeseed oil so that all the veg is covered, seal the jar, and leave to cool. The pickles can be eaten immediately or kept in the fridge. Advice varies as to how long they will keep. My suggestion is simply to keep a casual eye on things: signs of cloudiness or a bad smell hint that the pickle is no longer good to eat, but well refrigerated they should keep for a few months.

For the pea custard, blend the peas, spinach, 100ml of water and a pinch of salt to a smooth purée, scraping down the sides of the blender. Turn the blender to low and add the eggs, yolk and cream, gently blend together on low speed until combined. Season well with salt and pepper, then gently pass the custard through a fine sieve first into a clean bowl, then into a clean pouring jug.

Grease four ramekins with olive oil and two-thirds fill with custard mixture. Transfer to a deep tray and carefully fill the tray halfway up the sides of the moulds with boiled water. Cover the whole tray with foil and seal the edges. Cook in the oven at 120˚C until set; about 35 minutes.

Roast the hazelnuts at 180°C for 10 minutes. Blitz with the other ingredients in the blender until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Return the mixture to the oven at 160°C and bake until completely dried out.

Sprinkle each ramekin with hazelnut crumble and top with pickled baby vegetables.