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

  • You will also need 6 ramekin dishes.


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

  4. Using the back of a spoon, push the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds. To make sure you get all the raspberry sauce, scrape off any remaining sauce from the underside of the sieve using a clean spoon.

  5. Now sift the sugar and add to the sauce. Stir until until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is smooth.

  6. Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold into the raspberry sauce. Set to one side.

  7. Now sprinkle the gelatine over 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and leave for 3 minutes for the gelatine to become spongy.

  8. Pour some boiling 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.

  9. Stir to make sure all the gelatine has dissolved and the mixture is completely smooth. You want to make sure there are no lumps. Remove the bowl of gelatine from the water and let it cool for a couple of minutes.

  10. Now slowly stir into the creamy, raspberry sauce until it is well incorporated.

  11. Then add the kirsch, if using.

  12. Divide the mixture amongst the ramekin dishes. Cover the dishes and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.


  13. For the coulis
  14. Reserve 8 blackberries for decoration. (If the blackberries are large just reserve 4.)

  15. Push the remainder through a sieve to remove the seeds.

  16. Sift the sugar and stir into the blackberry sauce until it has dissolved and the sauce is smooth.

  17. Now pour into a jug, cover, and refrigerate until the mousse is ready.


  18. To serve
  19. Invert the ramekins on to small serving plates and carefully peel away the cling film/plastic wrap.

  20. Then pour the blackberry coulis around the outside of the mousse.

  21. Put a dollop of crème fraîche on the top and decorate with the reserved blackberries.

Updated: August 31, 2019

Blackberry and Cream Cheese Tartlets

Blackberry and Cream Cheese Tartlets

 

Fresh fruit tarts always say summer and these blackberry and cream cheese tartlets don’t disappoint. Sweet pastry tartlets have a creamy cheese filling and are topped with fresh blackberries.

 

Blackberry and Cream Cheese Tartlets
Prepares: 6 tartlets
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 12 minutes
  • Chilling time: 1 to 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the rich sweet pastry
  • 140g (5 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (CA)/all-purpose flour (US) (1 cup)
  • pinch salt
  • 28g (1 oz) caster/ superfine sugar (2 tbsp)
  • 85g (3 oz) unsalted butter, diced (⅜ cup or ¾ stick)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract, optional

  • For the filling
  • 250g (8 oz) cream cheese/Philadelphia (1 packet)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 3 tbsp double cream/whipping cream

  • For the topping
  • 170g (6 oz) blackberries
  • icing sugar/powdered sugar to dust

  • You will also need 6 tartlet tins.


  1. Method
  2. For the rich sweet pastry (using a food processor or mixer)
  3. Put the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor or mixer. Whiz for a couple of seconds to mix.

  4. Add butter and whiz again for a few seconds.

  5. Now add egg yolks and vanilla extract, if using, and whiz until the mixture starts to bind together.

  6. Then knead lightly by hand and wrap in clingfilm/plastic wrap. Chill for 10 minutes.

  7. Roll out the pastry thinly and then cut rounds 3.8cm (1½ in) larger than the tartlet tin, re-rolling the pastry until there are six rounds.

  8. Line the tartlet tins, pressing the pastry gently down into the edges of the tins. 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. Now chill again while the oven is heating up.

  9. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)

  10. Lay the tins on a baking sheet and cover with baking parchment. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes and then remove the baking parchment and cook for a further 2 minutes to crisp up.

  11. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before carefully removing the cases from the tins to completely cool on a wire rack. They will be very delicate until completely cold.

  12. For the filling
  13. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and lemon zest together until creamy and well blended. Add the cream and beat again until there is a light, soft mixture.

  14. Once the pastry cases are cold they can be filled. Divide the mixture equally among the cases using a small pallet knife to spread the mixture into the edges of the pastry and then smooth the top.


  15. To finish
  16. Top with the blackberries, pressing them down a little into the filling.

  17. Cover the tartlets loosely with clingfilm and chill for 1 to 2 hours.

  18. Just before serving, dust the icing/powdered sugar over the top of the tarts using a small sieve.

Updated August 4, 2019

Summer Fruit Tartlets

Summer Fruit Tartlets

 

I just love the fruits of summer. Here a mixture of strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and redcurrants top a crème fraîche filling to make a very light tart. Although any favourite summer fruits can be used.

