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: 4 tartlets
 
  • Preparation time
  • For the pastry: 30 minutes
  • For the filling: 8–10 minutes

  • Cooking time:
  • For the pastry: 12 minutes

  • Chilling time for the pastry: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the 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 sugar/white sugar
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolk only

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


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

  4. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar. Add the egg yolk, sprinkle over 1 tablespoon cold water and mix to a firm dough. Add a little more water if necessary. Wrap in cling film/wrap and chill for 20 minutes.

  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).

  6. 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 four rounds. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. For the filling
  10. Sift the sugar and add to the crème fraîche along with the vanilla extract. Stir to combine and then divide equally between the 4 pastry cases and level the tops.

  11. Wash and pat dry the fruit. If using any strawberries, halve or quarter them so they are of a similar size to the other fruits. Spread the fruit over the crème fraîche and serve immediately to prevent the filling from softening the pastry.

  12. Note
  13. These little tartlets made a quick dessert. I tend to make a batch of the pastry cases and freeze them so I have them ready to hand. Just remove the number needed, thaw them and then you are ready to go with the filling, which is usually very quick to put together.

 

Berry Meringue Creams

Berry Meringue Creams

 

A delicious light dessert served in individual glass dishes. Fresh raspberries and strawberries are folded in whipped cream with crushed meringue lightly mixed in. They are decorated with cut strawberries and dusted with icing sugar.

 

Berry Meringue Creams
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Preparation time if making meringues: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time for the meringues: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Standing time for the meringues: 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 340g (12 oz) strawberries (1 pint)
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar/white sugar
  • 300ml/10 fl oz double cream/whipping cream (1¼ cups)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 meringue shells*
  • 140g (5 oz) raspberries
  • icing/powdered sugar to decorate

  • *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/white sugar (½ cup plus 1 tbsp)

  • Equipment
  • 4 x glass dessert dishes


  1. Method
  2. For the meringues
  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. (You will only need four of the meringue shells for this recipe.)

  7. For the Berry Meringue Creams
  8. Wash, pat dry and hull strawberries. Reserve a quarter and set aside. Quarter the rest and place in a small bowl, then gently mix in 4 teaspoons of the sugar and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

  9. Pour the cream into a bowl and add the remaining 2 teaspoons sugar and vanilla. Whisk until the cream holds a soft peak.

  10. Carefully break 4 of the meringue shells into small pieces and mix into the cream. Fold in the raspberries and strawberries, including any of their juice, being careful not to over mix.

  11. Divide between the four dishes. Top with the reserved strawberries, cutting any into halves or quarters if they are too large.

  12. Dust a little icing sugar over top just before serving.

  13. They can be refrigerated for up to two hours, leaving the icing sugar to be dusted over until just before serving.

Updated: July 19, 2017

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/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/white sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)

  • Equipment
  • 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: July 19, 2017

Strawberry Cheesecake

Summer for me has always been about enjoying strawberries. I can remember when the season was very short because you could only buy locally grown ones. Memories of watching Wimbledon Tennis with a bowl of strawberries and cream – a wonderful combination where neither lasted long enough! Well perhaps the strawberry season lasted a little longer.  Now newer varieties are grown in many areas which extend the season and have a longer shelf life too. Meaning they are available in the stores for many months over the summer.

In U.K. stores they are mainly U.K. grown and here in Canada most are imported from the States, but wherever we have lived the best for me are those grown locally. Because they are not picked to travel far they tend to be left to ripen just that little bit longer which means they are sweet and full of flavour with an aroma which is always more intense. The best are those you can find being sold by the roadside outside the main towns.

A strawberry cheesecake recipe is always a must and here is my classic version. I hope you will enjoy it too.

 

Strawberry Cheesecake

 

This is a classic strawberry cheesecake. It has a sweet crumb base and a creamy cheese filling then topped with heaps of sliced strawberries and a gorgeous strawberry sauce.

