Strawberry Cream Pots

Strawberry Cream Pots

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

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

Red Berry Jelly

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

Summer Trifle

This is a really light trifle. Not what you normally think of as a trifle although it uses the same ingredients. It’s very refreshing for a summer dessert and looks good too.

Summer Trifle

This very light summer trifle has a selection of seasonal fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants, tossed in a fruit purée and surrounded with little boozy sponge fingers coated in a vanilla custard.

Summer Trifle

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

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


  • Method
  • Chill four dessert plates in the fridge.

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

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

Frozen Strawberry Sundaes

Frozen Strawberry Sundae

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

Frozen Strawberry Sundaes

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

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

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

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

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

Equipment

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

Note

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Updated: July 4, 2020

Strawberry Tart

Strawberry Tart

This strawberry tart recipe makes a super delicious summer tart. The sweet pastry is filled with a creamy crème pâtissière and decorated with small, whole strawberries which are then glazed. Just slice and enjoy.

Strawberry Tart

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

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

Equipment

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Eton Mess

Eton Mess

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • If also making the meringue shells:
  • Extra time needed for preparation: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: for the meringue shells: 1 hour 15 minutes, plus cooling in the oven
  • Ingredients
  • 450 g (1 lb) strawberries (about 3 cups)
  • 284 ml (9 fl oz) carton double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1⅛ cups)
  • 1 tbsp caster/superfine sugar
  • 4 small meringues shells*
  • a few mint leaves, finely shredded for decoration

Note

  • *This dish is a great way to use up any left over meringue shells. However, if making them 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
  • 115 g (4 oz) caster/superfine sugar (1 cup + 1 tbsp)

To serve

  • You will also need 4 sundae glasses.

For a Tipsy Eton Mess

  • as above, plus:
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • Method
  • For the meringues
  • Preheat oven to cool, 140°C (275°F) (gas 1)
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
  • Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until stiff and glossy.
  • Now line a baking tray/sheet with baking parchment. Dabbing a little meringue on each corner of the baking tray/sheet first will keep the lining in place.
  • Spoon 6 mounds of meringue onto the baking paper.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes, until the meringues shells lift easily from the paper.
  • Turn off the oven but leave the meringue shells inside to completely dry out while the oven is cooling down.
  • Now while you are waiting for the meringues to cool in the oven, the strawberries can be prepared.
  • Note that you will only need four of the shells for this recipe.
  • For the Eton Mess
  • Wash, pat dry and hull the strawberries.
  • Halve or quarter them so they are all of a similar size.
  • Place them in a large bowl and sprinkle over the sugar. 
  • If making a Tipsy Eton Mess, add the Grand Marnier now.
  • Then mix gently and leave for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Break the meringue shells into bite-sized pieces.
  • Next whip the cream in a large bowl until it forms soft peaks. It should still fall from a spoon.
  • Put 20 strawberry halves and about a quarter of the broken meringue pieces to one side for decoration.
  • Then gently fold the rest of the meringue into the cream and, just using a few strokes, fold in the strawberries and their juice.
  • Divide between the glass dishes and top each dish with an equal quantity of the reserved strawberry halves and meringue.
  • Finally sprinkle over the shredded mint leaves, if using.
  • Serve immediately.
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Fruity Delight

A really scrumptious dessert. A shortbread base is topped with a light, creamy cheese mixture, topped with glazed raspberries and strawberries and then dusted with icing sugar.

Fruity Delight

8 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the base
  • 120 g (4 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1 cup less 1½ tbsp)
  • 28 g (1 oz) icing/powdered sugar (3 tbsp)
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter, softened (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 1 egg yolk

  • For the topping
  • 225 g (8 oz) full-fat cream cheese (1 cup)
  • 200 ml crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp icing/powdered sugar
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • 170 g (6 oz) strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 170 g (6 oz) raspberries, washed (1⅓ cups)
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • icing/powdered sugar to dust


  • Method
  • For the base
  • Sift the flour and icing sugar into a bowl.

