Lemon Mascarpone with Blackberries and Raspberries

Lemon Mascarpone with Blackberries and Raspberries

 

A super quick dessert to prepare. Mascarpone and lemon whisked together and then decorated with fresh berries.

 

Lemon Mascarpone with Blackberries and Raspberries
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 375g mascarpone cheese (1½ small containers)
  • 1½ lemons, juice only
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/white sugar (¼ cup)
  • 12 raspberries
  • 12 blackberries

  • Equipment
  • 4 stemmed glasses or small glass dessert dishes


  1. Method
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the mascarpone, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth.

  3. Spoon an equal amount into each glass.

  4. Then decorate each one with three raspberries and three blackberries.

 

Lemony Chicken Stir-Fry

Lemony Chicken Stir Fry

 

Chicken strips are marinated in lemon and then stir-fried with broccoli florets, carrot sticks and spring onions/green onions and tossed in soy sauce. It is served over a bed of rice and is just perfect for a summer dish.

 

Lemony Chicken Stir Fry
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Marinading time: 1–2 hours
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 450g (1 lb) boneless chicken breasts cut into strips (4)
  • 1 lemon
  • pepper
  • small head broccoli
  • 340g (12 oz) carrots (6–8 medium)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
  • 2 tbsp clarified butter*
  • 2 spring onions/green onions cut into 2.5cm/1 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 1 tsp water
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce

  • * To clarify butter, melt in a saucepan over a low heat. Skim off the clear liquid from the sediment that collects in the bottom. Discard sediment.

  • To serve
  • rice

  • Equipment
  • Large sauté pan with lid


  1. Method
  2. Place the chicken strips in a non-metallic bowl. Finely cut the rind from a quarter of the lemon and put to one side. Squeeze the juice from the whole lemon (this should produce 3 tablespoons). Pour the lemon juice over the chicken and season with pepper. Refrigerate, covered, for at least 1 hour.

  3. Cut or break the broccoli into small florets. Cut the carrots into 8cm (3 inch) batons.

  4. Heat the oil over a high heat and add the broccoli florets and carrots. Stir-fry for 1 minute.

  5. Add the water, then cover and reduce the heat to medium. Steam for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender-crisp.

  6. Make a well in the centre of the vegetables and add the butter, lemon rind, and onions.

  7. Drain the chicken, reserving the marinade, and add to the pan. Stir-fry for 6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

  8. Combine the cornflour/cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to the pan along with the reserved lemon marinade and let it bubble for 1 minute until thickened.

  9. Stir in the soy sauce and toss to coat.

  10. Serve over a bed of rice.

Updated: August 30, 2017

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise

 

A dish that is full of flavour and very scrumptious. Lamb cutlets sit on a base of garlic roasted vegetables with a hint of basil and rosemary and served with thinly sliced potatoes cooked in a garlic cream sauce.

 

Mediterranean Lamb Cutlets with Potatoes Dauphinoise
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 55 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the ratatouille and lamb cutlets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium aubergine/eggplant
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded
  • 2 courgettes/zucchini
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 8 lamb cutlets
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 400g tin cherry tomatoes (small can)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, torn
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • For the potatoes dauphinoise
  • 800g (1 lb 12 oz) potatoes (5 medium)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) whole milk (1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • whole nutmeg


  1. Method
  2. For the potatoes dauphinoise
  3. Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into 5mm (¼ inch) thick slices.

  4. Bring the milk to the boil in a sauté pan with the garlic.

  5. Reduce the heat and stir in the cream, seasoning, and a little grated nutmeg.

  6. Now add the potato slices and turn to coat. Simmer very gently for 20–25 minutes until they are just tender. Turn every 5 minutes so all the slices cook evenly and they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

  7. Tip into an ovenproof dish 28 x 20cm (11 x 8 inches).

  8. They will need to cook in the oven for a further 20–25 minutes until bubbling and the top is starting to brown. Before putting in the oven, though, prepare the vegetables for the ratatouille. They will need to cook for the same length of time as the potatoes and so they go into the oven together.

  9. For the ratatouille and lamb cutlets
  10. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) gas 5.

  11. Pour the oil into a roasting tin/pan and put in the oven while it is heating up.

  12. Cut the aubergine/eggplant, pepper and courgettes/zucchini into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes.

  13. Tip into the roasting tin and sprinkle over the rosemary and seasoning. Turn in the oil to coat, then return to the oven and roast for 20–25 minutes until tender. (At this point, also put the potatoes in the oven.) Turn the ratatouille halfway through cooking.

