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.
For the rich sweet pastry (using a food processor or mixer)
Put the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor or mixer. Whiz for a couple of seconds to mix.
Add butter and whiz again for a few seconds.
Now add egg yolks and vanilla extract, if using, and whiz until the mixture starts to bind together.
Then knead lightly by hand and wrap in clingfilm/plastic wrap. Chill for 10 minutes.
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.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5)
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.
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.
For the filling
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.
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.
Top with the blackberries, pressing them down a little into the filling.
Cover the tartlets loosely with clingfilm and chill for 1 to 2 hours.
Just before serving, dust the icing/powdered sugar over the top of the tarts using a small sieve.
This is a really special jelly recipe where real redcurrant jelly is crammed with blackberries, raspberries, and redcurrants and then smothered with more fresh fruit in a raspberry coulis. Just pour a little cream on top and you have very sophisticated jelly.
You will also need 4 × 175ml (6 fl oz) (¾ cup) mini pudding moulds. Alternatively, you can make them in one large jelly mould as shown in the photograph.
First soften the gelatine.
If using leaf gelatine, place the leaves in a bowl of cold water, snapping them in half to fit if necessary, and leave for 5 minutes to become very soft.
If using powdered gelatine, stir the contents of 1 sachet into ¼ cup of cold water then add ¼ cup of boiling water and stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.
Now mix 300g (10½ oz) (2 cups) of the redcurrants, 200g (7 oz) (1 cup) of the sugar, and 90ml (3 fl oz) (⅓ cup) water in a medium-sized pan. Slowly bring the water to the boil and then simmer briskly, uncovered, for 3 minutes to cook the redcurrants. Strain the mixture into a jug through a plastic sieve, pushing the juices through with the back of a spoon.
If using leaf gelatine, squeeze out the excess liquid and then stir it into the hot redcurrant juice.
If using the powdered gelatine, stir the dissolved gelatine into the hot redcurrant juice.
Now continue stirring until the gelatine has completely dissolved and then leave until the mixture is just warm.
Meanwhile mix the remaining redcurrants with the blackberries and 200g (7 oz) (1½ cups) of the raspberries. Fill the moulds almost to the top with the fruit. You will have some fruit left over which will be used for garnishing.
Fill each mould to the top with the jelly and then leave to cool completely. Cover with cling film/wrap and refrigerate to set for at least 6 hours.
Meanwhile you can purée the remaining raspberries in a food processor or blender along with the remaining sugar and 3 tablespoons of water.
Strain the coulis through a sieve into a bowl to remove the pips and then add the left-over fruit and stir to coat.
When the jellies are set, remove them from their moulds by dipping the bottom of each one in boiling water for 5–10 seconds. Turn them out immediately onto four serving plates. Spoon the coulis and the fruit around the jellies and serve with cream.
113g tub clotted cream or thick Jersey cream (UK) OR
1 cup whipping or heavy cream (North America)
2 tbsp peach schnapps
8 ratafia (small almond macaroons)
You will also need 4 small heatproof dishes.
Preheat the grill/broiler.
If using whipping or heavy cream, whisk until thick.
Now whip the peach schnapps into the cream and then crumble in the ratafia.
Halve the peaches and ease out the stones. Put them cut-side up in the four individual dishes. Now drizzle over the honey and dot with the butter. Grill/broil for 2–3 minutes until the honey and butter begin to bubble.
Remove the dishes from the heat and then spoon over the cream mixture and scatter over the blackberries. Place under the grill/broiler for a further 2 minutes, until the cream has melted and the peaches are golden brown.
I love making crêpes to fill with summer fruits. They are so light and make a really impressive summer dessert.
Crêpes aren’t difficult to make. My tip is to start off with a really hot pan and then turn the heat down a little. The pan only needs to be smeared with melted butter between cooking each one. It should just glisten, not be running with the butter.
I hope you will want to try them and enjoy them too.
Thin, light, crêpes are filled with a selection of delicious summer berries, then topped with velvety, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
115g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
300ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed/2% milk (1¼ cups) OR
240ml (8 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (1 cup) plus 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cups)
55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
For the filling
450g (1 lb) selection of fresh berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, or strawberries
300ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
28g (1 oz) plain/dark chocolate
You will also need a shallow-rimmed, lightweight pan, 20-23cm (8-9inch) in diameter with rounded sides.
Pop the chocolate in the freezer while preparing the rest of the recipe. It will make it easier to grate it into shavings later.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Break the egg into the well and, using half the milk, gradually whisk the egg and milk into the flour, using a balloon whisk. Once a smooth consistency is reached and lots of bubbles rise to the surface, add the rest of the milk quickly. Do not over-mix.
Or use an electric mixer. First mix the egg and milk together then mix in the sifted flour and salt until the batter is smooth and lots of bubbles rise to the surface. Be careful not to over-mix.
Let batter rest for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash the fruit and pat dry.
Then whip the cream until thick.
Now warm 5 plates in the oven.
Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting. Melt the butter in the pan and then spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter mixture and whisk it in. Pour the rest into a small bowl and set to one side.
Add a little butter to the pan before cooking each pancake. Just add enough to be able to tilt the pan and cover the base with butter. The base should just glisten not run with butter.
You will need 45–60ml (3–4 tablespoons ) of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to tip the batter into the pan in one go. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan in the centre and then pour it in. Immediately lift and tilt the pan in all directions so the batter spreads thinly over the base. If there are any holes, just fill them in with batter using a teaspoon.
Turn when the the crêpe starts to curl away from the sides of the pan, the mixture begins to bubble and the underside is golden. It should take about a minute. If it seems a bit sticky give it a couple of seconds more. Loosen the edge of the crêpe from the pan, then flip it over with a palette knife and cook until the underside is golden. Slip each cooked crêpe from the pan directly onto a piece of kitchen paper which will absorb any grease and keep it light and dry. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter, greasing the pan each time.
Stack the crêpes up on a warmed plate as they are cooked with a piece of kitchen paper between each one, then cover loosely with foil so the top one doesn’t dry out. Keep warm in the oven.
Grate the chocolate onto a plate to create a pile of shavings.
Now divide the fruit between the crêpes, spooning it into the middle. Fold two sides of the crêpe over the fruit to create a cone shape, then spoon a generous dollop of cream on top and sprinkle with some of the chocolate shavings.
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
6 ramekin dishes
For the mousse
Line the dishes with cling film/wrap, pressing well down into the edges and letting it hang over the rim.
Push the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds, using the back of a spoon. Then stir in the sugar.
Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks. Fold into the raspberry sauce and then set to one side.
Sprinkle the gelatine over 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl and leave for 3 minutes for the gelatine to become spongy.
Pour some hot water into a dish that is just larger than the bowl of gelatine and then sit the bowl of the gelatine in it. Make sure there is only enough water to come halfway up the sides of the smaller bowl. Leave for 2 minutes for the gelatine to dissolve.
Once it has dissolved, remove the bowl of gelatine from the water and let the gelatine cool for a couple of minutes. Stir into the raspberry sauce. Then stir in the kirsch, if using.
Divide the mixture between the ramekin dishes and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
For the coulis
Reserve 8 blackberries for decoration. (If the blackberries are large just reserve 4.) Push the rest through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Pour into a jug, cover and refrigerate until the mousse is ready.
Lift each mousse out of the ramekins and invert onto serving plates. Then, carefully peel away the cling film/wrap. Pour the coulis round the outside of the mousse.
Put a dollop of crème fraîche on the top of each one and decorate with the reserved blackberries.