 

Summer Fruit Tartlets
Prepares: 6 tartlets
 
  • Preparation time
  • For the sweet pastry: 30 minutes
  • For the filling: 8–10 minutes

  • Cooking time:
  • For the sweet pastry: 12 minutes

  • Chilling time for the sweet pastry: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the sweet pastry
  • 145g (5 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1 cup)
  • pinch of salt
  • 85g (3 oz) cold butter, diced (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)
  • 1 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolk only

  • For the filling
  • 250ml tub crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp icing/powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 170g (6 oz) mixed summer fruit (1 cup)


  1. Method
  2. For the sweet pastry
  3. You will need 6 x 10cm (4 inch) tartlet tins.

  4. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.

  5. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Then mix in the sugar.

  6. Add the egg yolk, sprinkle over 1 tablespoon cold water and mix to a firm dough. Add a little more water if necessary.

  7. Wrap in cling film/plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).

  9. Roll out the pastry thinly. Then cut rounds, each 3.8cm (1½ in) larger than the tartlet tins, re-rolling the pastry until there are six rounds.

  10. Line the tartlet tins, gently pressing the pastry down into the edges of the tins. Roll the rolling pin over the top of each tin to remove the excess pastry. Then prick the base, using the tines of a fork, to allow air trapped underneath to escape.

  11. Lay the tins on a baking sheet and cover with baking parchment. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes and then remove the baking parchment and cook for a further 2 minutes to crisp up.

  12. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for a couple of minutes before carefully removing the cases from the tins to completely cool on a wire rack. They will be delicate until completely cold.

  13. For the filling
  14. Sift the sugar into bowl and add the crème fraîche and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.

  15. Fill the pastry cases and level the tops.

  16. Wash and pat dry the fruit. If using strawberries, halve or quarter them so they are of a similar size to the other fruits.

  17. Top the filling with the fruit.

  18. Serve immediately. If left too long, the filling will begin to soften the pastry.

Updated: July 30, 2019

Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart

 

This strawberry tart recipe makes a super delicious summer tart. The sweet pastry is filled with a creamy crème pâtissière and decorated with small, whole strawberries which are then glazed. Just slice and enjoy.

 

Strawberry Tart
Prepares: 10 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 1 hour
  • Chilling time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 28 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 170g (6 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1⅓ cups)
  • 115g (4 oz) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 40g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 1 egg, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.)

  • For the crème pâtissière
  • 70g (2½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (5 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 28g (1 oz) cornflour/cornstarch (¼ cup)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) semi-skimmed/2% partly skimmed milk (1 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180ml (6 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream or heavy cream (¾ cup)

  • For the topping
  • 450g (16 oz) strawberries (ideally the same size) (about 3 cups)
  • 85g (3 oz) strawberry jam, sieved (¼ cup)

  • You will also need a 23cm (9 inch) round springform tin/pan.


  1. Method
  2. Whiz flour and butter in a food processor until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, or rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips.

  3. Add the sugar and stir to combine.

  4. Now separate the egg and reserve the white for later.

  5. Add the yolk and 1 tablespoon of very cold water to the crumb mixture and either pulse or stir with a palette knife to bring the pastry together. Shape into a disc, wrap in clingfilm/plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.

  6. Now make the crème pâtissière.

  7. Mix the sugar, yolks and cornflour/cornstarch in a medium bowl until smooth.

  8. Heat the milk and vanilla extract until just boiling. Then gradually whisk the milk into the egg mixture. Return this to the pan and, whisking continuously, let it gently bubble until the mixture has thickened.

    Now spoon into a large bowl, cover, and leave to cool and chill.

  9. Once the pastry has rested, roll out on a lightly floured surface.

  10. Line the tin/pan, allowing the pastry to come about 3cm (1¼ inches) up the sides. Trim to neaten. Prick the base all over with the tines of a fork then chill for 15 minutes.

  11. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).

  12. Line the pastry and fill with baking beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for 5 minutes.

  13. Remove from the oven and brush the inside of the pastry with the reserved egg white. Return to the oven for 3 more minutes.