 

Strawberry Cheesecake
Prepares: 8 servings (images show 4 servings size)
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 50 minutes
  • Cooling time: about 15 minutes

  • Ingredients

  • Strawberry Cheesecake


  • For the base
  • 170g (6 oz) Graham cracker crumbs (1¼ cups) OR
  • 170g (6 oz) plain digestive biscuits (12)*
  • 50g (1¾ oz) sugar (¼ cup)
  • 50g (1¾ oz) butter, melted (¼ cup)

  • *In North America you can buy packaged baking crumbs ready for using in desserts like cheesecakes. In the U.K. these aren’t readily available, so use plain digestive biscuits and just put them in a large plastic food bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they are broken into very small crumbs.

  • For the filling
  • 2 pkgs (250g each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 140g (5 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup less 2 tsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • For the topping
  • 675g (1 lb 8 oz) strawberries (about 1½ quart punnets)
  • 115g (4 oz) redcurrant jelly (2 tbsp)

  • Equipment
  • 23cm (9 inch) springform pan or loose-bottomed pan


  1. Method
  2. For the base
  3. Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  4. Mix the crumbs and sugar together in a bowl and pour over the melted butter. Stir to coat the crumb mixture.

  5. Strawberry Cheesecake


  6. Press into the pan pushing some of the crumbs up the sides to form a rim about 2cm (¾ inch) high and 1.25cm (½ in) wide.

  7. Strawberry Cheesecake


  8. Bake for 10 minutes then remove and leave to cool, about 20 minutes.

  9. For the filling
  10. Meanwhile, increase the oven temperature to 180°C (/350°F) gas 4.

  11. Beat the two packets of cheese together until soft and creamy, using a food mixer or electric hand mixer. Add the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract one at a time, beating well between each addition until smooth. Pour into the crumb crust.

  12. Strawberry Cheesecake


  13. Bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Leave to cool then refrigerate while preparing the topping or until 1 hour before you want to serve the cheesecake.

  14. Strawberry Cheesecake


  15. For the topping
  16. Wash, pat dry and hull the strawberries.

  17. Set aside 170g (6 oz) (about ½ small punnet) and purée. Strain so you are left with a smooth sauce.

  18. Melt the redcurrant jelly in a small pan over a low heat, stirring in the purée until blended together.

  19. Strawberry Cheesecake
  20. Strawberry Cheesecake


  21. Remove from the heat and pour into a small serving jug. Set to one side to cool.

  22. Slice the remaining strawberries.

  23. To serve
  24. No more than one hour before serving, carefully remove the cheesecake from the pan and decorate the top with the sliced strawberries.

  25. Strawberry Cheesecake


  26. Serve, cut into wedges and pour the strawberry sauce over.

Updated: July 17, 2017

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

  • Ingredients
  • For the base
  • 115g (4 oz) Oreo chocolate baking crumbs (1 cup)*
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 40g (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 following for a substitution for the ingredients to make the base in England:

  • 115g (4 oz) plain digestive biscuits crushed to make fine crumbs
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder

  • Stir the cocoa powder into the melted butter to mix. Add to the biscuit crumbs and stir to coat.

  • For the filling
  • 280g (10 oz) vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (8 scoops)
  • 170g (6 oz) strawberries, rinsed and hulled (½ pint punnet)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • For the topping
  • 85g (3 oz) strawberries, rinsed and hulled (¼ pint punnet)
  • 55g (2 oz) plain/dark chocolate (8 pieces)
  • 2 tbsp slivered almonds

  • Equipment
  • 17cm (6½ in) square metal baking pan at least 5cm (2 inches) deep

  • 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 24cm (9½ in) square pan.


  1. Method
  2. Cut two sheets of baking parchment larger than the baking pan so that they can be laid across one another and overhang the edges of the pan on all sides. Press well into the corners of the pan.

  3. For the base
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate crumbs and the sugar. Stir in the butter to coat the crumbs. Spread evenly in the pan pressing well into the corners. Freeze while making the filling.

  5. For the filling
  6. Remove the ice cream or frozen yogurt from the freezer to soften a little.

  7. Slice the strawberries and put into a small bowl. Toss with the sugar then let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  8. Meanwhile, scoop the ice cream or yogurt into a large bowl and leave until the strawberries are ready. It should not thaw completely.

  9. Purée the strawberries until smooth, then pour over the top of the ice cream or yogurt. Stir until well blended. Spoon evenly over the chocolate base in the pan and freeze until firm, about 4 hours.

