Fresh Fruit Salad

Fresh Fruit Salad


Fresh fruit salad is always a good standby for a quick dessert. A selection of fruits in season are mixed in a lemon syrup. Wine or liqueur can also be added to enhance the flavour further.


Fresh Fruit Salad
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: About 20 minutes
  • Standing time: 2–3 hours
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes

  • Ingredients for a winter fruit salad
  • 115g (4 oz) sugar (½ cup)
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • A selection of 4–5 fruits
  • 2 small or 1 large red skinned apple
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 banana
  • 115g (4 oz) seedless grapes (1 cup)
  • 1 small tin/can pineapple slices or fresh pineapple
  • or any other seasonal fruits

  • Equipment
  • Glass serving bowl

  1. Method
  2. Dissolve the sugar in 300ml (10 fl oz) (1¼ cups) water over a gentle heat. Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes. Cool and add the lemon juice. Pour into a glass serving bowl.

  3. Prepare the fruits and put them into the syrup as you go. Quarter, core and thinly slice the apples. Peel the oranges making sure all the pith is removed, break into its segments and divide each one into three. Slice the banana. Halve the grapes. Take four pineapple slices and halve each one and then divide into three. Mix them in the syrup, coating all the fruit.

  4. Let the fruit salad stand for 2–3 hours to allow the flavours to blend.

  5. Variations
  6. A tipsy fruit salad
  7. Add 15–30ml (1–2 tbsp) of any fruit liqueur or white wine to the syrup.

  8. A summer fruit salad
  9. Combine summer fruits, for example, strawberries, raspberries, cherries with dessert pears and melon, or any other seasonal fruits.

Updated: March 7, 2017

Floating Islands with Spun Sugar

Floating Islands with Spun Sugar


I saw Mary Berry create this recipe for floating islands on the Great British Bake Off Masterclass this year. I have always sprinkled cocoa powder over the meringue eggs (see here) but would certainly recommend this for a change.


Floating Islands with Spun Sugar
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crème anglaise
  • 200ml/7 fl oz full fat milk/whole milk
  • 200ml/7 fl oz double cream/whipping cream
  • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste, or vanilla essence
4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only (reserving 3 egg whites for the meringue)
  • 85g/3 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar

  • For the meringues
  • 3 eggs, whites only
  • 85g/3 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar

  • For the spun sugar
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar

  • Equipment
  • A deep sided sauté or frying pan with lid

  1. Method
  2. For the spun sugar
  3. Melt the sugar, without stirring, in a small stainless steel pan over a medium heat. Cover a rolling pin with parchment. Take care as the sugar will be very hot. When it turns a dark golden-brown remove from the heat. Leave to cool slightly, about 30 seconds, then, using the back of a fork or a whisk, quickly flick the caramel backwards and forward over the rolling pin. Gather the strands into rough ball shape while gently pulling upwards and place on a sheet of parchment paper.

  4. For the poaching liquid
  5. This will become the crème anglaise. Heat the milk and cream in the pan. Stir in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla essence and bring to a simmer over a low heat. Now make the meringue.

  6. For the meringues
  7. In a large grease-free bowl using an electric hand whisk on fast speed, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form (or use the whisk attachment on a food mixer). Now gradually whisk in the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the meringue is stiff and glossy. 

  8. Have a glass or jug of water to hand. Using two large tablespoons or serving spoons, shape large eggs from the meringue mixture, dipping the spoons in the water to help shape them and keep them smooth. The meringue should make 4 very large eggs. Place the meringue eggs in the poaching liquid as you go. Cover the pan and over a very low heat poach the meringue eggs for about 8–9 minutes, flipping them halfway through. Make sure the poaching liquid doesn’t boil or the meringues will puff up and then collapse. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a wire rack covered with paper towel to drain. 

  9. For the crème anglaise
  10. Strain the poaching milk through a sieve into a large jug. 

  11. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy, about 2–3 minutes. Pour over the warm poaching milk, whisking continuously. Then pour the mixture into a clean heavy-based pan and cook over a very low heat for 3–4 minutes, stirring continuously, until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat.

  12. To serve
  13. Divide the crème anglaise between each serving bowl and then float a meringue egg on top. Decorate with a ball of spun sugar.

Crossover Pancakes

Crossover Pancakes


Small English-sized pancakes that are made with a thicker North American-style batter. These are served one on top the other with sweetened butter and maple syrup poured generously over.