  • Rub in the butter using your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

  • Now gradually add enough egg yolk, a little at a time, until the mixture starts to bind together. Using a palette knife to bring the mixture together will keep the dough light. Once it is binding together then knead lightly to form a ball.

  • Roll out the dough to a 20cm (8 inch) round, then lift onto a baking sheet. Decorate round the edge of the dough using the tines of a fork and prick the centre. Using a knife, mark the pastry lightly into 8 equal sections.

  • Chill while preheating the oven to 180°C (350°F) (gas 4).

  • Bake the base for 15 minutes until just starting to brown. Re-mark the sections while it is still hot to make it easier for serving. Then cool on a wire rack.

  • For the topping
  • Put the redcurrant jelly in a small pan and stir in 2 tablespoons of water. Gently heat to dissolve the jelly. Then leave it to cool while preparing the rest of the topping.

  • Beat the cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Then beat in the crème fraîche, icing/powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.

  • Now spread over the shortbread base, inside the decorative edge. The marked sections should still be visible.

  • If the strawberries are large, halve or quarter them so that the raspberries and strawberries are of a similar size. Toss together and then pile on top of the cream cheese mixture.

  • Carefully brush the fruit with the cooled jelly and then, just before serving, dust with icing/powdered sugar.
Print Recipe

Updated: October 26, 2019

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

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crêpes
  • 115 g (4 oz) plain flour/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 1½ tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) semi-skimmed/partly skimmed milk (1¼ cups)
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • For the filling
  • 450 g (1 lb) selection of fresh berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, redcurrants, or strawberries
  • 300 ml (10 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 28 g (1 oz) plain/dark chocolate

Equipment

  • You will also need a shallow-rimmed lightweight pan/skillet, 20–23 cm (8–9 inch) in diameter with rounded sides.


  • Method
  • 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 eggs into the well and, using half the milk, gradually whisk the eggs 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 remaining milk quickly. Do not over-mix.
  • Or use an electric mixer. First whisk the eggs and milk together and 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/skillet really hot. Remove from the heat and add the butter. As soon as 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 crêpe. 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 crêpes over a medium-high heat. You will need 45 ml (3 tablespoons) of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first so you can  quickly add the batter 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/skillet 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.
Print Recipe

Updated: September 22, 2019

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

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooling time: about 1 hour
  • Ingredients
  • 1 pkt. sponge fingers, lady fingers or trifle sponges
  • 4 tbsp raspberry conserve
  • 115 g (4 oz) small strawberries (about 1 cup)
  • 115 g (4 oz) raspberries (1 cup)
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • Bird’s custard
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (½ cup)
  • You will also need 4 glass dessert dishes.


  • Method
  • First make up 480 ml (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 cold.
  • Break enough of the sponges into pieces to fit the base of each dish.

  • Then spoon 1 tablespoon of raspberry conserve in each dish, and level.
  • Wash and pat dry the fruit. Hull the strawberries and cut in half. Reserve 4 raspberries and 8 half strawberries for decoration, and then equally divide the rest amongst the four dishes.
  • Now sprinkle ½ tablespoon of sherry over the fruit in each dish and leave while waiting for the custard to become cold, so the sherry can be absorbed by the fruit and sponge.
  • When the custard is cold, spoon it equally into the four dishes and level the surface.
  • 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.

  • Serve.
Print Recipe

Updated: June 28, 2019

Strawberry Rings

Strawberry Rings

These delicious little strawberry rings are a buttery biscuit filled with a layer of strawberry jam peeking through.

Strawberry Rings

18 biscuits
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the biscuit mixture
  • 115 g (4 oz) butter (½ cup, or 1 stick)
  • 55 g (2 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¼ cup + ½ tbsp)
  • 1 egg, medium (U.K.)/large (N.A.), beaten
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g (7 oz) plain flour/cake and pastry flour (1¼ cups + 2 tbsp)
  • 28 g (1 oz) cornflour/cornstarch (3 tbsp)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

  • For the filling
  • strawberry jam
  • icing/powdered sugar for dusting

Equipment

  • You will also need a 7 cm (2¾ inch) and a 4 cm (1½ inch) fluted cutter. If you don’t have the smaller cutter in your set, don’t be tempted to go for a larger size as it will make the hole too big. I have found the flat end of a large icing nozzle works very well.
  • Also 2 large baking trays/cookie sheets greased.