  14. Leave to cool in the tin/pan and then remove and transfer to a serving plate.

  15. No more than 2 hours before serving, whip the cream until stiff.

  16. Next whip the crème pâtissière to loosen it a little and then fold in the whipped cream.

  17. Spoon into the pastry case. Level the surface and chill for 30 minutes until set.

  18. Meanwhile, wash, pat dry, and hull the strawberries. Arrange on top of the crème pâtissière. (If not serving straight away, chill until needed.)

  19. Just before serving, brush the strawberries with the jam to glaze.

 

Classic Blackberry and Apple Crumble

Classic Blackberry and Apple Crumble

 

The best time to think of cooking blackberry and apple crumble is in late summer when wild blackberries are ripe and free for the picking. They have a much fuller flavour than cultivated ones and the best cooking apples are also just coming into season.

However, rather than not enjoying this true classic dish if you can’t gather wild blackberries, it is still delicious made with cultivated ones which are in season now.

The classic crumble topping is made mixing flour, sugar and butter together and then spooning over the blackberries and apples. Just pop in the oven to bake. Oh so good.

 

Classic Blackberry and Apple Crumble
Prepares: 4 good portions
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 170g (6 oz) flour (1 cup + 3 tbsp)
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 115g (4 oz) chilled butter, diced (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 450g (1 lb) Bramley apples/cooking apples (2 large or 3 medium)
  • 340g (12 oz) blackberries (2½ cups)

  • To serve
  • Serve with custard, cream, vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt.

  • You will also need a deep ovenproof dish.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4).

  3. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the cubed butter. Rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

  4. Now mix in half the sugar and put to one side.

  5. Peel, core and slice the apples. Put into a large bowl and add the remaining sugar. Toss to coat the apples.

  6. Next gently mix in the blackberries.

  7. Tip into the ovenproof dish and lightly smooth the surface.

  8. Spoon the crumble mixture evenly over the top but do not press down.

  9. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until the top is beginning to brown and the juices are bubbling up around the edges.

Updated: July 10, 2019

Posh Raspberry Mess

Posh Raspberry Mess

 

This is a grown up version of the famous Eton Mess but with raspberries. Raspberries are drizzled with framboise, a raspberry liqueur, and then folded with crushed meringue shells into mounds of whipped cream.

 

Posh Raspberry Mess
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time without making the meringues: 10 minutes
  • Preparation time including making the meringues: 18 minutes
  • Cooking time if making the meringues: 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Standing time if making the meringues: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 350ml (12 fl oz) double cream/heavy or whipping cream (1½ cups)
  • 4 meringue shells*
  • 450g (1 1b) raspberries, washed
  • 2 tbsp framboise/raspberry liqueur, optional

  • *This dish is a great way to use up any left-over meringue. However, if making the meringues especially for this dish, follow the recipe below and prepare these first.

  • For the meringue
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)

  • You will also need 4 glass dessert dishes or sundae glasses.


  1. Method
  2. For the meringue
  3. Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (mark 1)

  4. Whisk the egg whites until they are stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition until stiff and glossy.

  5. Line a baking sheet with baking parchment. Dab a little meringue on each corner of the baking sheet first to keep the lining in place.

  6. Spoon 6 mounds of meringue onto the baking parchment. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes until the meringues will lift from the paper easily. Turn off the oven but leave the meringues in the oven for a further 2 hours. This will allow the meringues to completely dry out.

  7. For the fool
  8. Pat dry the washed raspberries and put in a bowl, reserving 12 for later.. Drizzle over the framboise, if using, and set to one side.

  9. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.

  10. Roughly crush 4 meringue shells and fold into the cream.

  11. Just using a few strokes, fold in the raspberries along with any juice.

  12. Divide between the glass dishes and top each one with three reserved raspberries.

  13. Note
  14. This summer dessert still tastes delicious without the framboise. It just misses that little bit extra. To make your own, see Drinks – Framboise Liqueur.

Updated: June 28, 2019

Easy Summer Trifle

Easy Summer Trifle

 

A very refreshing summer trifle with fresh raspberries and strawberries, that is very quick and easy to prepare.

 

Easy Summer Trifle
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Standing time: about 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 1 pkt. sponge fingers, lady fingers or trifle sponges
  • 4 tbsp raspberry conserve
  • 115g (4 oz) small strawberries (about ¾ cup)
  • 115g (4 oz) raspberries
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • Bird’s custard
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (½ cup)

  • You will also need 4 glass dessert dishes.