  10. Frozen Strawberry Sundae


  11. For the topping
  12. Start preparing the toasted almonds and chocolate sauce about an hour before serving so they have time to cool.

  13. 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 will burn quickly. (They produce a nutty smell when they are ready, too.) Put to one side.

  14. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add half to a glass bowl and melt over a pan of just simmering water. (The bowl should not touch the water.). Once melted, remove from the heat. Add the remaining chocolate to the bowl and stir until it has melted and there is a smooth chocolate sauce. Leave to one side to cool.

  15. To finish
  16. Top each square just before serving.

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

  18. Slice the remaining strawberries and decorate the top of the squares. Drizzle the chocolate over and sprinkle with the toasted almonds.

Updated: July 10, 2017

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) strawberries (about ⅓ of a pint container)
  • 115g (4 oz) raspberries
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) Bird’s custard (1 cup)
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream (½ cup)

  • Equipment
  • 4 glass dessert dishes


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

  3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of raspberry conserve on top of the sponge and level.

  4. Reserve 4 raspberries and 4 strawberries for decoration. Equally divide the rest of the fruit between the four dishes, cutting the strawberries in half.

  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. At this stage it can be left for up to an hour.

  6. Make up 1 cup of Bird’s custard according to the packet. Pour into a small jug and cover the custard with clingfilm so it does not form a skin. Leave until just cold. (I usually like to make my custard from scratch but, hey, this is supposed to be an easy, summer recipe! You could even buy a carton of ready-made custard.)

  7. Divide the custard between the four dishes.

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

  9. Half the reserved strawberries and decorate each dish with two strawberry halves and a raspberry.

  10. Serve.

 

 

 

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

So summery. A very light strawberry shortcake that is filled with sliced berries and whipped cream.

 

Strawberry Shortcake
Prepares: 8 servings (photo shows 4 servings)
 
  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Standing time: about 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the shortcake
  • 225g (8 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour, plus extra for dusting (1½ cups + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 85g (3 oz) butter, cut into small cubes (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 40g (1½ oz) caster sugar/white sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 14g (½ oz) melted butter (1 tbsp)

  • For the filling
  • 1 pint container strawberries
  • small carton double cream/whipping cream
  • icing sugar/powdered sugar for dusting

  • Equipment
  • A 20cm (8 in) sandwich tin that is 5cm (2in) deep and brushed with a little of the melted butter.


  1. Method
  2. For the filling
  3. Wash the strawberries and pat dry. Hull, then slice them lengthways and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar and toss to coat. Put to one side for at least 1 hour to draw out the juices.

  4. For the shortcake
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  6. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and rub in with fingertips.

  7. In a smaller bowl, add the egg and whisk with a fork to break up, then add the sugar and milk and mix together. Pour the mixture liberally over the dry ingredients and, using a table knife, cut through the mixture bringing it together to make a rough soft dough. With floured fingers, draw the mixture together, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly a couple of times to smooth the surface.

  8. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and gently pat each half out to a circle that will fit the buttered tin. With floured fingers, lift one circle of dough and lay it in the tin, gently pressing it to fit. Brush the surface of the dough liberally with the melted butter. Now place the second circle of dough on top and press gently to fit.

  9. Bake the shortcake for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Then, using the tip of a palette knife, gently separate the two pieces of shortcake. The melted butter separating the two layers will have allowed them to remain separate.

  10. To assemble
  11. Place the shortcake base on a serving plate. Divide the top into 8 equal slices, which will make cutting the dessert easier to serve.

  12. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.

  13. Spoon the strawberries and their juice over the base and then cover with the whipped cream. Place the 8 slices on top in exactly the order they were cut so they will fit back together.

  14. Dust with icing sugar/powdered sugar using a small sieve and serve immediately.

 

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 sweet pastry
  • 140g (5 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1 cup)
  • pinch salt
  • 28g (1 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (2 tbsp)
  • 85g (3 oz) unsalted butter, diced (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolk only
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence/extract, optional

  • For the filling
  • 250g (8 oz) cream cheese/Philadelphia (1 packet)
  • 85g (3 oz) caster sugar/white 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

  • Equipment
  • 6 tartlet tins


  1. Method
  2. For the pastry
  3. Put the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Whizz for a couple of seconds to mix. Add butter and whizz for a few seconds to blend. Then add egg yolk and vanilla essence/extract, if using, and process until the mixture starts to bind together. Remove from the processor, knead lightly, then wrap in clingfilm. Chill for 10 minutes.

