Apple Amber

A new recipe for Apple Amber with a rich buttery pastry. The butter shortcrust pastry brings a richness to this recipe of Apple Amber. The smooth apple filling is then covered with a deep meringue.

 

 

Apple Amber

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Resting time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 225 g (8 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour (1¾ cups)
  • 115 g (4 oz) butter, cubed (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 3 tbsp cold water
  • For the filling
  • 675 g (1½ lb) Bramley cooking apples (Cortland or other variety of apple suitable for cooking)
  • 85 g (3 oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅓ cup)
  • 1 lemon
  • 28 g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp)
  • 2 large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.) egg yolks (reserve the whites for the meringue)
  • For the meringue
  • 2 large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.) egg whites (reserved from the filling)
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)

Equipment

  • You will also need a 20.5 cm (8 inch) loose bottomed flan tin that is 3 cm (1¼ ins) deep, and a baking sheet.
  • Method
  • For the pastry
  • Sift the flour into a mixing bowl.
  • Add the cubes of butter and rub in.
  • Sprinkle over the cold water and mix in with the a fork to moisten the mixture evenly.
  • Now draw the mixture together with your fingertips to make a dough.
  • Tip it onto a floured surface and gently knead into a ball.
  • Cover and rest for 10 minutes.
  • Then roll it out and line the tart tin. Prick the base all over with a fork and chill the pastry case while preparing the filling.
  • For the filling
  • First preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (Gas 5) and place a baking sheet in the oven while it is heating up.
  • Peel, core and cut the apples into small chunks. Put into a pan.
  • Zest the lemon and then squeeze out the juice. Add to the pan.
  • Set over a low heat, cover, and let the apples stew gentle for about 15 minutes, until they are soft. Stir occasionally.
  • Remove from the heat and beat the apple vigorously to produce a purée.
  • Now add the sugar and butter and stir until they have melted.
  • Then beat in the egg yolks.
  • Pour into the pastry case and place it on the hot baking sheet. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until the pastry is golden.
  • Remove the baking sheet and tart from the oven and put to one side while preparing the meringue.
  • For the meringue
  • First reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (300°F) (Gas 2).
  • Then whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Gradually add the sugar, one tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the meringue is stiff and glossy.
  • Pile the meringue on top of the apple, making sure it completely covers the filling, and pull the meringue up into peaks using the tip of a knife.
  • Bake for 15–20 minutes, until the meringue is golden.
  • Allow the tart to cool in the tin and serve at room temperature.
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Updated: October 22, 2020

Quick Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries

A dessert of sheer indulgence. Extend summer a little longer while being able to find strawberries. Here a rich chocolate mousse that is so quick to prepare is topped with an up-to-date method of presenting strawberries. The result – a decadent dessert to enjoy.

Quick Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Chilling time: 30 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • 225 g (8 oz) plain/dark chocolate (70% solids)
  • 180 ml (6 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (¾ cup)
  • 180 ml (6 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (¾ cup)
  • 90 ml (3 fl oz) light olive oil (⅓ cup)
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 225 g (8 oz) strawberries
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • a few basil leaves
  • salt
  • You will also need 4 glass pots.
  • Method
  • Break the chocolate into pieces and put in a bowl.
  • Pour the cream and milk into a small pan and bring to just boiling. Immediately remove from the heat.
  • Now slowly pour over the chocolate. Stir together to melt the chocolate.
  • Gradually add the olive oil and then briskly whisk into the chocolate until well blended.
  • Add a pinch of salt.
  • Pour an equal amount into each pot so it fills up to three-quarters full.
  • Chill for 30 minutes to set the mousse.
  • Meanwhile, wash and pat dry the strawberries. Then hull and cut into quarters. Place in a bowl.
  • Drizzle over a little olive oil.
  • Reserve 4 whole basil leaves and tear the remainder into small pieces. Add to the strawberries with a pinch of salt and mix in.
  • Then spoon on top of the chocolate mousse.
  • Decorate each pot with a whole basil leaf.
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Summer Fruit Brûlée

This is a lovely summer brûlée with a fruity mix of berries and currants. The fruit is topped with a whipped creamy filling and then a crunchy caramelised topping.