Crossover Pancakes
Prepares: 12 pancakes
  • Preparation time: About 10 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 250g/9 oz plain flour/cake and pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2½ tbsp caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 2 large eggs (U.K.)/extra large eggs (N.A.), lightly beaten
  • 475ml/17 fl oz milk
  • 110g/4 oz butter
  • pinch of salt

  • To serve
  • 80g/3 oz butter, softened
  • 1 tsp icing sugar, sifted
  • maple syrup to pour

  • Equipment
  • A 20cm/8inch nonstick frying pan/skillet

  1. Method
  2. Melt 80g/3 oz of the butter and set aside. Sift the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into a large bowl. Mix in the sugar. Make a well in the centre and gradually whisk in the eggs, milk and melted butter incorporating the flour from around the edges.until well blended. Using a rubber spatula, push down any remaining flour from the sides of the bowl and whisk in until smooth. This will make a fairly thick batter. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  3. Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2 and place five plates in the oven to warm.

  4. Meanwhile, beat softened butter and icing sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

  5. Put the pan over a medium heat. Melt the remaining butter in the pan and then pour into a small bowl. This should leave the pan with a lightly greased surface. After cooking each pancake, smear the pan with melted butter to keep it lightly greased using a wodge of kitchen paper.

  6. For each pancake you will need about 4 tablespoons/¼ cup of batter. I find a ladle makes it easy to scoop out the batter and pour into the pan. I know where my 4 tablespoons come to in the ladle and use this as a rough guide. So, quickly ladle the batter into the centre of the pan and tip the pan from side to side to even out the batter. The batter won’t cover the surface of the pan but should make an even round pancake. Then cook the pancake for about 1–2 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface and the underside is starting to turn golden. Flip and cook the underside for another 1–2 minutes. Slide onto a warmed plate, cover loosely with with foil and keep warm in the oven. Repeat using the rest of the batter overlapping the pancakes on the warmed plate.

  7. Divide the pancakes between four plates and top each with a spoonful of the reserved sweetened butter. Now they just need the maple syrup.


Chicken and Bacon Casserole

Chicken and Bacon Casserole


Chicken breasts are slowly cooked in a tomato-based sauce and served with a baked potato and seasonal vegetables.


Chicken and Bacon Casserole
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 chicken breasts, skinned
  • 30ml/2 tbsp flour
  • Black pepper
  • 45ml/3 tbsp oil
  • 25g/1 oz butter
  • 4 back bacon rashers
  • 50g/2 oz onion, finely chopped
  • 300ml/10 fl oz hot water
  • 1 organic chicken stock cube or 1tsp chicken bouillon
  • 8 whole tinned tomatoes, plus juice

  • To garnish
  • Chunky croutons
  • Chopped parsley

  • To serve
  • 4 baked potatoes
  • Seasonal vegetables

  • Equipment
  • A deep-sided sauté pan with lid

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/gas mark 3.

  3. Put the flour and some pepper into a plastic storage bag, add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Reserve the remaining flour in the bag.

  4. Heat the oil and butter in the sauté pan over a moderate heat and brown the chicken pieces, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

  5. Cut the bacon rashers into thin strips and fry gently in the pan for 2 minutes, until the fat starts to run. Add the onion and continue to cook until the onion starts to brown, about 3 minutes.

  6. Add the reserved flour into the pan and stir until the mixture has thickened. Mix the stock cube/1tsp bouillon into the water and add slowly to the pan, stirring constantly, until well combined. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and add the tomatoes.

  7. Return the chicken to the pan, cover and cook in the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  8. Remove the chicken and keep warm. Place the sauté pan on the hob and over a medium to high heat reduce the sauce to thicken. Put the chicken back in the pan, scatter the croutons over and add some chopped parsley.

  9. Serve with baked potatoes and seasonal vegetables.

  10. For the croutons
  11. These are so easy to make. Remove the crusts from 2 slices of bread (preferably a day old), cut into cubes and put in a bowl. Sprinkle over about 2 teaspoons of olive oil, some dried parsley and black pepper. Toss together.

  12. Layer on a small baking tray covered with baking paper/parchment paper and put in the oven for 12–14 minutes.


Crunchy Apple Crumble

Crunchy Apple CrumbleCrunchy Apple Crumble


Apples are cooked with raisins and a hint of cinnamon while walnuts added to the crumble mixture to make this a real crunchy apple crumble. One of those comforting desserts, perfect for a winter’s day, and served with lots of cream.


