This is a really special jelly recipe where real redcurrant jelly is crammed with blackberries, raspberries, and redcurrants and then smothered with more fresh fruit in a raspberry coulis. Just pour a little cream on top and you have very sophisticated jelly.
You will also need 4 × 175ml (6 fl oz) (¾ cup) mini pudding moulds. Alternatively, you can make them in one large jelly mould as shown in the photograph.
First soften the gelatine.
If using leaf gelatine, place the leaves in a bowl of cold water, snapping them in half to fit if necessary, and leave for 5 minutes to become very soft.
If using powdered gelatine, stir the contents of 1 sachet into ¼ cup of cold water then add ¼ cup of boiling water and stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.
Now mix 300g (10½ oz) (2 cups) of the redcurrants, 200g (7 oz) (1 cup) of the sugar, and 90ml (3 fl oz) (⅓ cup) water in a medium-sized pan. Slowly bring the water to the boil and then simmer briskly, uncovered, for 3 minutes to cook the redcurrants. Strain the mixture into a jug through a plastic sieve, pushing the juices through with the back of a spoon.
If using leaf gelatine, squeeze out the excess liquid and then stir it into the hot redcurrant juice.
If using the powdered gelatine, stir the dissolved gelatine into the hot redcurrant juice.
Now continue stirring until the gelatine has completely dissolved and then leave until the mixture is just warm.
Meanwhile mix the remaining redcurrants with the blackberries and 200g (7 oz) (1½ cups) of the raspberries. Fill the moulds almost to the top with the fruit. You will have some fruit left over which will be used for garnishing.
Fill each mould to the top with the jelly and then leave to cool completely. Cover with cling film/wrap and refrigerate to set for at least 6 hours.
Meanwhile you can purée the remaining raspberries in a food processor or blender along with the remaining sugar and 3 tablespoons of water.
Strain the coulis through a sieve into a bowl to remove the pips and then add the left-over fruit and stir to coat.
When the jellies are set, remove them from their moulds by dipping the bottom of each one in boiling water for 5–10 seconds. Turn them out immediately onto four serving plates. Spoon the coulis and the fruit around the jellies and serve with cream.
*In the UK you can buy packets of powered béchamel sauce to which you just add milk and heat. However, I can’t find this in Canada and so have to make the sauce from scratch, which is very easy. You will find the recipe below.
You will also need an ovenproof dish large enough to take 16 filled cannelloni shells in a single layer.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), (gas 4).
If making the béchamel sauce from scratch, make it now (see below).
Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet then gently fry the onion and garlic for 5 minutes. Now add the meat and brown over a medium heat for 5 minutes, breaking up any clumps as it browns.
Next stir in the tomatoes along with the seasonings. Gently simmer for 10 minutes.
If making the béchamel sauce from a packet, make it now, following the directions on the packet.
Pour half the passata into the ovenproof dish.
Fill the cannelloni shells with the meat mixture, placing them in the dish as you go.
Now pour over the remaining passata and then top with the béchamel sauce.
Sprinkle over the mozzarella and then the Parmesan covering the sauce completely.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
In UK the packets of grated mozzarella have no additional additives. In Canada the shredded mozzarella does. To avoid the additives, shred block mozzarella, popping it in the freezer for 30 minutes first to firm up. It will make shredding easier.
1 shallot, skinned and sliced OR a small piece of onion skinned
1 small carrot, peeled and thickly sliced
1 stick celery, washed and thickly sliced
1 bay leaf
28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp)
3 tbsp flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pour the milk into a small pan. Add the vegetables, bay leaf, and peppercorns then bring slowly to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover the pan and leave to infuse for 15 minutes. Strain the milk, discarding the vegetables and flavourings.
Melt the butter in a clean pan and then, over a low heat, blend in the flour. Cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and then slowly add the milk, stirring continuously, until the mixture is smooth. Now return the pan to the heat and cook the sauce until it thickens, stirring continuously. Season to taste.
There are many different recipes for a trifle but a sherry-soaked sponge first brings to mind the traditional English trifle. The delicious flavour of raspberries make this the fruit of choice with a silky, smooth custard topped with dollops of whipped cream and then decorated with more raspberries and toasted flaked almonds. Just a heavenly dessert.