Summer Fruit Brûlée

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 35 minutes
  • Chilling and cooling time: about 5 hours
  • Cooking time: about 15 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • 700 g (1 lb 8 oz) soft fruits, a mix of blackberries, blackcurrants, raspberries, and redcurrants or other suitable soft fruit
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 285 g (10 oz) Greek yogurt
  • 285 ml carton whipping/heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 170 g (6 oz) demerara sugar (⅔ cup)

Equipment

  • You will also need a shallow rectangular heatproof dish with a base measurement of 25.5 x 16 cm (10 x 6½ inches) and 5 cm (2 inches) deep.
  • Method
  • You need to start preparing this dish early in the day as it needs to cool and chill between each stage.
  • First wash the fruit, remove any stalks from the blackcurrants and run the tines of a fork down the stalks of the redcurrants to separate the stalks from the currants.
  • Put the fruit in a pan and sprinkle over the sugar.
  • Now put the pan over a gentle heat for 3–5 minutes, until the sugar has just melted and the juices begin to run. Don’t stir the fruit but just move it around because you want to avoid breaking it down.
  • Summer Fruit Brûlée
  • Now tip the fruit into the shallow dish and leave it to become quite cold.
  • Summer Fruit Brûlée
  • Then spoon the yogurt into a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it is thick and then fold it into the yogurt.
  • Cover the fruit with the cream mixture, making sure it goes right to the edge of the dish and completely covers the fruit. Level the surface.
  • Summer Fruit Brûlée
  • Cover with cling-film/plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours.
  • 2 hours before you want to serve the brûlée, spread the surface thickly and evenly with the demerara sugar.
  • The easiest way to caramelise the sugar is to use a chef’s blowtorch but if you prefer to use the grill/broiler then you need to turn it on to a high setting and allow 15 minutes for it to get really hot.
  • Next, spray the sugar very lightly with water (a small plastic spray bottle is perfect for this), which will help the sugar melt and speed up the caramelisation process.
  • If using a blowtorch, aim the tip of the flame above one section of the sugar and once the sugar has melted and is bubbling move onto the next section. It will take about 10 minutes to completely melt all the sugar and turn it a dark golden brown colour.
  • Summer Fruit Brûlée
  • If not using a blowtorch, place the dish under the grill/broiler as close to the heat source as possible. Again heat the sugar until it has melted and turned a dark golden brown colour.
  • Now leave to cool and then chill again until ready to serve, when the caramelised sugar will form a crusty surface.
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Creamy Lemon Tart with Redcurrants

This is a very creamy lemon tart which balances the tartness of the redcurrants. These are scattered over the top of the tart just before serving.