Crunchy Apple Crumble
Prepares: 6 servings
  • Preparation time: About 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the fruit
  • 1kg/2 lb 4 oz Bramley apples/Mutsu and Crispin are the closest Canadian varieties, Pink Lady will also work
  • 70g/2½ oz soft light brown sugar/yellow sugar
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 85g/3 oz raisins
  • 15g/½ oz softened butter for greasing

  • For the crumble
  • 50g/2 oz walnut pieces
  • 125g/4½ oz plain flour/all-purpose flour
  • 100g/3½ oz chilled butter, cubed
  • 50g/2 oz demerara sugar

  • To serve
  • Double cream/whipping cream

  • Equipment
  • A 23cm/9 inch shallow ovenproof dish

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5

  3. Peel, core and thickly slice the apples. Place in the ovenproof dish. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon then sprinkle over the apples. Add the raisins, separating those that may have stuck together. Stir to thoroughly combine. Sprinkle over 4 tablespoons of water, cover with foil and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes. Turn over the apple slices halfway through the cooking time. Remove the apple mixture from the oven, turn the slices over again and set aside for about 1 hour to cool.

  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F, gas mark 6.

  5. Finely, chop the walnut pieces, set to one side. Rub the butter into the flour then stir in the walnuts. The mixture should look like large breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar and then spoon the crumble mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for 30 minutes until the crumble is browning and the juices are starting to bubble through.

  6. Serve with a jug of cream.


Oranges in a Boozy Syrup

Oranges in a Boozy Syrup


A refreshing way to end a rich meal. Slices of juicy oranges, steeped in a caramel sauce, and given an extra kick with the addition of Cointreau or Grand Marnier.


Oranges in a Boozy Syrup
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 2–3 hours

  • Equipment
  • A large glass serving bowl or 4 individual glass dishes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 medium juicy oranges
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 15ml/1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau

  1. Method
  2. Thinly pare the rind from one orange and cut into very thin julienne strips. Place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

  3. Remove the pith from the orange and peel the remainder oranges. Make sure all the pith has been removed. Slice the oranges into rounds, reserving any juice and discarding pips. Arrange in the serving bowl or individual dishes.

  4. Place the sugar and 150ml/5 fl oz water in a saucepan and heat gently stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and continue boiling until the syrup is a light caramel colour.

  5. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully stir in 25ml/1½ tbsp water and return to a low heat. Then stir in the reserved orange juice and the liqueur.

  6. Leave the syrup to cool for 10 minutes and then pour over the oranges. Top with the julienne strips.

  7. Chill in the refrigerator for 2–3 hours.


Iced Lemon Meringue

Iced Lemon MeringueIced Lemon Meringue


Iced lemon meringue is a light refreshing dessert for a special occasion, which can be made ahead of time. Layers of frozen meringue and creamy lemon filling topped with raspberries and coulis.


Iced Lemon Meringue
Prepares: 8 good portions
  • Preparation time: About 45 minutes
  • Standing time: 45 minutes, plus freezing time
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringues
  • 4 egg whites, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only – you will need the yolks for the filling
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 110g/4 oz light muscovado sugar/yellow sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch, sifted
  • ½ tsp almond essence
  • 25g/1 oz flaked almonds

  • For the lemon filling
  • 2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch, sifted
  • 4 egg yolks, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 110g/4 oz caster sugar/fine white sugar
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 lime, zest and juice
  • 115ml/4 fl oz milk
  • 284ml carton double cream/whipping cream

  • For the raspberry coulis
  • 200g/7 oz frozen raspberries
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar

  1. Method
  2. For the meringue
  3. Preheat the oven to 140°C/120° fan assisted/275°F/gas mark 1

  4. Draw three rectangles, 25.5 × 10cm/10 × 4 in, on baking parchment. Cut round each, leaving a 10cm/4 in border. Turn the paper over and put each piece on a baking sheet.

  5. Measure out the two sugars and mix together. Set aside. Whisk the egg whites until the mixture stands in soft peaks. Add the lemon juice and whisk until stiff. Add the sugars, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to whisk until the mixture is glossy and stands in soft peaks.

