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.
300ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed milk (2%) (1¼ cups) OR
240ml (8 fl oz) full fat/whole milk (1 cup) plus 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
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 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. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Once it has melted, spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter mixture and whisk it in. Pour the remainder 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 the melted butter. The base should just glisten not run with butter.
Cook the pancakes over a medium–high heat. You will need 45ml (3 tbsp) of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to be able to quickly add it to the pan. 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 to be sticking to the base of the pan 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. This will only take about 30 seconds. 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 remaining batter, greasing the pan each time and stacking the crêpes up on a warmed plate as they are cooked. Put a piece of kitchen paper between each one and 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.
To serve, spoon the fruit into the middle of each crêpe. Fold two sides of the crêpe over the fruit to create a cone, then spoon a generous dollop of cream on top and, using a small spoon, sprinkle over the chocolate shavings. Serve immediately.
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
You will also need 6 ramekin dishes.
For the mousse
Line the dishes with cling film/plastic wrap, pressing well down into the edges and letting it hang over the rim.
Using the back of a spoon, push the raspberries through a sieve to remove the seeds. To make sure you get all the raspberry sauce, scrape off any remaining sauce from the underside of the sieve using a clean spoon.
Now sift the sugar and add to the sauce. Stir until until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce is smooth.
Whisk the cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold into the raspberry sauce. Set to one side.
Now sprinkle the gelatine over 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and leave for 3 minutes for the gelatine to become spongy.
Pour some boiling water into a dish that is just larger than the bowl of gelatine and then sit the bowl of the gelatine in it. Make sure there is only enough water to come halfway up the sides of the smaller bowl. Leave for 2 minutes for the gelatine to dissolve.
Stir to make sure all the gelatine has dissolved and the mixture is completely smooth. You want to make sure there are no lumps. Remove the bowl of gelatine from the water and let it cool for a couple of minutes.
Now slowly stir into the creamy, raspberry sauce until it is well incorporated.
Then add the kirsch, if using.
Divide the mixture amongst the ramekin dishes. Cover the dishes and refrigerate 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 remainder through a sieve to remove the seeds.
Sift the sugar and stir into the blackberry sauce until it has dissolved and the sauce is smooth.
Now pour into a jug, cover, and refrigerate until the mousse is ready.
Invert the ramekins on to small serving plates and carefully peel away the cling film/plastic wrap.
Then pour the blackberry coulis around the outside of the mousse.
Put a dollop of crème fraîche on the top and decorate with the reserved blackberries.
1 pkt. sponge fingers, lady fingers or trifle sponges
4 tbsp raspberry conserve
115g (4 oz) small strawberries (about ¾ cup)
115g (4 oz) raspberries
2 tbsp sherry
120ml (4 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (½ cup)
You will also need 4 glass dessert dishes.
Break enough of the sponges into pieces to fit the base of each dish.
Then spoon over 1 tablespoon of raspberry conserve in each dish, and level.
Wash and pat dry the fruit. Hull the strawberries and cut in half. Reserving 4 raspberries and 8 half strawberries for decoration, equally divide the rest amongst the four dishes.
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.
Make up 480ml (16 fl oz) (2 cups) of Bird’s custard, according to the directions on the packet. Pour into a small jug and cover the custard with clingfilm/plastic wrap to prevent it from forming a skin. Leave until just cold.
Spoon the custard equally into the four dishes.
Now whip the cream until soft peaks form and put a dollop on top of the custard.
Decorate the cream in each dish with two strawberry halves and a raspberry.
Refrigeration time: The individual serving dishes will take about 1 hour and the large serving dish will take about 3 hours
1 pkt raspberry jelly/jello
2 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
150ml (5 fl oz) soured cream (⅔ cup)
300ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
½ lemon, juice only (1½ tbsp)
450g (1 lb) frozen raspberries (4 cups)
crème frâiche to serve
You will also need a large glass serving dish or 8 individual glass dishes.
Bring some water to to the boil.