Creamy Lemon Tart with Redcurrants

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 50 minutes
  • Chilling time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 40 minutes
  • Cooling time: about 2 hours
  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 200 g (7 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1½ cups)
  • 2 tsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 100 g (3½ oz) cold butter, cut into cubes (⅓ cup + 2 tbsp, or 1 stick less 1 tbsp)
  • pinch of salt
  • For the filling
  • 2 lemons
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.)
  • 1 egg, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), yolk only
  • 85 g (3 oz) unsalted butter cut into cubes (³⁄₈ cup, or ¾ stick)
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • To serve
  • redcurrants
  • icing/powdered sugar for dusting
  • Equipment
  • You will also need a 20 cm (8 inch) loose-based tart tin.
  • Method
  • For the pastry
  • Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
  • Rub in the butter, at the same time lifting the flour well out of the bowl to incorporate as much air as possible.
  • When the mixture resembles dry breadcrumbs, add the sugar.
  • Then sprinkle over 2½ tablespoons of cold water and, using a palette knife, bring the mixture together until it begins to form clumps. Add a little more water (no more than ½ tablespoon) if the mixture seems dry. Using your hands, bring together into a ball by kneading lightly.
  • Wrap in cling film/plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes to relax the pastry.
  • (Alternatively, use a food processor.)
  • Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface until it is 5 cm (2 inches) larger than the size of the tart tin.
  • Carefully transfer to the tin without stretching the pastry and gently press down into the sides. Then trim the pastry by running the rolling-pin over the top to cut the pastry level with the rim. Prick the pastry base all over and return to the fridge for a further 20 minutes to firm up.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas mark 6).
  • Line the pastry with baking paper and add baking beans, making sure they spread to the edge. Bake for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the paper and beans and bake for a further 5–10 minutes until golden.
  • Put to one side to cool a little before filling.
  • For the filling
  • Meanwhile, make the filling.
  • Zest one lemon and put to one side.
  • Now strain the juice of both lemons into a large bowl.
  • Add the sugar, whole eggs, and egg yolk and whisk until just combined.
  • Place the bowl over a pan of just simmering water and add the cubes of butter, one at a time, whisking until each one has melted.
  • Stir the mixture until it begins to thicken.
  • Now stir in the cream and lemon zest.
  • Remove the bowl from the pan.
  • Carefully remove the pastry case from its tin and place on a baking sheet.
  • Pour the mixture into the pastry case and bake for a further 12–15 minutes until the filling is just set.
  • Leave to cool.
  • Just before serving, decorate the top with redcurranrs (you can leave them on their stalks) and dust icing/powered sugar over the tart using a small sieve.
  • Serve at room temperature.
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Strawberry Cream Pots

Strawberry Cream Pots

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Chilling time: 4 hours
  • Ingredients
  • 285 g (10 oz) strawberries (punnet or about 2 cups)
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) single/table cream (⅔ cup)
  • 2 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 40 g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 140 g (5 oz) crème fraîche
  • a few drops of lemon juice
  • You will also need 4 ramekin dishes with a capacity of 150 ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup) or 4 small pretty dessert dishes.
  • Method
  • First wash the strawberries and then hull and pat dry.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whip the egg yolks and sugar together until the mixture has thickened.
  • Now pour the cream into a small pan and bring to the boil.
  • Using an electric whisk, slowly pour the cream over the egg mixture, whisking continuously.
  • Return the mixture to a clean pan and let it cook over a low heat, beating with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened and will coat the back of the spoon. (The heat needs to be low because the custard must not be allowed to boil or it will curdle.) Then leave to cool.
  • Meanwhile, purée half the strawberries in a food processor or blender, and then pour into a bowl.
  • Reserve four whole strawberries for decoration from the other half. Dice the remainder.
  • Add the diced strawberries to the purée and then add the cooled custard and gently stir together.
  • Fold in the crème fraîche and a couple of drops of lemon juice until well incorporated.
  • Spoon equally into the four dishes and chill for at least four hours.
  • Garnish the top with a reserved strawberry before serving.
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Red Berry Jelly

There is nothing like homemade jelly. The intensity of flavour of the berries come bursting through and makes for a perfect dessert on a hot summer’s day.