  14. Meanwhile preheat a griddle pan or heavy based frying pan/skillet.

  15. Season the cutlets and spread the garlic over them. Then, over a moderate heat, cook for 5–10 minutes on each side, depending on how thick your cutlets are.

  16. While the cutlets are cooking, empty the tomatoes into a medium sized pan and place over a gentle heat.

  17. Once the ratatouille is cooked, add it to the tomatoes and stir through. Now add the torn basil leaves.

  18. To serve
  19. Divide the vegetables between four plates and top with two cutlets each. Serve with the potato dauphinoise alongside.

 

Pork and Noodle Stir Fry

Pork and Noodle Stir Fry

 

Just 10 minutes to cook this tasty stir fry. Pork fillet cut into rounds, julienne carrots and green beans all in a sweet orange teriyaki sauce. This is so easy to prepare.

 

Pork and Noodle Stir Fry
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 450g (1 lb) pork fillet/tenderloin
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or ginger purée
  • 225g (8 oz) carrots
  • 170g (6 oz) frozen French beans/whole beans
  • 2 sheets medium egg noodles (140g) (5 oz) (1¾ cups)
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) orange juice (1¼ cups)
  • 2 tbsp runny/liquid honey
  • 3 spring/green onions
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

  • Equipment
  • Large frying pan/skillet, sauté pan or wok


  1. Method
  2. Prepare everything first as this dish doesn’t take long to cook. Slice the pork thinly. Peel and crush the garlic clove. Peel, wash and cut the carrots into 5cm (2 inch) lengths and 0.5cm (½ inch) thick. Cut the beans so they are about 5cm (2 inches) in length. Trim and thinly slice the onions.

  3. Now everything is prepared and you are ready to start cooking.

  4. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the packet and then drain.

  5. Heat the oil in the pan over a moderate heat, then add the pork and fry on both sides for about 2 minutes until they start to brown.

  6. Add the garlic, ginger, carrots and beans to the pan and fry for a further 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  7. Meanwhile, whisk together the cornflour/cornstarch, soy sauce, orange juice, and honey. Once the vegetables have finished cooking, pour in the liquid and stir until it starts to thicken, 1–2 minutes.

  8. Stir through the drained noodles and spring/green onions.

  9. Then sprinkle the coriander over the top and serve.

 

Raspberry Mousse with Blackberry Coulis

Raspberry Mousse with Blackberry Coulis

 

Raspberries are used to make this lovely creamy mousse and then an easy-to-make blackberry coulis is poured around the outside. Just top with dollop of crème fraîche and a fresh blackberry.

 

Raspberry Mousse with Blackberry Coulis
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Setting time: 4 hours or overnight

  • Ingredients
  • For the mousse
  • 225g (8 oz) fresh raspberries (2 cups)
  • 55g (2 oz) icing/powdered sugar (½ cup)
  • 142ml carton double/whipping cream or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • 1 tbsp powdered gelatine
  • 1 tbsp kirsch (optional)

  • For the coulis
  • 170g (6 oz) blackberries
  • 1½ tbsp icing/powdered sugar

  • To serve
  • crème fraîche

  • Equipment
  • 6 ramekin dishes


  1. Method
  2. For the mousse
  3. Line the dishes with cling film/wrap, pressing well down into the edges and letting it hang over the rim.

  4. Push the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds, using the back of a spoon. Then stir in the sugar.

  5. Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold into the raspberry sauce and then set to one side.

  6. Sprinkle the gelatine over 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl and leave for 3 minutes for the gelatine to become spongy.

  7. Pour some hot water into a dish that is just larger than the bowl of gelatine and then sit the bowl of the gelatine in it. Make sure there is only enough water to come halfway up the sides of the smaller bowl. Leave for 2 minutes for the gelatine to dissolve.

  8. Once it has dissolved, remove the bowl of gelatine from the water and let the gelatine cool for a couple of minutes. Stir into the raspberry sauce. Then stir in the kirsch, if using.

  9. Divide the mixture between the ramekin dishes and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

  10. For the coulis
  11. Reserve 8 blackberries for decoration. (If the blackberries are large just reserve 4.) Push the rest through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Pour into a jug, cover and refrigerate until the mousse is ready.

  12. To serve
  13. Lift each mousse out of the ramekins and invert onto serving plates. Then, carefully peel away the cling film/wrap. Pour the coulis round the outside of the mousse.

  14. Put a dollop of crème fraîche on the top of each one and decorate with the reserved blackberries.

 

Summer Fruit Glory

Summer Fruit Glory

 

Summer Fruit Glory is a quick summer dessert to prepare that looks very impressive. Layers of mascarpone and strawberry yogurt, summer fruits and amaretti biscuits soaked in Marsala. Delicious!