480ml (16 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
14g (½ oz) toasted flaked almonds
icing/powdered sugar for dusting
For the custard
3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
85g (3 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
600ml (20 fl oz) milk (2½ cups)
You will also need a large, flat-based glass serving bowl for this dish. Alternatively, if you need fewer than 6 servings, you can make these trifles in individual dishes (as seen in the photograph), reducing the quantities of ingredients in proportion as needed.
First make the custard. Whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour/cornstarch, vanilla, sugar, and three tablespoons of the milk.
Heat the remaining milk in a small pan and, as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and whisk into the egg mixture. Now pour this back into the pan and, over a gentle heat, stir until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Pour into a jug and cover the surface of the custard with cling film/wrap to prevent it forming a skin, then leave to cool.
Now to make the trifle. You will need enough of the cake to cover the base of the serving dish and be about 2.5cm (1 inch) deep. Slice the cake in half horizontally and then spread one half with the raspberry conserve. Now sandwich back together and lay in the base of the serving bowl, cutting it to fit as necessary.
Scatter ⅔ of the raspberries over the sponge, reserving the rest for decoration.
Now spoon the sherry over the sponge and raspberries, top with the custard, smoothing the surface, and then chill for at least one hour.
Whip the cream until it just holds its shape and dollop spoonfuls over the custard but this time don’t smooth the top.
Decorate with the reserved raspberries and toasted almonds then, just before serving, dust the top with icing/powdered sugar.
113g tub clotted cream or thick Jersey cream (UK) OR
1 cup whipping or heavy cream (North America)
2 tbsp peach schnapps
8 ratafia (small almond macaroons)
You will also need 4 small heatproof dishes.
Preheat the grill/broiler.
If using whipping or heavy cream, whisk until thick.
Now whip the peach schnapps into the cream and then crumble in the ratafia.
Halve the peaches and ease out the stones. Put them cut-side up in the four individual dishes. Now drizzle over the honey and dot with the butter. Grill/broil for 2–3 minutes until the honey and butter begin to bubble.
Remove the dishes from the heat and then spoon over the cream mixture and scatter over the blackberries. Place under the grill/broiler for a further 2 minutes, until the cream has melted and the peaches are golden brown.
sole fillets (8 small fillets about 85g (3 oz) each, or 4 large about 140g (5 oz )each)*
2 tbsp oil (not olive oil)
lemon wedges to garnish
*If sole is out of season, turbot works really well with this recipe.
For the herb mayonnaise
6 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp fresh chervil or basil, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
a soft green salad
You will also need a large frying pan/skillet.
For the herb mayonnaise
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and herbs. Season. Cover and chill.
For the sole
Put a plate in the oven to warm.
Mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, parsley, and cayenne pepper. Then spread out on a plate.
Pour the beaten egg into a shallow dish.
Season the flour lightly and spread out on a second plate.
Pat dry the sole fillets and then coat in the flour, dip in the egg and finally coat with the breadcrumbs. Put them on a clean plate as you go.
You will probably need to fry the fillets in two batches. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pan and then add half the fillets. Fry gently for 2–3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. When golden and crisp on the underside, turn and fry for a further 2–3 minutes. Remove from the pan and lay on a piece of kitchen paper to absorb any oil, then transfer to the warmed plate and return to the oven.
Now heat the remaining oil in the pan, then fry the second batch of fillets.
Serve garnished with lemon wedges and herb mayonnaise.
I love making crêpes to fill with summer fruits. They are so light and make a really impressive summer dessert.
Crêpes aren’t difficult to make. My tip is to start off with a really hot pan and then turn the heat down a little. The pan only needs to be smeared with melted butter between cooking each one. It should just glisten, not be running with the butter.
I hope you will want to try them and enjoy them too.
Thin, light, crêpes are filled with a selection of delicious summer berries, then topped with velvety, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
115g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
300ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed/2% milk (1¼ cups) OR
240ml (8 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (1 cup) plus 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cups)
55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
For the filling
450g (1 lb) selection of fresh berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, or strawberries
300ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
28g (1 oz) plain/dark chocolate
You will also need a shallow-rimmed, lightweight pan, 20-23cm (8-9inch) in diameter with rounded sides.
