Baked Sole with Cream and Parmesan

Baked Sole with Cream and Parmesan

 

This is a really delicious fish dish that is easy to prepare and bakes in only 15 minutes. The fish is baked with lemon and cream and topped with Parmesan cheese.

 

Baked Sole with Cream and Parmesan
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 8 small or 4 large sole fillets (or other flat fish), 675g (1 lb 8 oz), skinned
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1 cup)
  • 85g (3 oz) Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated (¾ cup)
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

  • You will also need a 27 x 20 cm (11 x 8 inches) ovenproof dish.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F) (gas 7)

  3. Grease the ovenproof dish with butter, then lay the fish in a single layer in the dish with their thin ends tucked under so the fish will cook evenly.

  4. Now spoon the lemon juice over the fish.

  5. In a separate bowl or jug, combine the cream, garlic and parsley. Pour evenly over the fish.

  6. Top with the Parmesan, sprinkling it over so it completely covers the fish and cream.

  7. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the top is starting to brown and the fish is cooked through.

 

Lemon Surprise Pudding

This week we’ve had a couple of nights where it feels quite cool – it seems as though the time has come to say goodbye to summer and all those lovely berry desserts.

The coming of fall, although a beautiful but short season here in Ontario, will mean that winter is just around the corner. Now being a summer person, that is not my favourite time of year. It means there is often a very reluctant dog (our yellow labrador) and us to venture out on walks. The bright sunny, even snowy days, are a delight – it’s the ice and wind I could do without!

So – where I was going – it seems that it’s now time to start bringing out the fall recipes with that bit of comfort food about them. The first one we had again for supper last evening – a Lemon Surprise Pudding – which has just been added to the blog. I hope that you will want to try it.

 

Lemon Surprise Pudding

 

This Lemon Surprise Pudding makes a lovely, citrus dessert. The mixture creates a thick, very lemony sauce that is covered with a really light and airy sponge.

 

Lemon Surprise Pudding
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 2 large lemons
  • 55g (2 oz) butter, softened (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 55g (2 oz) plain/cake and pastry flour (⅓ cup + 1 tbsp)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (⅔ cup)

  • To serve
  • Double/whipping or heavy cream

  • You will also need a 1 litre (1¾ pint) (4 cups) ovenproof dish.


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

  3. First, zest one of the lemons and then squeeze out the juice from both of them. The juice should yield 150 ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup).

  4. Cream the butter and lemon zest together in a large bowl. Then, a spoonful at a time, add the sugar, beating well between each addition, until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.

  5. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into a bowl to whip later and adding the yolks to the mixture.

  6. Sieve the flour into a separate bowl. Now add a tablespoon of flour followed by a tablespoon of milk, beating well between each addition, until all the flour and milk have been incorporated.

  7. Slowly add the lemon juice. It may start to curdle but that will not be a problem.

  8. Finally, whip the egg whites until they are just stiff and then lightly fold in.

  9. Generously butter the ovenproof dish and then pour in the mixture.

  10. Bring a kettle of water to the boil. Place the ovenproof dish in a roasting tin/pan and then add the boiling water to the tin/pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the ovenproof dish.

  11. Bake for 35 minutes until the top is beginning to brown and the sponge springs back when lightly pressed with the tip of a finger.

  12. Serve immediately along with a jug of cream. You will find there will be a lovely, thick lemon sauce at the bottom of the dish covered with a very light and airy sponge.

Updated: October 2, 2018

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, chilled and cut into small cubes (⅜ cup, or ¾ stick)
  • 1 egg, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 40g (1½ oz) caster/white sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 14g (½ oz) melted butter (1 tbsp)

  • For the filling
  • 340g (12 oz) strawberries (1 pint container)
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • icing/powdered sugar for dusting

  • You will also need a 20cm (8 in) sandwich tin that is 5cm (2 in) deep and brushed with a little 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. Next whisk in the sugar and milk to mix. Now pour the mixture liberally over the dry ingredients and, using a table knife, cut through the mixture to begin bringing it together. Then with floured fingers continue bringing the mixture together to make a rough, soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead lightly a few of times to smooth the surface.

  8. Divide the dough in 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. Brush the surface of the dough liberally with the melted butter. Now place the second circle of dough on top.

  9. Bake the shortcake for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. 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. Cut the top into 8 equal slices, which will make cutting the dessert easier to serve.

  12. Whip the cream until soft peaks form.

  13. Now 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 perfectly.

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

Updated: September 29, 2018

Coffee Meringues

Coffee Meringues

 

Very simple coffee flavoured meringues that just melt in the mouth. Sandwiched with whipped cream and dusted with cocoa powder. They are very light.