 

Summer Fruit Glory
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 250g (275g) tub mascarpone
  • ½ x 500g pot strawberry yogurt
  • 12 strawberries, hulled
  • 140g (5 oz) raspberries (1¼ cups)
  • 140g (5 oz) blueberries (¾ cup, heaped)
  • icing/powdered sugar for dusting
  • 225g (8 oz) amaretti biscuits (about 24)
  • 4 tbsp Marsala, medium sherry or brandy

  • Equipment
  • 4 x pretty glasses, short tumblers are ideal


  1. Method
  2. Whisk the mascarpone and yogurt together until combined.

  3. Reserve 4 strawberries, 8 raspberries and 8 blueberries for decoration, then lightly mix the other fruits together in a small bowl and dust with icing/powdered sugar to sweeten.

  4. Break the biscuits into small pieces.

  5. Begin layering the glasses. First, divide half the biscuits between the glasses, spreading them evenly over the base. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the Marsala (or whatever you are using) over the biscuit crumbs, then top with a quarter of the mascarpone mixture.

  6. Next, divide half the fruit between each of the glasses and layer with another quarter of the mascarpone mixture.

  7. Now, sprinkle the remaining biscuit pieces over the mascarpone mixture and add 2 more tablespoons of the Marsala (or whatever you are using). Top with another quarter of the mascarpone mixture.

  8. Add the other half of the fruit and finally the last quarter of the mascarpone mixture.

  9. You should now have 4 layers of the mascarpone mixture, 2 layers of the amaretti biscuits and 2 layers of fruit.

  10. Decorate with the reserved fruit and sieve over a dusting of icing/powdered sugar just before serving.

 

The Ultimate Carrot Cake

The Ultimate Carrot Cake

 

The Ultimate Carrot Cake, so-called because it is full of so many goodies. Carrots, bananas, and walnuts all mixed into this delicious cake mixture. Then topped with a creamy cheese icing and sprinkled with nuts.

 

The Ultimate Carrot Cake
Prepares: 12 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the cake
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 170g (6 oz) light muscovado sugar/soft brown sugar (¾ cup)
  • 170g (6 oz) plain flour/cake and pasty flour (1½ cups)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) oil (peanut or sunflower) (⅔ cup)
  • 200g (7 oz) walnut halves (1¾ cups)
  • 170g (6 oz) carrots, grated (3 medium, or 1 cup grated)
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed

  • For the icing
  • 85g (3 oz) cream cheese (⅜ cup, or 3 tbsp)
  • 85g (3 oz) butter, softened (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)
  • 170g (6 oz) icing/powdered sugar (1½ cups)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Equipment
  • 20cm (8 inch) diameter cake tin with removable base, greased


  1. Method
  2. For the cake
  3. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) gas 3.

  4. Set aside 28g (1 oz) (¼ cup) of the walnuts for the decoration and then chop the the rest into quarters.

  5. Beat the eggs and the sugar together in a large bowl until thick.

  6. Sift in the flour, baking powder, soda and salt and fold in gently.

  7. Gently stir in the oil until thoroughly combined.

  8. Next, stir in the bananas, then the carrot, and finally the walnut pieces.

  9. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

  10. Leave in the tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  11. For the icing
  12. While the cake is baking, remove the cream cheese from the fridge to bring it to room temperature.

  13. Chop the reserved nuts into small pieces suitable for sprinkling over the top of the finished cake.

  14. Once the cake is cold, prepare the icing. Beat together the cream cheese and the butter until creamy.

  15. Beat in the vanilla extract.

  16. Sift in the icing/powdered sugar and beat well until smooth.

  17. Spread over the top of the cake and then sprinkle over the nuts.

 

Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad

Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad

 

A delicious summer dessert where fresh raspberries and blueberries are nestled in a raspberry jelly which has a fluffy, creamy cheese topping and a sprinkling of toasted almonds.

 

Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: the time to set the jelly, plus 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • 1 pkt raspberry jelly/jello
  • 1 lemon
  • 55g (2 oz) raspberries (½ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) blueberries (⅓ cup)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • 115g (4 oz) cream cheese (½ cup)
  • 40g (1½ oz) icing sugar (⅜ cup)
  • 28g (1 oz) slivered almonds, finely chopped (¼ cup)


  • Equipment
  • A 20 × 20 × 5cm/8 × 8 × 2 inch dish


  1. Method
  2. Finely grate enough of the lemon peel to produce ½ teaspoon and set aside. Then juice the lemon.

  3. Make up the jelly/jello according to the packet and add 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Refrigerate until partially set (the consistency of unbeaten egg whites).