  1. Method
  2. Break enough of the sponges into pieces to fit the base of each dish.

  3. Then spoon over 1 tablespoon of raspberry conserve in each dish, and level.

  4. Wash and pat dry the fruit. Hull the strawberries and cut in half. Reserving 4 raspberries and 8 half strawberries for decoration, equally divide the rest amongst the four dishes.

  5. Now sprinkle ½ tablespoon of sherry over the fruit in each dish and leave while preparing the custard so the sherry can be absorbed by the fruit and sponge.

  6. Make up 480ml (16 fl oz) (2 cups) of Bird’s custard, according to the directions on the packet. Pour into a small jug and cover the custard with clingfilm/plastic wrap to prevent it from forming a skin. Leave until just cold.

  7. Spoon the custard equally into the four dishes.

  8. Now whip the cream until soft peaks form and put a dollop on top of the custard.

  9. Decorate the cream in each dish with two strawberry halves and a raspberry.

  10. Serve.

Updated: June 28, 2019

 

 

Raspberry Cream Dessert

Raspberry Cream Dessert

 

A very smooth dessert that is quick to prepare. Frozen raspberries are folded into a creamy raspberry mixture that is then left to set.

 

Raspberry Cream Dessert
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: The individual serving dishes will take about 1 hour and the large serving dish will take about 3 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 1 pkt raspberry jelly/jello
  • 2 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) soured cream (⅔ cup)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • ½ lemon, juice only (1½ tbsp)
  • 450g (1 lb) frozen raspberries (4 cups)
  • crème frâiche to serve

  • You will also need a large glass serving dish or 8 individual glass dishes.


  1. Method
  2. Bring some water to to the boil.

  3. If using a packet jelly in the UK, pour 150ml (5 fl oz) of the boiling water into a bowl. Separate the jelly into its sections and add to the bowl, stirring until the jelly has melted. Then stir in 150ml (5 fl oz) of cold water.

  4. If using jello in North America, pour 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) of boiling water into a bowl. Add the jello, stirring to dissolve and then stir in 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) of cold water.

  5. Add the sugar to the jelly, stirring to dissolve.

  6. Then, using a balloon whisk, whisk in the sour cream until it is well mixed in.

  7. Now in a separate bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks form and then fold this into the jelly mixture until fully incorporated.

  8. Stir in the lemon juice.

  9. The raspberries do not have to be fully thawed but they do need to be separated. Gently stir these into the jelly mixture.

  10. Pour into the large bowl, or divide amongst the individual glass dishes, and refrigerate to set.

  11. When ready to serve just dollop a spoonful of crème frâiche on the top.

Updated: May 19, 2019

Chocolate Fudge Sundae

Chocolate Fudge Sundae

 

Scoops of vanilla ice cream and mounds of whipped cream smothered with a chocolate fudge sauce, then decorated with grated chocolate, make this chocolate fudge sundae a sure winner with all the family.

 

Chocolate Fudge Sundae
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the sundaes
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double/whipping cream (1 cup)
  • 8 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • grated chocolate for sprinkling

  • For the chocolate fudge sauce
  • 70g (2½ oz) butter (5 tbsp)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 85g (3 oz) dark muscovado sugar/soft dark brown sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 180ml (6 fl oz) single/table cream (¾ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) cocoa powder, sifted (½ cup)

  • You will also need 4 sundae glasses


  1. Method
  2. For the sundaes
  3. Whip the cream until it just holds soft peaks and put to one side.

  4. For the chocolate fudge sauce
  5. Put the butter, sugars, and cream in a pan over a low heat until the butter has just melted, stirring now and again. Remove from the heat.

  6. Now stir in the cocoa powder and beat until the sauce is smooth and glossy. Keep it warm while putting together the rest of the sundaes. If it becomes too thick, just add a little boiling water.

  7. (Not all the sauce may be needed but it will keep refrigerated for up to two weeks. It will thicken as it cools and will eventually become solid, and it can be warmed through again to create a pouring sauce.)

  8. To assemble
  9. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the chocolate fudge sauce around the insides of each sundae glass.