Red Berry Jelly

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes
  • Setting time: 6 hours or overnight
  • Ingredients
  • 250 g (9 oz) strawberries (about 2 cups)
  • 170 g (6 oz) raspberries (1½ cups)
  • 115 g (4 oz) redcurrants (¾ cup)
  • 140 g (5 oz) caster/superfine sugar (⅔ cup)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 sheets fine leaf gelatine OR
  • sachets of powdered gelatine
  • You will also need a 1 litre (4 cup) jelly mould or six individual glass dessert dishes.
  • Method
  • Wash and pat dry the fruit. If the strawberries are large, cut them in half. Remove the stalks from the redcurrants by gently running the tines of a fork down the stalks.
  • Put the fruit in a medium sized pan along with the sugar, lemon juice, and 540 ml (18 fl oz) (2¼ cups) cold water. Heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is beginning to bubble. Now put a lid on the pan and let the fruit continue to cook gently until it has become very soft, about 5 minutes.
  • If using leaf gelatine prepare it now. Place the leaves in a bowl of cold water, snapping them in half to fit if necessary. Leave for 5 minutes to become very soft.
  • Now strain the fruit mixture through a large, fine sieve into a bowl. Press the fruit through the sieve, using a wooden spoon, to extract as much juice from the fruit as possible.
  • If using powdered gelatine, stir the contents of 1½ sachets in ⅓ cup of cold water then add ⅓ cup of the hot fruit juice and stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.
  • Either lift the softened gelatine leaves from the water, squeezing out the water, and add to the fruit juice. Or stir in the dissolved powdered gelatine. Stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved into the fruit juice, about 2 minutes. Keep stirring until you are sure the gelatine has dissolved, otherwise, when the fruit juice sets, there will be little grains of solid gelatine in it.
  • Pour the jelly into the jelly mould or individual glass dishes and leave to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight to set.
  • To turn out the jelly mould, dip it halfway in a large bowl of hand hot water for about 5 seconds. Then place a flat serving plate on top and turn out the jelly. Shake for a couple of seconds until you hear the jelly loosening, then lift the mould away.
  • Note
  • Can be served with single/table cream or dollops of whipped whipping cream/whipping or heavy cream and extra fresh raspberries.
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There is nothing like homemade jelly. The intensity of flavour of the berries come bursting through and makes for a perfect dessert on a hot summer’s day.

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

8 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

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


  • Method
  • Chill four dessert plates in the fridge.

  • Put the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in the sugar to make a paste.
  • Next, pour the milk into a small pan.
  • If using the vanilla pod, add it to the milk and slowly heat on the lowest setting for 10 minutes, without boiling. Then remove the vanilla pod.
  • If using vanilla extract, omit heating the milk for 10 minutes first but add it to the cold milk now.
  • Bring the milk up to the boil.
  • Now 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. You want it to thicken enough to be able to coat the back of a spoon. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl. Cover the custard with cling film/plastic wrap to prevent it forming a skin and then leave it to cool.
  • Meanwhile, cut each sponge finger in half to give two small fingers and lay them in a shallow bowl. Drizzle over the wine or sherry.
  • Next, wash and pat dry the fruits. Remove the currants from their stalks and hull and halve the strawberries.
  • Set aside half the berries and currants, picking out the best ones.
  • Put the remainder in a food processor or blender and add the wine and sugar.
  • 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 a clean spoon to get all the sauce.
  • Roughly chop the pistachio nuts or walnuts.

  • Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks.
  • Stir one spoonful into the cooled custard to loosen it a little and then fold in the remaining cream.
  • Now to assemble, carefully toss the reserved fruit with half the purée and spoon into the centre of each cooled plate.
  • Arrange the sponge fingers evenly around the edge of the plates.
  • Pour the custard over half of each the sponge finger then sprinkle the nuts on top of the custard.
  • Pour the remaining purée over the fruit and serve.
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Updated: July 20, 2020

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

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

Equipment

  • You will also need a 20 × 20 × 5 cm (8 × 8 × 2 inch) dish


  • Method
  • Zest the lemon until ½ teaspoon has been produced and set aside.
  • Then juice the lemon.
  • Make up the jelly/jello in a bowl according to the packet.
  • Refrigerate until the jelly has completely set.
  • Refrigerate until partially set (the consistency of unbeaten egg whites).
  • Stir the berries into the jelly/jello and then pour the berry mixture into the dish and refrigerate until the jelly has completely set.

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

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

  • Now in a separate bowl beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and add to the cream with sifted  icing/powdered sugar. Beat well until combined. The mixture will become fluffy and thicken.
  • Stir in the reserved lemon zest.
  • Carefully spoon the cream cheese mixture evenly over the jelly and gently level with a palette knife making sure the mixture reaches the edges.
  • Refrigerate for a further 1 hour.
    Creamy Summer Berry Jelly Salad
  • 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.
  • 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.