  6. Beat in 1 tablespoon boiling water, then fold in the cornflour and almond essence.

  7. Use a little of the meringue mixture to dab between the corners of the parchment paper and baking sheet to prevent the paper slipping. Then divide the mixture evenly between the parchment rectangles and lift into peaks with a metal spoon.

  8. Put 1 level tablespoon of the flaked almonds to one side and sprinkle the rest evenly over the meringues.

  9. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 110°C/90°C fan assisted/225°F/gas mark ¼ and bake for a further 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and leave for 45 minutes to dry out.

  10. For the lemon filling
  11. Mix the cornflour with 1 tablespoon water. Then stir in the egg yolks, sugar, lemon and lime zest and juice until combined. Bring the milk to the boil, gradually stir into the cornflour mixture. Return to the pan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly, until it is very thick. Tip into a bowl, cover with cling film, and leave to cool.

  12. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Once the lemon filling is cool, carefully fold it in until well incorporated.

  13. To assemble
  14. Lift the meringues off the parchment and sandwich the layers together with the filling. Put on a baking sheet and open freeze until firm. If making ahead of time, place the baking tray in a freezer proof bag at this stage.

  15. For the raspberry coulis
  16. Reserve eight of the raspberries and put the rest into a pan with the icing sugar and 1 tablespoon water. Heat gently for about 5 minutes until the raspberries have defrosted. Cool a little, then push through a sieve to make a smooth sauce. Set aside.

  17. The dessert can be made ahead of time up to this stage.

  18. To serve
  19. Toast the reserved flaked almonds by heating a pan over a medium heat and then toss the almonds into it. Move them around until they have turned a golden colour, about 5 minutes. Watch them carefully as they can burn very quickly.

  20. Put the meringue into the fridge for 30 minutes to soften a little. Sprinkle the toasted almonds over the meringue with the eight reserved raspberries. Slice and serve with a swirl of the raspberry coulis.


A Saucy Lemon Sponge Pudding

Saucy Lemon Sponge Pudding


A really zesty taste of lemon comes through with this take on a basic steamed sponge pudding.


A Saucy Lemon Sponge Pudding
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time:
  • For the lemon curd: 25 minutes
  • For the sponge: About 15 minutes

  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Equipment
  • 600ml/1 pint pudding basin

  • Ingredients
  • For the lemon curd
  • 2 large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.) eggs, yolks only
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice, about 1½ lemons*
  • 2¾ oz sugar
  • 1 oz butter

  • *1 average sized lemon produces 3 tablespoons of juice.

  • For the sponge
  • 4 tbsp lemon curd
  • 50g/2 oz butter, softened
  • 50g/2 oz caster sugar, fine white sugar
  • 110g/4 oz self-raising flour
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 5 tbsp extra thick double cream*

  • *The only thick double cream sold in Canadian supermarkets is imported and so it's expensive. Regular double cream whipped to a stiff consistency will work, but serve it in a separate dish to add on the side. The heat of the pudding will melt the cream if it is spooned over the top.

  1. Method
  2. For the lemon curd
  3. Put egg yolks, lemon juice and sugar in a bowl and whisk gently together. Add butter.

  4. Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water and stir continuously until the curd thickens enough to hold a trail. This will take 20–30 minutes. It takes a while before the curd starts to thicken. (A great time to pick up that novel you may be reading, check those e-mails, or phone a friend. As long as you have one hand free to stir the mixture!)

  5. Remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool. It thickens further on cooling.

  6. For the sponge
  7. Butter the base of the pudding basin and add 2 tablespoons of the lemon curd.

  8. Cream the butter and sugar. Gently add the flour, alternately with egg and milk. The mixture should drop gently from a spoon.

  9. Alternatively, use a food mixer but add ½ tsp baking powder.

  10. Fold in the lemon zest.

  11. Pour into the prepared pudding basin. Take a piece of foil that will cover the top of the basin and come halfway down the sides. Make a pleat through the middle to allow for any expansion. Place over the basin and pinch under rim. Take a length of string. It needs to go round the basin under the rim and secured tightly, then a loose length to make a handle. This will make removing the basin at the end easy.

  12. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring to the boil. Place the basin in the steamer, cover with the lid, and turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  13. If you don’t have a steamer, use a deep sided saucepan. Prepare the basin in the same way and place in the saucepan. Carefully pour boiling water into the saucepan so it comes no more than half way up the basin. Cover and let the water simmer for 1 hour 15 minutes.