  10. Add 2 scoops of ice cream to each glass.

  11. Then top each glass with a large dollop of cream.

  12. Now slowly spoon 2 tablespoons of the chocolate sauce over the top, letting it run through the cream and ice cream.

  13. Decorate with a little grated chocolate.

  14. Serve immediately.

 

Crêpes with Lemon and Sugar

Crêpes with Lemon and Sugar

 

A batch of crepes folded into quarters then drizzled with lemon juice and sprinkled with sugar make a very light version of the traditional English pancake.

 

Crêpes with Lemon and Sugar
Prepares: 8–10 large crêpes
 
  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Standing time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 110g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 2 tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk (1 cup)
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, melted (¼ cup, or ½ stick)

  • To serve
  • caster/superfine sugar
  • 2 lemons, halved

  • You will also need a 25.5cm (10 inch) heavy gauge aluminium frying pan/skillet.


  1. Method
  2. First mix the milk and water together.

  3. Then sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break in the eggs.

  4. Using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, whisk the eggs into the flour gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from around the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream.

  5. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the melted butter into the batter and whisk again. Reserve the remaining butter.

  6. Let the mixture stand for 20 minutes.

  7. Place five plates in a warm oven.

  8. Get the pan/skillet really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting.

  9. Smear a little of the reserved butter over the base of the pan/skillet between cooking each pancake.

  10. You will need about 3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first. Then pour the batter quickly into the centre of the pan/skillet, at the same time tipping the pan/skillet around from side to side to get the base evenly coated. If there are any holes, just fill them in with extra batter using a teaspoon. It should take less than a minute for the underside to turn golden. Check by lifting the edge with a palette knife.

  11. Flip the pancake over with the palette knife and cook the other side until golden. This side will need less time to cook. Then slide it out of the pan onto a warmed plate.

  12. Continue making the pancakes until all the batter is used. Stack them on the warmed plate as they are ready and keep them warm in the oven, covered loosely with foil.

  13. Serve with juice from the lemons squeezed over the pancakes and a generous sprinkling of sugar. They can then be rolled or folded into quarters.

Updated: April 24, 2019

Easter Lemon Pavlova

I am indebted to Mary Berry of The Great British Bakeoff for this recipe. It is very light, and the lemon makes it a refreshing end to a holiday meal with family and friends.

 

Easter Lemon Pavlova

 

This is a lovely dessert that really does taste heavenly and looks very impressive too. The one thing I like about it is that you can prepare a lot in advance. The candied lemon peel can easily be made the day before and the lemon curd a few days before. The meringue is best made on the day you wish to serve it but that takes very little time to prepare. Then all there is to do is to mix the whipped cream into the lemon curd and assemble everything.

 

Easter Lemon Pavlova
Prepares: 8–10 servings (picture shows 4–6)
 
  • Preparation time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 2 hours or over night for the candied lemon zest
  • Cooking time: about 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • For the candied lemon zest
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup + ½ tbsp) plus extra for coating
  • 2 lemons

  • For the meringue
  • 6 egg whites
  • 340g (12 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch

  • For the lemon curd filling
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 340g (12 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1¾ cups)
  • 
2 lemons at room temperature (plus the 2 reserved from making the candied lemon zest)
  • 225g (8 oz) butter, cubed (1 cup, or 2 sticks)
  • 480ml (16 fl oz) double/whipping cream (2 cups)

  • To serve
  • 30 chocolate mini eggs

  • You will also need a piping bag fitted with a rose nozzle.


  1. Method
  2. For the candied lemon zest
  3. (Can be made up to 24 hours ahead)

  4. Peel the zest from two lemons and cut into thin strips. (Reserve the lemons for their juice in the lemon curd.)

  5. Lay a piece of parchment ready on the work surface and spoon over the extra sugar for coating.

  6. Now dissolve the sugar in a pan with 60ml (2 fl oz) (¼ cup) water, then bring to the boil, stirring constantly.

  7. Add the zest and gently boil until syrupy, about 2–3 minutes.

  8. Drain the zest and tip onto the parchment paper. Then toss in the extra sugar until each one is well coated.

  9. Leave to dry in a warm place for at least two hours, or overnight.


  10. For the meringue
  11. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F) (gas mark 2)

  12. Draw a 25cm (10 inch) circle on a sheet of baking parchment. With the drawn side down, place on a baking tray/sheet.


  13. Add the egg whites to a bowl and whisk until stiff but before they get to peak stage. Use an electric hand-whisk or a free-standing mixer.