 

Coffee Meringues
Prepares: 10 meringues
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringues
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
  • 170g (6 oz) caster/white sugar (¾ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 2 tsp coffee essence

  • For the filling
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)

  • For the decoration
  • 1 level tsp cocoa powder

  • You will also need a large piping bag fitted with a medium sized nozzle.


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

  4. Whisk the egg whites in a large bowl until stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition. Sprinkle over the coffee essence and whisk again until blended in. The meringue should form stiff peaks and be glossy.

  5. Line two baking sheets with baking paper. Dabbing a little meringue on each corner of the baking sheets first will keep the linings in place.

  6. Spoon the meringue into the piping bag and pipe 20 swirls of meringue onto the paper. Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes until the meringues are dry. Allow to cool, then remove from the paper.

  7. For the filling
  8. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and use it to sandwich the meringues together in pairs.

  9. To serve
  10. Dust a coating of cocoa powder over the meringues using a small sieve.

  11. Tip
  12. If you like your meringues really crisp and have the time, leave them to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar.

Updated: September 22, 2018

Summer Fruited Jelly

Summer Fruited Jelly

 

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.

 

Summer Fruited Jelly
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation times: 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes
  • Setting time: at least 6 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 2½ sheets fine leaf gelatine OR
  • 1 sachet powdered gelatine
  • 450g (1 lb) redcurrants (3 cups)
  • 225g (8 oz) caster/white sugar (1 cup + 2 tbsp)
  • 140g (5 oz) blackberries (1 cup)
  • 300g (10½ oz) raspberries (2½ cups)

  • To serve
  • Double/whipping or heavy cream.

  • 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.


  1. Method
  2. First soften the gelatine.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. If using leaf gelatine, squeeze out the excess liquid and then stir it into the hot redcurrant juice.

  7. If using the powdered gelatine, stir the dissolved gelatine into the hot redcurrant juice.

  8. Now continue stirring until the gelatine has completely dissolved and then leave until the mixture is just warm.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Meanwhile you can purée the remaining raspberries in a food processor or blender along with the remaining sugar and 3 tablespoons of water.

  12. Strain the coulis through a sieve into a bowl to remove the pips and then add the left-over fruit and stir to coat.

  13. 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.

 

English Sherry Trifle

English Sherry Trifle

 

There are many different recipes for a trifle but a sherry-soaked sponge first brings to mind the traditional English trifle. The delicious flavour of raspberries make this the fruit of choice with a silky, smooth custard topped with dollops of whipped cream and then decorated with more raspberries and toasted flaked almonds.  Just a heavenly dessert.

 

English Sherry Trifle
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing and chilling time: about 2 hours

  • Ingredients
  • Plain sponge cake, for example a Madeira cake
  • 3 tbsp raspberry conserve
  • 350g (12 oz) raspberries (2¾ cups)
  • 6 tbsp medium or sweet sherry
  • 480ml (16 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
  • 14g (½ oz) toasted flaked almonds
  • icing/powdered sugar for dusting

  • For the custard
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 85g (3 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
  • 600ml (20 fl oz) milk (2½ cups)

  • You will also need a large, flat-based glass serving bowl for this dish. Alternatively, if you need fewer than 6 servings, you can make these trifles in individual dishes (as seen in the photograph), reducing the quantities of ingredients in proportion as needed.


  1. Method
  2. First make the custard. Whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour/cornstarch, vanilla, sugar, and three tablespoons of the milk.

  3. Heat the remaining milk in a small pan and, as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and whisk into the egg mixture. Now pour this back into the pan and, over a gentle heat, stir until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

  4. Pour into a jug and cover the surface of the custard with cling film/wrap to prevent it forming a skin, then leave to cool.

  5. Now to make the trifle. You will need enough of the cake to cover the base of the serving dish and be about 2.5cm (1 inch) deep. Slice the cake in half horizontally and then spread one half with the raspberry conserve. Now sandwich back together and lay in the base of the serving bowl, cutting it to fit as necessary.

  6. Scatter ⅔ of the raspberries over the sponge, reserving the rest for decoration.

  7. Now spoon the sherry over the sponge and raspberries, top with the custard, smoothing the surface, and then chill for at least one hour.

  8. Whip the cream until it just holds its shape and dollop spoonfuls over the custard but this time don’t smooth the top.

  9. Decorate with the reserved raspberries and toasted almonds then, just before serving, dust the top with icing/powdered sugar.

 

Peach Perfect

Peach Perfect

 

Juicy peaches and blackberries are grilled/broiled and smothered in honey-butter, rich cream, and crunchy ratafia. What a perfect summer dessert.