  14. Remove the basin, take off the string and foil. The sponge should spring back when lightly pressed. Run a palette knife round the inside. Invert it onto a plate. The lemon curd will have become a sauce.

  15. To serve
  16. Swirl the remaining lemon curd into the cream and spoon over the sponge.

  17. Or whip a little double cream to a stiff consistency and fold in the remaining lemon curd, but serve it in a separate dish to add on the side.

  18. Serve immediately.


Soft White Rolls

Soft White Rolls


Soft and light, delicious with or without butter, these rolls will complement any meal.

Baking bread is not difficult if you follow this 3-step process. Each step involves a ‘wait period’ during which you can get on with something else. For more information about the technique I use, here’s a link to my page on Breadmaking.


Soft White Rolls
Prepares: 12 rolls
  • Step 1
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Waiting time: 30 minutes
  • Step 2
  • Preparation time: 5 minutes
  • Waiting time: About 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Step 3
  • Preparation time: 10–15 minutes
  • Waiting time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 600g (1 lb 5 oz) strong white/all purpose flour (4¼ cups)
  • 12g (1 tbsp) instant yeast
  • 12g (1½ tsp) salt
  • 50g (2 oz) caster sugar/fine white sugar (¼ cup)
  • 50g (2 oz) unsalted butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 385ml/13½ fl oz water (1½ cups + 5 tsp)

  1. Method

  2. Step 1
  3. Pour the flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Add most of the water and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or a plastic dough scraper. If some flour is left in the bottom, add the remainder of the water. It may not need it all. Just make sure that all the flour has been taken up.

  4. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and leave it to stand for 20–30 minutes.

  5. In the meantime, prepare for the next step by weighing out the salt, sugar, yeast, and butter.

  6. Step 2
  7. At the end of the 20–30 minutes, melt the butter and add it with the salt, sugar and yeast to the mixture, making sure that the yeast doesn’t come into contact with a wodge of salt, and mix well.

  8. Cover the bowl with the tea towel and leave for 10 minutes.

  9. Lightly oil your hands and the work surface, and tip the dough out. Take the edge of the dough that’s furthest away from you and fold it towards you to meet the near edge. Push it into the dough with your fingers or the heel of your hand, stretching it gently away from you. Give the dough a quarter turn and repeat. Do this 8 to 10 times, then rotate the dough into a ball and put it back in the bowl.

  10. Cover with the tea towel again, leave for 10 minutes, and repeat the fold and stretch.

  11. Cover again and leave for 10 minutes. While waiting, lightly oil another large bowl for the dough to rise in. Then fold and stretch the dough for a third time.

  12. The dough should now be smooth and silky. Tip it out and shape it into a ball. Put it into the lightly-oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel or cling film.

  13. Leave it to rise until it's at least doubled in size.* At room temperature, this should take a minimum of an hour but it's fine to leave it for 2–3 hours. The longer the better – it improves the flavour.

  14. While waiting, prepare a couple of baking trays. Mine are 39cm × 26cm/15 in × 10 in. Line them with baking parchment.

  15. Step 3
  16. Tip out the risen dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock the air out by folding it in on itself a few times. It should feel smooth. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions and roll each portion into a smooth ball. (To do this, flatten the dough with your hand flat, then moving your hand in a circular motion, gradually lift the palm while leaving the finger tips on the work surface, forming a cage around the dough. Do this quite quickly.)

  17. Place 6 dough balls on each baking tray with space between them to allow for spreading, and sprinkle them with flour. Cover with tea towels, or place each tray inside a clean plastic bag, and leave to prove for about an hour. You can tell when they're ready when they've doubled in size again and the dough springs back readily if you poke it gently with your finger.

  18. Before the end of the hour, heat your oven to 200°C/400°F (gas mark 6)

  19. Bake for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

  20. Unless you can't wait, freeze the rolls and defrost when needed.

  21. Tip 1
  22. Many recipes recommend using warm water to make the yeast work more quickly. However, the flavour is improved if the process takes place more slowly. I use water at room temperature or even a little cooler.

  23. Tip 2
  24. It's not easy to accurately divide the dough into 12 equal portions. I weigh the bowl with the risen dough in it, turn out the dough and then weigh the bowl again. The difference is the weight of the dough. Divide that by 12 and then weigh each portion as you cut it, adding or subtracting bits of dough until they're approximately right. With this amount of dough, they're about 90g/3¼ oz each.