  14. Then gradually add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, while still whisking on the maximum speed, until the mixture is stiff and shiny, and stands in peaks. 


  15. Blend the vinegar and cornflour/cornstarch together in a small bowl until smooth. Then gently stir this into the meringue. 


  16. Take half the meringue and spread it onto the baking parchment within the lines of the drawn circle. Now fill the piping bag with the remaining meringue and carefully pipe 10 separate nests equally around the edge of the meringue base. 


  17. Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 1½–2 hours. The pavlova will be a pale cream colour and will lift off the paper easily when ready. Begin to check periodically after 1¼ hours until it has reached this stage. Then turn off the oven but leave the pavlova on the oven shelf, with the door slightly ajar, until cold. 


  18. For the lemon curd
  19. (The lemon curd can also be made ahead of time and, once cooled, it can be refrigerated covered with cling film/plastic wrap until needed. It will keep in a refrigerator for up to seven days.)

  20. Squeeze the juice from the four lemons. (4 medium lemons should yield ¾ cup.)

  21. Place a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Add the egg yolks, sugar, and lemon juice to the bowl and whisk until the sugar has dissolved.

  22. Now gradually add the butter to the pan, stirring until the butter has melted.

  23. Continue stirring until the mixture starts to thicken, about 10 minutes. It should resemble pouring cream and coat the back of a spoon. Then remove from the heat and leave to cool. It will thicken further on cooling.

  24. To assemble
  25. Once the lemon curd has cooled completely, pour the cream into a large bowl and whisk until really thick. Then add it to the lemon curd, gently swirling it through.

  26. Spoon a little into each nest. Then fill the middle of the pavlova with the remainder (you may not need it all).

  27. Finally, place three chocolate mini-eggs in each nest and then sprinkle the candied zest in the middle of the pavlova, creating a mound.

Updated: April 22, 2019

Apple Amber

Apple Amber

 

A shortcrust pastry flan is filled with a cooked apple filling and topped with meringue.

 

Apple Amber
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Chilling time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcrust pastry
  • 225g (8 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1¾ cups)
  • pinch salt
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, cubed (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55g (2 oz) shortening, cubed (¼ cup)
  • 8 tsp cold water

  • For the filling
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) water
  • 100g (3½ oz) sugar (½ cup)
  • 450g (1 lb) granny smith apples (about 3 medium)
  • strip of lemon rind
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp)
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)

  • For the meringue
  • 2 egg whites
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup)

  • You will also need a 20.5 cm (8 inch) loose bottomed flan case and a baking tray/sheet.


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl.

  4. Rub the butter and shortening into the flour until there are no lumps and the mixture resembles fresh breadcrumbs.

  5. Now sprinkle the water evenly over the surface (if the water is added unevenly, it can cause blistering when the pastry is cooked). Then, using a pallet knife, bring the mixture together.

  6. Once it starts to clump together, remove from the bowl and knead lightly to form a firm, smooth dough.

  7. Pop in a plastic bag or cover with cling film/plastic wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

  8. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F (225°C) (gas 7).

  9. Now, on a floured surface, roll out the pastry in one direction only, turning it occasionally. Then line the flan case and trim the edges to neaten. Prick the base of the pastry with the tines of a fork to make sure no air gets trapped underneath the pastry.

  10. Bake blind for 15 minutes. Then remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 300°F (150°C) (gas 3).

  11. For the filling
  12. While the pastry is cooking start preparing the filling.

  13. In a medium-sized pan make a sugar syrup by gently dissolving the sugar in the water over a low heat.

  14. While the sugar in dissolving, peel, core and cut the apples into small chunks.

  15. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the apples along with the strip of lemon rind and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes until the apples have softened but still hold their shape.

  16. Drain the apples and then add the butter. Stir to melt the butter into the apples, mashing them slightly. Now add the egg yolks and mix in.

  17. Once the flan case has cooled, carefully remove the pastry case and sit it on a baking tray/sheet. Fill with the apple.

  18. For the meringue
  19. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Then gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.

  20. Pile the meringue on top the apple, making sure it completely covers the filling. Finally pull the meringue up into peaks using the tip of a knife.

  21. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes. The meringue will be crisp and lightly browned on the outside but still soft on the inside.