If using a packet jelly in the UK, pour 150ml (5 fl oz) of the boiling water into a bowl. Separate the jelly into its sections and add to the bowl, stirring until the jelly has melted. Then stir in 150ml (5 fl oz) of cold water.
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.
Add the sugar to the jelly, stirring to dissolve.
Then, using a balloon whisk, whisk in the sour cream until it is well mixed in.
Now in a separate bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks form and then fold this into the jelly mixture until fully incorporated.
Stir in the lemon juice.
The raspberries do not have to be fully thawed but they do need to be separated. Gently stir these into the jelly mixture.
Pour into the large bowl, or divide amongst the individual glass dishes, and refrigerate to set.
When ready to serve just dollop a spoonful of crème frâiche on the top.
Juice the orange and add to the pan along with the redcurrant jelly.
Now heat gently to melt the jelly, stirring occasionally. Then bring to a bubble for 2–3 minutes until the liquid becomes syrupy. Pour into a large glass serving bowl and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, put the peaches in a large bowl and completely cover with boiling water. Leave for 30 seconds. Drain off the water, then replace it with cold water. The skins can then be easily removed.
Halve the peaches, ease out the stones and clean up the hole left with a teaspoon.
Next thinly slice the peach halves and add to the cooled syrup along with the raspberries or strawberries. Gently toss to coat with the syrup. Now cover the bowl and chill for 24 hours, stirring the fruit occasionally.
The syrup may thicken during chilling. If it has becomes too thick by the time you are ready to serve, just add 1–2 tablespoons of orange juice to thin it down a bit.
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.
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.
480ml (16 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
14g (½ oz) toasted flaked almonds (2 tbsp)
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/superfine 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.
First make the custard. Whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour/cornstarch, vanilla, sugar, and three tablespoons of the milk.
Heat the remaining milk in a small pan and, as it comes up 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.
Pour into a jug and cover the surface of the custard with cling film/plastic wrap to prevent it forming a skin, then leave to cool.
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. Sandwich back together and lay in the base of the serving bowl, cutting to fit as necessary.
Scatter ⅔ of the raspberries over the sponge, reserving the rest for decoration.
Next spoon the sherry over the sponge and raspberries.
Spoon the custard over the top, smoothing the surface.
Chill for at least one hour.
Whip the cream until it just holds its shape and dollop spoonfuls over the custard but this time don’t smooth the top.
Decorate with the reserved raspberries and toasted almonds.
Just before serving dust the top with icing/powdered sugar.
First measure out the frozen berries and leave to thaw.
For the meringue
Heat the oven to 140°C (235°F) (gas 1).
Zest the lemon and and then squeeze out the juice into a small bowl.
Now put the egg whites and lemon zest into a large bowl and whisk until firm peaks form.
Gradually add the caster/white sugar a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the mixture is stiff and glossy.
Sprinkle over 2 teaspoons of the lemon juice and reserve the rest for the raspberries. Whisk briefly to mix.
Now carefully fold in the sifted icing sugar using a large metal spoon or spatula.
Line the baking sheet with parchment paper dabbing a bit of the meringue from the whisk onto each corner first to keep the paper in place.
Now spoon four rough circles of the meringue onto the parchment paper. Take a metal teaspoon and dip it in some hot (not boiling) water and make a depression in the centre of each meringue. Bake on the lowest shelf of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes.
Remove and place the baking sheet on a wire rack to cool. If you like a crispier meringue and you have time, then leave in the oven to cool.
For the raspberries
Gently wash the fresh raspberries and put to one side for decoration.
Now add the thawed berries to a blender with the sugar and 2 tablespoons of reserved lemon juice. Add 60ml (2 fl oz) (¼ cup) water. Purée and then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl to remove the pips.
Measure 180ml (6 fl oz) (¾ cup) of the purée into a small pan and stir constantly over a medium heat until reduced by a half. This will take 6–7 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and leave to cool. It will become the texture of jam.