 

Peach Perfect
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 4 ripe peaches
  • 4 tsp runny honey/liquid honey
  • 28g (1 oz) butter (2 tbsp), cut into small pieces
  • 140g (5 oz) blackberries (1 cup)
  • 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.


  1. Method
  2. Preheat the grill/broiler.

  3. If using whipping or heavy cream, whisk until thick.

  4. Now whip the peach schnapps into the cream and then crumble in the ratafia.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Serve immediately.

 

Summer Berry Crêpes

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.

 

Summer Berry Crêpes

 

Thin, light, crêpes are filled with a selection of delicious summer berries, then topped with velvety, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

 

Summer Berry Crêpes
Prepares: Makes 8 × 8 inch crêpes to serve 4
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crêpes
  • 115g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 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.


  1. Method
  2. Pop the chocolate in the freezer while preparing the rest of the recipe. It will make it easier to grate it into shavings later.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Let batter rest for 20 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, wash the fruit and pat dry.

  7. Then whip the cream until thick.

  8. Now warm 5 plates in the oven.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Grate the chocolate onto a plate to create a pile of shavings.

  15. 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.

  16. Serve immediately.

Updated: August 19, 2018

Strawberry Tartlets

Strawberry Tartlets

 

Strawberry tartlets always say summer to me. These are very light and have a sweet, crisp pastry base which is filled with a creamy custard filling and topped with glazed strawberries. Mmm…just perfect!

 

Strawberry Tartlets
Prepares: 4 tartlets
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Chilling time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the sweet pastry
  • 2 eggs, yolks only
  • 55g (2 oz) softened butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 55g (2 oz) caster/white sugar (¼ cup)
  • 115g (4oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • few drops vanilla extract

  • For the filling
  • Bird’s Custard Powder
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (½ cup)
  • 285g (12 oz) small strawberries, washed and hulled (about 2 cups)
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) whipping cream/double or heavy cream (½ cup)
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

  • You will also need 4 x 10cm (4 inch) tartlet tins.


  1. Method
  2. For the sweet pastry
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl cream together the egg yolks, butter, sugar, and vanilla extract until smooth.

  4. Sift the flour and add to the bowl. Now mix to from a firm dough.

  5. Turn onto a floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. Then wrap in a plastic food bag and rest in the fridge for 15 minutes.

  6. Roll out the pastry thinly and then cut rounds 3.8cm (1½ inches) larger than the tartlet tin, re-rolling the pastry until there are 4 rounds. (Rolling it between two large sheets of cling film/wrap that have been dusted with flour will prevent the pastry sticking to the rolling pin.) Line the tartlet tins, pressing the pastry gently down into the edges of the tins. Now roll the rolling pin over the top of each tin to remove the excess pastry. Prick the base, using the tines of a fork, to allow air trapped underneath to escape and chill again while the oven is heating up.

  7. Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) (gas 6).

  8. Line the pastry with parchment paper and baking beans, then bake for 10 minutes.

  9. Remove the beans and paper and return to the oven for about 5 minutes until lightly golden and crisp. Leave to cool, then remove from the tins.

  10. For the filling
  11. Meanwhile make up the custard according to the directions on the packet using 120ml (4 fl oz) (½ cup) milk. (You want a thick custard). Transfer to a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling film/wrap to prevent it forming a skin. Leave to become cold.

  12. Now whip the cream until stiff. Then whip the cold custard to loosen it and fold in the whipped cream until thoroughly combined. Spoon into the tart cases and level the tops.

  13. Decorate with the strawberries, cutting them, if necessary, into halves or quarters depending on their size.

  14. Add a little boiling water the jelly (about 1 teaspoon). Stir to melt the jelly and then brush over the strawberries to glaze.

Updated: August 17, 2018

Crêpes aux Fraises

Crêpe aux Fraises

 

Crêpes aux fraises is a simple traditional recipe that tastes heavenly. Very light crêpes are filled with strawberries and then topped with mounds of whipped cream.

 

Crêpes aux Fraises
Prepares: 4 servings (2 crêpes each)
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crêpes
  • 115g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (⅔ cup + 2 tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 240ml (8 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (1 cup)
  • 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
  • 55g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)

  • For the filling
  • 450g (1 lb) strawberries (about 3 cups)
  • 500ml (16 fl oz) double cream/whipping cream or heavy cream (2 cups)
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar/powdered sugar, plus extra to dust

  • You will also need a heavy gauge aluminium frying pan


  1. Method
  2. Warm 5 plates in the oven.

  3. Stir the milk and water together.

  4. Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

  5. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break in the eggs. 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 edge of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Leave to rest for 20 minutes.