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Updated: July 7, 2020

Frozen Strawberry Sundaes

Frozen Strawberry Sundae

These squares of strawberry ice cream are on a chocolate base and topped with sliced strawberries, drizzled with chocolate and sprinkled with toasted almonds. Frozen ahead of time, they make an impressive dessert and take no time at all to add the toppings just before serving.

Frozen Strawberry Sundaes

6 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Freezing time: 4 hours
  • Standing time: 10 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the base
  • 115 g (4 oz) Oreo chocolate baking crumbs (1 cup)*
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter, melted (3 tbsp)
  • *This is a North American recipe where the chocolate baking crumbs are bought ready in a box.
  • Use the recipe below to make the base in England:
  • 115 g (4 oz) plain digestive biscuits crushed to make fine crumbs
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

  • Stir the cocoa powder into the melted butter then add to the biscuit crumbs and sugar. Stir to combine.

  • For the filling
  • 280 g (10 oz) vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (8 scoops)
  • 170 g (6 oz) strawberries, rinsed and hulled (about 1¼ cups)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • For the topping
  • 85 g (3 oz) strawberries, rinsed and hulled (about ⅔ cup)
  • 55 g (2 oz) plain/dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp slivered/flaked almonds

Equipment

  • You will also need a 17 cm (6½ inches) square metal baking tin at least 5 cm (2 inches) deep for this recipe.

Note

  • Once the base and filling have been left to freeze it can be cut into portions and then the portions returned to the freezer until needed. The topping is added just before serving and is better not frozen.
  • This is a great recipe to make and keep in the freezer. The quantities can be doubled to be able to freeze more portions; just use a 24 cm (9½ in) square tin.


  • Method
  • First line the container with two pieces of cling film/plastic wrap so they are laid across one another and large enough to overhang the edges of the container on all sides. Press well into the corners of the container.

  • For the base
  • In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate crumbs and sugar. Stir in the butter to coat the crumbs.
  • Now spread evenly in the container, using a flat bottomed glass or measuring cup, pressing well into the corners.
  • Freeze while making the filling.
  • For the filling
  • Remove the ice cream or frozen yogurt from the freezer to soften a little while preparing the strawberries.

  • Slice the strawberries and put in a small bowl. Toss with the sugar and leave for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.

  • Purée the strawberries until smooth.
  • Scoop the ice cream or yogurt into a large bowl. It should be soft but not completely thawed. Then pour over the strawberry purée. Stir until well blended.
  • Spoon evenly over the chocolate base and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.
  • For the topping
  • Start preparing the toasted almonds and chocolate sauce about one hour before serving so they have time to cool.

  • Tip the almonds into a small frying pan/skillet and toast over a medium to low heat until golden, tossing frequently. They will take about 5–10 minutes but keep an eye on them as they burn quickly. (They produce a nutty smell when ready.) Put to one side.

  • Break the chocolate into small pieces and add half to a glass bowl.
  • Melt the chocolate by sitting the bowl over a pan of just simmering water. (The bowl should not touch the water.)
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and add the remaining chocolate pieces.
  • Stir until the chocolate has melted and there is a smooth sauce. Leave to cool.
  • To finish
  • Top each square just before serving.

  • Holding the edges of the baking parchment, remove the frozen sundae to a cutting board. Now using a serrated knife, cut into six even pieces. Leave for 10 minutes to soften a little.

  • Slice the remaining strawberries and decorate the top of the squares.

  • Then drizzle over the chocolate and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

  • Note
  • Once the base and filling has frozen, it can be cut into portions and then the portions returned to the freezer until needed. The topping is added just before serving and is better not frozen.