Pop the chocolate in the freezer while preparing the rest of the recipe. It will make it easier to grate it into shavings later.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Break the egg into the well and, using half the milk, gradually whisk the egg and milk into the flour, using a balloon whisk. Once a smooth consistency is reached and lots of bubbles rise to the surface, add the rest of the milk quickly. Do not over-mix.
Or use an electric mixer. First mix the egg and milk together then mix in the sifted flour and salt until the batter is smooth and lots of bubbles rise to the surface. Be careful not to over-mix.
Let batter rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the fruit and pat dry.
Then whip the cream until thick.
Now warm 5 plates in the oven.
Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting. Melt the butter in the pan and then spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter mixture and whisk it in. Pour the rest into a small bowl and set to one side.
Add a little butter to the pan before cooking each pancake. Just add enough to be able to tilt the pan and cover the base with butter. The base should just glisten not run with butter.
You will need 45–60ml (3–4 tablespoons ) of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to tip the batter into the pan in one go. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan in the centre and then pour it in. Immediately lift and tilt the pan in all directions so the batter spreads thinly over the base. If there are any holes, just fill them in with batter using a teaspoon.
Turn when the the crêpe starts to curl away from the sides of the pan, the mixture begins to bubble and the underside is golden. It should take about a minute. If it seems a bit sticky give it a couple of seconds more. Loosen the edge of the crêpe from the pan, then flip it over with a palette knife and cook until the underside is golden. Slip each cooked crêpe from the pan directly onto a piece of kitchen paper which will absorb any grease and keep it light and dry. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter, greasing the pan each time.
Stack the crêpes up on a warmed plate as they are cooked with a piece of kitchen paper between each one, then cover loosely with foil so the top one doesn’t dry out. Keep warm in the oven.
Grate the chocolate onto a plate to create a pile of shavings.
Now divide the fruit between the crêpes, spooning it into the middle. Fold two sides of the crêpe over the fruit to create a cone shape, then spoon a generous dollop of cream on top and sprinkle with some of the chocolate shavings.
Wash and peel potatoes. Cut into even-sized pieces and put in a pan. Cover with cold water and add a good pinch of salt. Now cover the pan, bring the water to a boil and then simmer for 7 minutes. Drain and leave for a few minutes until they are cool enough to handle, then dice into 1 inch chunks.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan/skillet. Season the potatoes and add to pan/skillet. Toss to coat with the oil and then fry over a medium heat, turning frequently, until browned, crisp, and cooked through, about 15 minutes.
For the gammon
Meanwhile, preheat the grill/broiler.
Trim any rind off the gammon steaks and then grill/broil for 6–10 minutes, until the top is starting to brown. Turn the steaks and grill/broil on the other side for about 6 minutes. The gammon should now be slightly crispy.
Remove the gammon from the grill/broiler pan and lay a piece of foil over the rack. Put the steaks back on the rack and now place 1 pineapple ring on each gammon steak. Mix together the cheese, onion (if using), and pepper. Top the pineapple with the cheese and place back under a hot grill/broiler until the cheese starts to melt and brown slightly, about 5 minutes.
For the vegetables
Cut the tomatoes in half, put a teaspoon of butter on each cut half and season. Place on the foil along with the covered gammon steaks and grill/broil for 5 minutes.
Garnish each gammon steak with a sprig of parsley.
Simple to prepare, this tasty pasta dish gets cooked in one pan in just under 30 minutes. Lamb is cooked in a red wine, tomato and thyme sauce with farfalle (bow-tie pasta). Great served with a leafy salad, and crusty bread to soak up the sauce.
Strawberry tartlets always say summer to me. These are very light and have a sweet, crisp pastry base which is filled with a creamy custard filling and topped with glazed strawberries. Mmm…just perfect!