  6. Meanwhile, wash, hull, and pat dry the strawberries. Cut any large strawberries into quarters and smaller ones in half so they will all be of a similar size. Set to one side.

  7. Pour the cream into a large bowl and add the icing sugar. Whisk until stiff.

  8. When the batter has stood for its 20 minutes, start cooking the crêpes.

  9. First, melt the butter in the pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter mixture and whisk in. Then pour the rest into a small bowl and set aside to use for greasing the pan.

  10. Wipe the pan clean with a piece of kitchen paper and then turn up the heat to get the pan really hot first.

  11. Now turn the heat down to a medium setting and smear the pan with a little butter. It does not need to be running with butter. Smear the pan between cooking each crêpe.

  12. Use about 3 tablespoons of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first as a guide as the batter needs to be tipped into the pan quickly. Pour the batter into the pan close to the surface and in the centre. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip the pan from side to side to swirl the batter, and evenly coat the base of the pan. If there are any holes, just fill them in with a little batter using a teaspoon. It will only take a minute to cook.

  13. Lift the edge with a palette knife to check the underside is golden, then flip the crêpe over, using the palette knife, and cook the the underside. It will cook very quickly. Slide it out of the pan onto a piece of kitchen paper on one of the warmed plates.

  14. Continue until you have 8 crepes, overlapping them on the plate with a sheet of kitchen paper between each one. Return the plate to the oven as you cook them covering the top one with a piece of foil so it won’t dry out.

  15. Now fold the strawberries into the cream.

  16. Fold each crepe in half and lay 2 on a plate. Then divide the strawberries and cream between the 8 crêpes, spooning the mixture inside the fold.

  17. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately.

Updated: August 12, 2018

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

  • Ingredients
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) milk (½ cup)
  • ½ vanilla pod split lengthways, OR
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40g (1½ oz) caster/white sugar (3 tbsp + 1 tsp)
  • 10 lady fingers or sponge fingers
  • 1 tbsp sweet white wine or sherry
  • 500g (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
  • 150ml (5 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
  • 28g (1 oz) unsalted, shelled pistachio nuts, or walnuts (¼ cup)


  1. Method
  2. Chill four dessert plates in the fridge.

  3. Pour the milk in a small pan and add the vanilla pod or vanilla extract. Slowly heat on the lowest setting for 10 minutes, without boiling.

  4. Meanwhile put the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in the sugar to make a paste.

  5. 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. Do not let it boil. You want it to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool.

  6. Meanwhile, cut each sponge finger in half and lay in a shallow bowl. Drizzle over the wine or sherry.

  7. Now wash and pat dry the fruits. Remove the currants from their stalks, hull and halve the strawberries. Set aside half the berries and currants, picking out the best. 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 the spoon to get all the remaining sauce.

  8. Roughly chop the pistachio nuts or walnuts.

  9. Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold in the cooled custard.

  10. Now to arrange the plates. Carefully toss the reserved fruit with half the purée and spoon into the centre of each plate.

  11. Divide the sponge fingers between the plates arranging them around the edge.

  12. Pour the custard over half of each the sponge finger then sprinkle the nuts on top.

  13. Pour the remaining purée over the fruit and serve.

Updated: August 12, 2018

Red Berry Jelly

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
Prepares: 6 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 5 minutes
  • Setting time: 6 hours or overnight

  • Ingredients
  • 250g (9 oz) strawberries (about 2 cups)
  • 170g (6 oz) raspberries (1½ cups)
  • 115g (4 oz) redcurrants (¾ cup)
  • 140g (5 oz) caster/white sugar (⅔ cup)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 sheets fine leaf gelatine OR
  • 1½ sachets of powdered gelatine

  • You will also need a 1 litre (4 cup) jelly mould or six individual glass dessert dishes.


  1. Method
  2. Wash and pat dry the fruit. If the strawberries are large, cut them in half, and remove the stalks from the redcurrants.

  3. Put the fruit in a medium-sized pan along with the sugar, lemon juice, and 540ml (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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. If using powdered gelatine, stir the contents of 1½ sachets in ⅓ cup of cold water then add ⅓ cup of boiling water and stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.

  7. Either lift the softened gelatine leaves from the water and add to the fruit juice or stir in the dissolved powdered gelatine. Now 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.

  8. Pour the jelly into the jelly mould or individual glass dishes and leave to cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight to set.

  9. 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 onto the plate. Shake for a couple of seconds until you hear the jelly loosening, then lift the mould away.

  10. Note
  11. Can be served with single/half-and-half cream or dollops of whipped whipping/double/heavy cream and extra fresh raspberries.