  • This is a great recipe to make and keep in the freezer. The quantities can be doubled to be able to freeze more portions; but use a 24 cm (9½ in) square container.
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Updated: July 4, 2020

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

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

  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 170 g (6 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1⅓ cups)
  • 115 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 1 egg, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.)
  • For the crème pâtissière
  • 70 g (2½ oz) caster/superfine sugar (5 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 28 g (1 oz) cornflour/cornstarch (¼ cup)
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) semi-skimmed/2% partly skimmed milk (1 cup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 180 ml (6 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream or heavy cream (¾ cup)
  • For the topping
  • 450 g (16 oz) strawberries (ideally the same size) (about 3 cups)
  • 3 tbsp strawberry jam, sieved

Equipment

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


  • Method
  • Whiz flour and butter in a food processor until crumbly, or rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips.
  • Add the sugar and whiz to mix.
  • Now separate the egg and reserve the white for later.

  • Add the yolk and 1 tablespoon of very cold water and either pulse or stir with a palette knife to bring the pastry together. (It will be a stickier than shortcrust pastry.)
  • Shape into a disc, wrap in clingfilm/plastic wrap, and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Now make the crème pâtissière.

  • Mix together the sugar, yolks, and cornflour/cornstarch in a medium bowl until it forms a smooth paste.
  • Heat the milk and vanilla extract until just boiling. Then gradually whisk the milk into the egg mixture.
  • Return the mixture to the pan and stir continuously, letting it gently bubble until the mixture has thickened.
  • Now spoon into a large bowl, cover, and leave to cool and then chill.
  • Once the pastry has rested, roll out quite thinly. This is made easier by rolling the pastry between two large pieces of clingfilm/plastic wrap, lightly dusting the bottom piece and the pastry with flour before rolling out.
  • Once rolled out, peel off the top piece of clingfilm/plastic wrap and carefully flip over and line the tin/pan, allowing the pastry to come about 3 cm (1¼ inches) up the sides. Trim to neaten. This pastry is quite forgiving and if it tears while lining the tin, it can be easily patched without spoiling the result.
  • Prick the base all over with the tines of a fork then chill for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5).
  • Line the pastry and fill with baking beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the paper and beans and return to the oven for a further 5 minutes, covering the top with parchment paper if it is browning too quickly.
  • Remove from the oven and use enough reserved egg white to brush the inside of the pastry. Return to the oven for 2–3 more minutes to seal the pastry.
  • Leave to cool in the tin/pan and then remove and transfer to a serving plate.

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

  • Next whip the custard to loosen it a little and then whisk in 1 tablespoon of the whipped cream.
  • Now fold in the remaining cream.
  • Spoon into the pastry case. Level the surface and chill for 30 minutes until set.

  • Meanwhile, wash, pat dry, and hull the strawberries.
  • Arrange on top of the crème pâtissière. (If not serving straight away, chill until needed.)
  • Just before serving, brush the strawberries with the jam to glaze. (If the jam is really thick, loosen it with a little hot water.)
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Updated: June 8, 2020

Caramel Apple Tartlets

A very simple tartlet that is easy to prepare. Delicious caramel is spread over a pastry base and covered with thinly sliced sweet apples. Sugar is then sprinkled over the top just before serving.

Caramel Apple Tartlets

6 tartlets
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Resting time: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • For the pastry
  • 225 g (8 oz) plain/cake and pastry flour (1¾ cups)
  • pinch of salt
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55 g (2 oz) shortening (¼ cup)
  • 3–4 tbsp very cold water
  • For the filling
  • 6 tbsp rounded, Dulche de la Leche (a caramel spread)
  • 3 small eating apples
  • icing/powdered sugar to dust