  4. 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. 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.

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. For the filling
  9. 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.

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

  11. To finish
  12. Divide the blackberries between the cases pressing them down a little into the filling. Cover the tartlets loosely with clingfilm and then chill for 1 to 2 hours.

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

 

Eton Mess

Eton Mess

 

Eton Mess – a mix of strawberry halves, soft whipped cream and crushed meringue.

 

Eton Mess
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time:
  • 15 minutes plus 30 minutes standing time, if using ready-made meringues
  • 25 minutes plus 20 minutes standing time, if making the meringues as well
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes (only if making the meringues)

  • Ingredients
  • 450g (1 lb) strawberries (about 4 cups)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar/white sugar
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier (optional)
  • 6 small meringues*
  • 284ml carton double cream/whipping cream

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

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

  • Equipment
  • 4 glass dessert dishes


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

  4. 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.

  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 six mounds of meringue onto the baking paper. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes. The meringues should now lift easily from the paper. Leave to cool.

  7. For the Eton Mess
  8. Wash, hull and halve the strawberries. Place in a large bowl, sprinkle over the sugar and drizzle with the Grand Marnier if using. Mix gently and leave for 30 minutes at room temperature.

  9. In a separate bowl, break the meringues into bite-sized pieces.

  10. Whip the cream until it just forms soft peaks. It should still fall from a spoon.

  11. Put 20 strawberry halves and about a quarter of the broken meringues to one side for decoration.

  12. Now gently mix the cream into the strawberries in the large bowl and add the remaining meringue pieces. Divide between the glass dishes and top each dish with an equal quantity of the reserved strawberry halves and meringue.

  13. Serve immediately.

Updated: June 25, 2017

Banana and Maple Syrup Sundaes

Banana and Maple Syrup Sundaes

 

For these delicious sundaes, banana slices are coated in maple syrup, mixed with vanilla ice cream and crushed meringue shells, then topped with whipped cream and decorated with chocolate, a cherry and a wafer.

 

Banana and Maple Syrup Sundaes
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 meringue nests, roughly crushed
  • 8 small scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream (⅔ cup)
  • 1 tbsp grated plain/dark chocolate
  • 4 glacé cherries
  • 4 fan wafers (U.K. only)*

  • *I have been unable to locate anything similar in Canada

  • Equipment
  • 4 sundae glasses


  1. Method
  2. (If making your own meringue nests, you can follow my recipe for Eton Mess.)

  3. Whip the cream until stiff.

  4. Slice the bananas into a bowl. Add the maple syrup and stir to coat the slices.

  5. Divide the banana slices, ice cream and meringue pieces between the four sundae glasses, layering as you go.

  6. Top each one with a spoonful of cream.

  7. Sprinkle the chocolate over the top, then decorate with a glacé cherry and fan wafer.

  8. Serve immediately.

 

Lemon Roulade

Lemon Roulade

 

The light, rolled sponge in this Lemon Roulade is filled with a zesty lemon curd and creamy mascarpone filling. Just heavenly!

 

Lemon Roulade
Prepares: 8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 1 hour
  • Cooking time: 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the lemon curd
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 125g (4½ oz) caster sugar (white sugar) (½ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 85g (3 oz) butter at room temperature (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)

  • For the sponge
  • grated zest of 1 lemon (prepared from a lemon used in making the curd)
  • 55g (2 oz ) butter at room temperature (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 115g (4 oz) caster sugar/white sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 115g (4 oz) self-raising/self-rising flour, sifted (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • a little icing sugar/powdered sugar, sifted, for dusting

  • For the cream filling
  • 250g mascarpone (straight from the fridge)
  • 200g fromage frais (straight from the fridge)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar/white sugar

  • For the icing
  • 1 lemon
  • 55g (2 oz) icing sugar/powdered sugar (½ cup)

  • Equipment
  • A 23 × 32.5 × 1cm (9 × 13 × ½ inch) deep baking tin/pan lined with baking parchment and lightly greased.