  4. Stir the berries into the jelly/jello and then pour the berry mixture into the dish and refrigerate until the jelly has completely set.

  5. Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad


  6. Meanwhile, remove the cream cheese from the fridge and let it come to room temperature (about 1 hour).

  7. Once the jelly/jello has set, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

  8. Cube the cream cheese and add to the cream, then sift in the icing sugar and beat well until combined. The mixture will become fluffy and thicken. Stir in the grated lemon peel.

  9. Carefully spoon the cream cheese mixture evenly over the jelly mixture and gently level with a palette knife making sure the mixture reaches the edges. Refrigerate for a further 1 hour.

  10. Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad


  11. Heat a small frying pan/skillet and tip in the nuts. Over a gentle heat stir the nuts to toast them. This will only take a few minutes. They are ready when they have turned a light golden colour and they begin to smell nutty. Remove from the pan and set to one side to cool.

  12. To serve, sprinkle the nuts over the cream cheese mixture and cut into 6 portions. The first portion is always tricky to remove from the pan but then it becomes much easier.

  13. Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad

Updated: August 7, 2017

Poached Salmon with a Herb Sauce

Poached Salmon with a Herb Sauce

 

For that added special touch, this lovely creamy herb sauce of parsley, chives and tarragon covers these simply cooked poached salmon fillets.

 

Poached Salmon with a Herb Sauce
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 salmon fillets
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a few peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp tarragon vinegar
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 170g (6 oz) butter, cut into small cubes (¾ cup, or ½ sticks)
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

  • To serve
  • baby potatoes and green beans

  • Equipment
  • large shallow frying pan/skillet with lid


  1. Method
  2. Lay the salmon fillets side by side in the shallow pan/skillet along with the bay leaf and peppercorns. Cut four slices from the lemon and add them to the pan. Cover with cold water and add the lid. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat and leave for 5 minutes to finish cooking the salmon.

  3. Meanwhile, squeeze 1 tablespoon juice from the rest of the lemon and add to a small pan along with the vinegar. Bring to the boil then let it bubble rapidly over a medium heat until it has reduced by half. Put to one side to cool a little, while bringing a little water to a gentle simmer in another pan.

  4. Whisk together the egg yolks in a bowl that will fit over the pan of simmering water and then add the cooled vinegar and lemon juice. Place the bowl over the pan and add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking until it has melted. Continue whisking until all the butter has been added and the sauce has thickened.

  5. Remove the bowl immediately from the heat and stir in the herbs, and season.

  6. Using a fish slice, drain the salmon fillets then pour over the sauce.

 

Panna Cotta Terrine

Panna Cotta Terrine

 

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert where cream is sweetened and flavoured then left to set in a mould using gelatine. Here I have used a mixture of cream and yogurt to make to make a light summer dessert. Raspberry coulis is then drizzled over the top and topped with fresh raspberries.

 

Panna Cotta Terrine
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Chilling time: 4 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the panna cotta
  • 425ml (14 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
  • 14g powdered gelatine (2 sachets)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 425ml (14 fl oz) natural Greek yogurt (1¾ cups)

  • For the fruit coulis
  • 340g (12 oz) raspberries (2½ cups)
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/white sugar (¼ cup)
  • ½ lemon, juice only

  • Equipment
  • A loaf tin or plastic container measuring 10 x 10 x 20cm (4 x 4 x 8 ins)


  1. Method
  2. For the panna cotta
  3. Line the loaf tin or container with cling film/wrap so that it hangs over the sides.

  4. Put 2 tablespoons each of cream and water into a shallow dish and sprinkle over the gelatine. Leave for 5 minutes to swell.

  5. Place the dish in a larger dish and fill the larger dish with just boiling water until it comes up to the level of the gelatine in the smaller dish. Leave for 5 minutes for the gelatine to dissolve, stirring occasionally.

  6. Meanwhile, pour the remaining cream into a pan and add the sugar and vanilla extract. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally. Set aside for a couple of minutes to cool a little.

  7. Spoon the yogurt into a bowl and whisk in the cream until the mixture is smooth. Then whisk in the dissolved gelatine mixture.

  8. Pour into the prepared loaf tin or container and chill for 4 hours.

  9. For the fruit coulis
  10. Wash and pat dry the raspberries. Reserve 18 for decoration and put the rest into a blender. Add the sugar and the juice of the half lemon. Purée the fruit.

  11. Strain through a nylon sieve into a bowl to remove the seeds, pressing the sauce through with the back of a spoon. Wipe the underside of the sieve with a clean spoon to remove all the coulis.