  25. Tip 3
  26. When freezing, because these rolls are really light and soft, I open freeze them for about an hour before putting them in a container.

  27. * Doubled in size means doubled in volume. This means that if the dough is in the shape of a ball, the diameter increases by about 25%.

Updated March 10, 2017

Mixed Berries Oat Bran Crumble

Mixed Berries Oat Bran Crumble


Frozen mixed berries are thawed, then topped with an oat bran crumble which becomes crisp when cooked. A really quick fruity dessert, baked in the the oven or in the microwave.


Mixed Berries Oat Bran Crumble
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Ingredients
  • 450g/1 lb/4 cups mixed frozen berries, thawed
  • 1 tsp flour

  • For the topping
  • 100g/3½ oz/¾ cup oat bran
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp butter

  1. Method
  2. If using the oven method, preheat to 200°C/400°F.

  3. Carefully mix the berries with the flour and put in a baking dish or microwave safe dish.

  4. Blend together oat bran, brown sugar, flour and butter until crumbly. Spread evenly over the berries.

  5. Bake for about 8 minutes until bubbly around the edges. Or, if using a microwave, cook on high for 4–5 minutes until bubbly around edges.

  6. Grill for 1 minute until top is golden brown.

  7. Serve with frozen vanilla yogurt, ice-cream or cream.


Fruity Orange Jelly

Fruity Orange Jelly


A refreshing dessert of homemade orange jelly with the surprise of pieces of orange and grapefruit inside.


Fruity Orange Jelly
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: 5–6 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 4 gelatine leaves*, or
  • 1 pkt Knox powdered gelatine*
  • 510ml/18 fl oz orange juice, without pulp
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 white grapefruit

  • *In the U.K. gelatine leaves are widely available. In Canada the powdered form of gelatine is used. I have given instructions of how to use both types below.

  • To serve
  • Crème Frâiche

  • Equipment
  • 4 x 10 fl oz glass dessert dishes

  1. Method
  2. Warm the orange juice in a pan.

  3. For gelatine leaves
  4. Put the gelatine, sheet by sheet in a bowl of cold water. Leave for about 5 minutes until they are soft. Add the sheets only to the warmed orange juice and stir until they have dissolved and incorporated into the juice.

  5. For the powered gelatine
  6. Following the instructions on the packet, pour one pouch of gelatine over 50ml/¼ cup of cold water. Add 50ml/¼ cup boiling water and stir until the gelatine has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Slowly stir into the warmed orange juice. until well dispersed.

  7. Then add the lemon juice.

  8. Peel the orange and grapefruit. Remove all the pith. Separate into segments and remove any pips. Cut each orange segment into four. Using an equal amount of grapefruit segments, cut these into similar sized chunks. There may be some grapefruit left over. Divide the fruit evenly between the dishes.

  9. Pour the orange juice over the fruit and leave to cool. Refrigerate for 5–6 hours until the jellies are set.

  10. Remove 30 minutes before serving and dollop a spoonful of crème frâiche on the top.

  11. Note
  12. One lemon should yield about 3 tablespoons of juice.

  13. I really like the Florida grapefruit which tend to be sweet and juicy and have thin skins too.



Apple Within

Apple Within


Chunky pieces of apple are baked within a sponge mixture – hence its name. Another way to enjoy cooking apples when they are at their best.


Apple Within
Prepares: 4 servings
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 110g/4 oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
  • 110g/4 oz soft light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 100ml/3½ fl oz milk
  • 250g/8 oz self-raising flour
  • pinch of ground cloves
  • 450g/1 lb cooking apples, peeled, cored and roughly chopped*

  • *This is an English recipe where Bramley apples are used. The closest variety of apples I have found in Canada are Mutsu or Crispin. Pink Lady are good too when the other varieties aren’t available.

  • Equipment
  • A baking dish, roughly 20 × 20cm/8 × 8 in.

  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4

  3. Butter the baking dish.

  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Mix in the milk, then fold in the flour and cloves. Fold in the apples.

  5. Tip into the dish. Spread the mixture out but leave the surface quite uneven. Bake for 45–50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cover with baking parchment if it starts to brown too much.

  6. Serve hot with cream and extra sugar.