  1. Method
  2. For the lemon curd
  3. For this you will need a heatproof bowl that can be sat over a pan of just simmering water. The bowl must not be able to touch the water.

  4. While the water is heating up in the pan, prepare the ingredients. Zest one of the lemons and put this aside for using in the sponge. Zest 1½ of the remaining 2 lemons and place in the bowl. Juice all 3 lemons and add this to the bowl (the 3 lemons should produce 9 tablespoons of juice). Also add the eggs and sugar. Whisk all the ingredients together and then place the bowl over the pan of simmering water.

  5. Add the butter a little at a time to the bowl, whisking between each addition until well blended.

  6. Whisk the curd occasionally to keep the mixture smooth and cook until it has thickened, about 15 minutes.

  7. Remove the bowl from the pan and let the mixture cool. Then cover the curd with clingfilm to prevent it forming a skin and refrigerate so it has a chance to become well chilled.

  8. For the sponge
  9. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6)

  10. Put all the ingredients except the icing sugar/powdered sugar in a large bowl and whisk for 1 minute. Use either an electric hand mixer or a food mixer.

  11. Heat a little water and add 1 tablespoon to the mixture and whisk briefly, just enough to mix in.

  12. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin and smooth it out to an even layer. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes but do not open the oven door before 8 minutes has elapsed or the sponge could sink. The sponge is cooked when if feels springy in the centre if lightly touched with the forefinger.

  13. Remove the cake from the oven and leave it for 5 minutes to cool in the tin.

  14. Meanwhile, cut a piece of baking parchment 40cm (16 in) long and lay it flat. Heavily dust all over with icing sugar/powdered sugar. Turn the sponge out onto the sugared paper and carefully remove the lining paper. Now dampen a tea towel and lay over the sponge and leave for 3 minutes. This will make it easier to roll the sponge but it needs to still feel slightly warm.

  15. To roll up the sponge, lift the paper from one of the shorter sides and fold it over the edge of the sponge. Carefully roll up the sponge and the paper together as tightly as possible. Gently lift onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  16. For the cream filling
  17. Whisk together the mascarpone, fromage frais and sugar until soft and creamy.

  18. To assemble
  19. Unroll the sponge and evenly spread all-over with two-thirds of the lemon curd and two-thirds of the cream filling. Now gently roll up the sponge again but this time more loosely and carefully lift onto a serving plate.

  20. For the icing and decoration
  21. Using a zester, remove the zest from the lemon to get long, curly strands and put on a small plate. Sprinkle over about half a tablespoon of lemon juice and stir to coat the zest strands.

  22. Now to make the icing, sift the icing sugar/powdered sugar into a small bowl and stir in about one tablespoon of lemon juice, enough to make a thin glaze. Using a spoon, and starting at one end, quickly drizzle the glaze across the roulade back and forth, working down the roulade to the other end.

  23. Tip the zest onto a piece of kitchen paper to absorb any excess lemon juice and then scatter the zest over the top of the roulade.

  24. Stir the remaining lemon curd and cream filling together and spoon into a small serving bowl.

  25. The roulade is then ready to be sliced and served with a spoonful of the lemon cream.

  26. Note
  27. The roulade can be made and refrigerated, lightly covered, a few hours in advance and removed 30–60 minutes before slicing and serving.

 

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 sugar/white sugar
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) soured cream (⅔ cup)
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream (1¼ cups)
  • ½ lemon, juice only (1½ tbsp)
  • 450g (1 lb) frozen raspberries (4 cups)
  • Crème Frâiche to serve

  • Equipment
  • Large glass serving dish or 8 individual glass dishes


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

  3. If using a packet of jelly in the UK, pour 150ml (5 fl oz) of the boiling water into a bowl. Separate the jelly into segments 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. Stir in the sugar and then the soured cream. Using a balloon whisk, whisk to thoroughly combine the ingredients.

  6. In a separate bowl whisk the cream until soft peaks form and then fold this into the jelly mixture until it is fully incorporated. Stir in the lemon juice.

  7. The raspberries do not have to be fully thawed but they do need to be separated. Add these to the jelly mixture which will be quite runny.

  8. Pour into the large bowl or divide between the individual glass dishes. Refrigerate to set.

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

Updated: May 6, 2017