115g (4oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
few drops vanilla extract
For the filling
Bird’s Custard Powder
120ml (4 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (½ cup)
285g (12 oz) small strawberries, washed and hulled (about 2 cups)
120ml (4 fl oz) whipping cream/double or heavy cream (½ cup)
2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
You will also need 4 x 10cm (4 inch) tartlet tins.
For the sweet pastry
In a medium-sized mixing bowl cream together the egg yolks, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
Sift the flour and add to the bowl. Now mix to from a firm dough.
Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Then wrap in a plastic food bag and rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.
Roll out the pastry thinly and then cut rounds 3.8cm (1½ inches) larger than the tartlet tin, re-rolling the pastry until there are 4 rounds. (Rolling it between two large sheets of cling film/wrap that have been dusted with flour will prevent the pastry sticking to the rolling pin.) Line the tartlet tins, pressing the pastry gently down into the edges of the tins. Now roll the rolling pin over the top of each tin to remove the excess pastry. Prick the base, using the tines of a fork, to allow air trapped underneath to escape and chill again while the oven is heating up.
Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).
Line the pastry with parchment paper and baking beans, then bake for 10 minutes.
Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for about 5 minutes until lightly golden and crisp. Leave to cool, then remove from the tins.
For the filling
Meanwhile make up the custard according to the directions on the packet using 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) milk. (You want a thick custard). Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling film/wrap to prevent it forming a skin. Leave to become cold.
Now whip the cream until stiff. Then whip the cold custard to loosen it and fold in the whipped cream until thoroughly combined. Spoon into the tart cases and level the tops.
Decorate with the strawberries, cutting them, if necessary, into halves or quarters depending on their size.
Add a little boiling water the jelly (about 1 teaspoon). Stir to melt the jelly and then brush over the strawberries to glaze.
3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
170g (6 oz) butter, cut into small cubes (¾ cup, or ½ stick)
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp chives, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
baby potatoes and green beans
You will also need a large shallow frying pan/skillet with lid
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 the salmon with cold water and add the lid. Now bring the water to a boil then remove the pan/skillet from the heat and leave for 5 minutes to finish cooking the salmon.
Meanwhile, squeeze 1 tablespoon juice from the rest of the lemon and add it to a small pan along with the vinegar. Bring to a boil, then let it bubble rapidly over a medium heat until it has reduced by half. It will reduce very quickly so you need to watch it. Put to one side to cool a little while bringing a little water to a gentle simmer in another pan.
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.
Remove the bowl immediately from the heat, stir in the herbs and season.
Using a fish slice, drain the salmon fillets and put them on serving plates and then pour the sauce over each fillet.
First measure out the frozen berries and leave to thaw.
For the meringue
Heat the oven to 140°C (235°F) (gas 1).
Zest the lemon and and then squeeze out the juice into a small bowl.
Now put the egg whites and lemon zest into a large bowl and whisk until firm peaks form.
Gradually add the caster/white sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
Sprinkle over 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and reserve the rest for the raspberries. Whisk briefly to mix.
Now carefully fold in the sifted icing sugar using a large metal spoon or spatula.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper dabbing a bit of the meringue from the whisk onto each corner first to keep the paper in place.
Now spoon four rough circles of the meringue onto the parchment paper. Take a metal teaspoon and dip it in some hot (not boiling) water and make a depression in the centre of each meringue. Bake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Remove and place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool. If you like a crispier meringue and you have time, then leave in the oven to cool.
For the raspberries
Gently wash the fresh raspberries and put to one side for decoration.
Now add the thawed berries to a blender with the sugar and 2 tablespoons of reserved lemon juice. Add 60ml (2 fl oz) (¼ cup) water. Purée and then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl to remove the pips.
Measure 180ml (6 fl oz) (¾ cup) of the purée into a small pan and stir constantly over a medium heat until reduced by a half. This will take 6–7 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and leave to cool. It will become the texture of jam.
Bring the remaining purée to the boil then simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
For the filling
Place the fromage frais into a bowl with the icing/powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat together until combined. Chill until needed.
Spoon the reduced raspberry ‘jam’ into the centre of the meringues and top with the filling. Then decorate with the fresh raspberries and pour the raspberry sauce over top.