To serve

  • Vanilla ice cream or pouring cream

Equipment

  • You will also need 6 x 20 cm (4 inch) individual tartlet tins.
  • Method
  • For the pastry
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  • Now add the butter and shortening, cutting them into small pieces using two knives.
  • Pick up the mixture in small handfuls and gently rub the fat through the flour with the tips of the fingers. Continue until the fat is evenly blended throughout the flour and the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs. (This can also be achieved in a food processor.)
  • Then sprinkle 3 tablespoons water over the mixture and, using a fork or round-ended table knife, draw the mixture together until it leaves the sides of the bowl clean and forms a rough ball, adding extra water if the mixture seems dry.
  • Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice to form a smooth ball.
  • Wrap in a plastic food bag and rest it in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  • Now roll out the pastry quite thinly.
  • Using a tartlet tin as a guide, cut out six circles slightly larger than the tin and use to line the six tartlet tins.
  • Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and return to the fridge for a further 15 minutes for the pastry to firm up.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6) and place a baking sheet in the oven while it is warming up.
  • For the filling
  • Spread 1 rounded tablespoon of the Dulche de la Leche over the base of the pastry and up the sides.
  • Quarter, core and thinly slice the apples (do not peel).
  • Neatly pile the apple slices upright over the caramel.
  • Then carefully place the tins on the hot baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Lightly dust with icing/powdered sugar just before serving.
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Lemon Meringue Ice Gateau

Lemon Meringue Ice Gateau

8 servings
  • Preparation time: 45 minutes
  • Freezing time: overnight
  • Standing time: 10 minutes
  • Ingredients
  • For the lemon curd
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 2 lemons
  • 115 g (4 oz) granulated sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter, cubed (3 tbsp)
  • For the gateau
  • 450 ml (15 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
  • 400 g Greek yogurt
  • 170 g (6 oz) icing/powdered sugar (1½ cups)
  • 2 lemons, zest only (reserved from making the lemon curd)
  • 4 meringue nests, crushed**
  • 6 tbsp lemon curd

Note

  • **This is a great way to use up left over meringue nests but they can be made especially for the recipe. See recipe below.
  • For decoration
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • 3 tbsp lemon curd
  • ½ lemon and lime, optional
  • You will also need an 18 cm (7 inch) spring-clip cake tin/spring-form pan lined with baking parchment.
  • Method
  • If making the meringues, prepare these ahead of time (see below).
  • Next make the lemon curd before assembling the gateau.
  • For the lemon curd
  • Zest the lemons and reserve for making the gateau.
  • Then juice them and put in a bowl with the egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together.
  • Place the bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
  • Add the cubes of butter, stirring continuously until the butter has melted.
  • Now continue stirring until the curd thickens enough to hold a trail.
  • Remove from the heat and leave to become cold while making the gateau. The curd will thicken and set as it becomes cold.
  • For the gateau
  • Pour the cream into a large bowl.
  • Add the yogurt, sugar and reserved lemon zest.
  • Whisk together until the mixture forms soft peaks.
  • Now roughly crush the meringues and gently fold in.
  • Spoon 6 tablespoons of the lemon curd over the top and, using a round-ended knife, cut in to form swirls throughout the mixture.
  • Carefully spoon into the prepared tin/pan and level the surface.
  • Cover and freeze overnight.
  • To serve
  • Remove the gateau from the freezer and allow it to stand for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile whip the cream until just stiff.
  • Now release the gateau from the tin/pan and transfer to a serving plate.
  • Decorate the top with the whipped cream and 3 tablespoons of lemon curd.
  • If using the half lemon and lime, cut each into half and slice. They can be added, shaped into a fan, for extra decoration.
  • Serve immediately.
  • Any unused portion can be returned to the freezer in a covered, rigid container.
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Meringue Shells

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour, plus cooling in the oven
  • Ingredients
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/granulated sugar (1 cup + 1 tbsp)
  • Method
  • Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Gradually whisk in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until stiff and glossy.
  • Now line a baking tray/sheet with baking parchment. Dabbing a little meringue on each corner of the baking tray/sheet first will keep the lining in place.
  • Spoon 6 mounds of meringue onto the baking paper.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour, until the meringues shells lift easily from the paper.
  • Turn off the oven but leave the meringue shells inside to completely dry out while the oven is cooling down.
  • Note that you will only need four of the shells for the above recipe.
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