Bring the remaining purée to the boil then simmer for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
For the filling
Place the fromage frais into a bowl with the icing/powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat together until combined. Chill until needed.
Spoon the reduced raspberry ‘jam’ into the centre of the meringues and top with the filling. Then decorate with the fresh raspberries and pour the raspberry sauce over top.
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.
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.
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.
Meanwhile put the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in the sugar to make a paste.
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.
Meanwhile, cut each sponge finger in half and lay in a shallow bowl. Drizzle over the wine or sherry.
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.
Roughly chop the pistachio nuts or walnuts.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold in the cooled custard.
Now to arrange the plates. Carefully toss the reserved fruit with half the purée and spoon into the centre of each plate.
Divide the sponge fingers between the plates arranging them around the edge.
Pour the custard over half of each the sponge finger then sprinkle the nuts on top.
Pour the remaining purée over the fruit and serve.
You will also need 4 x pretty glasses, sundae glasses or short tumblers.
Whisk the mascarpone and yogurt together until smooth.
Reserve 4 strawberries, 8 raspberries and 8 blueberries for decoration, then lightly mix the other fruits together in a small bowl and dust with 2 teaspoons icing/powdered sugar to sweeten.
Crush the biscuits.
Now begin layering the glasses. First, divide half the biscuits between the glasses, spreading them evenly over the base. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the Marsala (or whatever you are using) over the biscuit crumbs.
Spoon a quarter of the mascarpone mixture over the biscuit crumbs and smooth the surface.
Next, divide half the fruit between each of the glasses and then layer with another quarter of the mascarpone mixture and smooth the surface.
Now, sprinkle the remaining biscuit pieces over the mascarpone mixture and add 2 more tablespoons of the Marsala (or whatever you are using). Add another quarter of the mascarpone mixture and smooth the tops.
Finally spoon over the remaining fruit and finally the last quarter of the mascarpone mixture.
You should now have 4 layers of the mascarpone mixture, 2 layers of the amaretti biscuits and 2 layers of fruit.
Halve the reserved strawberries and decorate each glass with the reserved fruit.
Sieve over a dusting of icing/powdered sugar just before serving.
You will also need a 1 litre (4 cup) jelly mould or six individual glass dessert dishes.
Wash and pat dry the fruit. If the strawberries are large, cut them in half, and remove the stalks from the redcurrants.
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.
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 boiling water and stir until the gelatine has completely dissolved, about 2 minutes.
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.
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 onto the plate. Shake for a couple of seconds until you hear the jelly loosening, then lift the mould away.
Can be served with single/half-and-half cream or dollops of whipped whipping/double/heavy cream and extra fresh raspberries.
2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only
115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup + 1 tbsp)
½ tsp vanilla extract
7g (¼ oz) cocoa powder (1 tbsp)
150ml (5 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (⅔ cup)
14g (½ oz) icing/powdered sugar (1½ tbsp)
115g (4 oz) raspberries (1 cup)
You will also need a large baking sheet/tray lined with baking parchment.
Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F) (gas 1).
Whisk the egg whites until firm peaks form. Then gradually add the sugar, one spoonful at a time, whisking well after each addition until stiff. Add the vanilla and continue whisking until the mixture is thick and glossy.
Using a metal spoon, spoon a third of the meringue into another bowl and sift over 2 teaspoons of the cocoa powder. Gently fold the cocoa into the meringue.
Spoon the cocoa meringue over the white meringue and then, using the metal spoon, fold together once to create a rippled effect.
Now put a little dab of meringue on the four corners of the baking sheet/tray and top with the baking parchment. (This will help the lining stay in place.) Spoon the meringue into four mounds on the baking parchment and bake for 1 hour and fifteen minutes, until the meringue is crisp on the outside and peels away easily from the parchment. Cool on a wire rack.
Whisk the cream and icing sugar together until soft peaks form and spoon over the meringues. Top with the raspberries and then dust with the reserved cocoa powder using a small sieve.