  12. To serve
  13. Invert the panna cotta over a large serving plate and remove the cling film/wrap.

  14. Divide into 6 slices and lay on 6 plates. Drizzle the coulis over the slices and then decorate each slice with 3 of the reserved raspberries.

  15. Best served on the day it is prepared.

Updated: October 17, 2017

Syllabub Trifle

Syllabub Trifle

 

A true summer trifle – one that is so simple but so light and delicious. Fresh strawberries, raspberries, and redcurrants sit on a sponge base and are topped with a wine syllabub.

The syllabub originated in 16th century England. It was a drink of milk or cream curdled with a little wine or cider, sweetened and flavoured. In modern recipes a dessert syllabub is a thick or heavy cream curdled with wine or sherry, sweetened and flavoured, usually with lemon. It is whipped until thick and foamy.

 

Syllabub Trifle
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 5 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 340g (12 oz) a mix of strawberries, raspberries, and redcurrants (2 cups)
  • 40g (1½ oz) caster/white sugar (1½ tbsp)
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) dry white wine (¼ cup)
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 sponge cases
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/white sugar (¼ cup + 1 tsp)
  • 142 ml carton double/whipping cream (⅔ cup)

  • Equipment
  • 4 × squat glass tumblers or similar pretty glasses


  1. Method
  2. Wash and pat dry the fruit. Hull and slice the strawberries and strip the redcurrants from their stalks. Place all the fruit in a bowl and sprinkle over 40g (1½ oz) sugar. Toss to coat the fruit and set to one side for 2 hours to draw out the juices.

  3. Measure the wine into a small bowl. Pare a couple of slices of rind from the lemon, cut them in half and add to the wine, making sure they are covered. Put to one side for 2 hours.

  4. After the 2 hours, cut the sponge cases to fit the base of the four glasses. Divide the fruit and their juices between the four glasses, spooning over the sponge base.

  5. Remove the lemon rind from the wine. Squeeze one and half tablespoons of juice from the lemon and add to the wine, along with the remaining sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

  6. Pour the cream into a large bowl and stir in the wine mixture. Whisk until it is thick and frothy to form a syllabub. Because the wine dilutes the cream, it will take longer than usual to thicken but it will become thick and frothy. Spoon this equally over the fruit and swirl the top. Chill for 3 hours.

  7. Serve.

 

Summer Trifle

This is a really light trifle. Not what you normally think of as a trifle although it uses the same ingredients. It’s very refreshing for a summer dessert and looks good too.

 

Summer Trifle

 

This very light summer trifle has a selection of seasonal fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants, tossed in a fruit purée and surrounded with little boozy sponge fingers coated in a vanilla custard.

 

Summer Trifle
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • ½ vanilla pod split lengthways, OR
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) milk (½ cup)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40g (1½ oz) caster sugar/white sugar (3 tbsp + 1 tsp)
  • 10 lady fingers or sponge fingers
  • ½ tbsp sweet white wine or sherry
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cups)
  • 500g (1lb 2 oz) summer fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants
  • a splash of white wine (about ½ tablespoon)
  • 28g (1 oz) unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts, or walnuts (¼ cup)


  1. Method
  2. Chill four dessert plates in the fridge.

  3. Pour the milk in a small pan. and add the vanilla pod or vanilla extract. Slowly heat on the lowest setting for 10 minutes, without boiling.

  4. Meanwhile put the egg yolks in a small bowl and stir in the sugar to make a paste.

  5. Slowly stir the milk and vanilla into the egg and sugar until the mixture is smooth. Return the custard to the pan and stir over a low heat, until it begins to thicken. Do not let it boil. You want it to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool briefly.

  6. Meanwhile, cut each sponge finger in two and lay them in a shallow bowl. Drizzle over the wine or sherry.

  7. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and then stir in the cooled custard.

  8. Wash and pat dry the fruits. Remove the currants from their stalks, hull and halve the strawberries. Set aside half the berries and currants, picking out the best. Put the remainder in a food processor or blender and add the teaspoon of sugar and wine. Purée until smooth and then, using the back of a spoon, push through a plastic sieve to remove the pulp. Once the purée is pressed through, wipe the underside of the sieve with the spoon to get all the remaining sauce.

  9. Carefully toss the reserved fruit with half the purée and spoon into the centre of each plate.

  10. Divide the sponge fingers between the plates arranging them around the edge.

  11. Roughly chop the pistachio nuts or walnuts.

  12. Pour the custard over the sponge fingers then sprinkle the nuts on top.

  13. Pour the remaining purée over the fruit and serve.

Updated: August 2, 2017