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

  • Beat the butter and sugar together using an electric hand mixer or food mixer. Once the mixture is smooth and creamy, gradually beat in the egg and then the vanilla extract.

  • Sift the remaining ingredients into the bowl and mix in until just combined.

  • Now tip out onto a work surface and gently knead by hand until a soft dough has formed.

  • Roll the dough out on a floured surface to 0.5 cm (¼ inch) thick. Then using the large cutter, cut rounds from the dough and place them onto the baking trays/cookie sheets.
  • Keeping all the whole rounds on one tray and the centre cut ones on the second tray, use the smaller cutter to remove the centres of half the rounds. (Don’t try to remove the centres from any whole rounds before placing on the trays/sheets as they will become misshapen when lifting them on.)

  • Keep re-rolling the leftover dough and cutting out the rounds, making sure there are an equal number of whole rounds and cut rounds. There should be enough dough to make about 15 finished biscuits.

  • Bake the centre-cut rounds for 8–10 minutes and the whole rounds for 12–14 minutes, or until the biscuits are just starting to brown. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

  • Spread a thick layer of strawberry jam over the whole rounds and then place the cut rounds on top.

  • Finish by dusting with icing/powdered sugar. The sugar will melt on the jam but will remain on the biscuit.

  • Store in an airtight container.
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Updated: May 27, 2019

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

8 servings (images show 4 servings size)
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Cooling time: about 30 minutes for the crust plus the cheesecake filling
  • Chilling time: 2 hours

  • Ingredients

  • For the base
  • 170 g (6 oz) Graham cracker crumbs (1¼ cups) OR
  • 170 g (6 oz) plain digestive biscuits (12)*
  • 55 g (2 oz) sugar (¼ cup)
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter, melted (¼ cup, or ½ stick)

Note

  • *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.)
  • 140 g (5 oz) caster/superfine sugar (¾ cup less 2 tsp)
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • For the topping
  • 675 g (1 lb 8 oz) strawberries (a quart container)
  • 115 g (4 oz) redcurrant jelly (4 tbsp)

Equipment

  • You will also need a 23 cm (9 inch) springform pan or loose-bottomed pan.
  • Method
  • For the base
  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F) (gas 3).
  • Mix the crumbs and sugar together in a bowl and pour over the melted butter. Stir to coat the crumb mixture.

  • Press into the pan, pushing some of the crumbs up the sides to form a rim about 2 cm (¾ inch) high and 1.25 cm (½ in) wide.
  • Bake for 10 minutes then remove and leave to cool, about 30 minutes.
  • For the filling
  • Meanwhile, increase the oven temperature to 180°C (350°F) gas 4.

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


  • Bake for 35 minutes until the cheesecake is firm around the edge and just set in the middle. There still needs to be a slight wobble as this will prevent it cracking when cooling.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
    Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Then refrigerate for 2 hours. 
  • For the topping
  • Meanwhile prepare the fruit topping.
  • Wash, pat dry and hull the strawberries.

  • Set aside 170 g (6 oz) (about ½ pint container) and purée. Then strain through a sieve so you are left with a smooth sauce.
  • Melt the redcurrant jelly in a small pan over a low heat, stirring in the purée until blended together.

  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Strawberry Cheesecake


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

  • Slice the remaining strawberries.

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

  • Strawberry Cheesecake


  • Serve, cut into wedges and pour the strawberry sauce over the top.
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Updated: September 28, 2018

Drunken Peaches

Drunken Peaches

Quick to prepare and just perfect for a late summer dessert. Peaches and red berries are simply marinated in a peach schnapps syrup.

Drunken Peaches

4 servings
  • Preparation time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: 3 minutes
  • Chilling time: 24 hours

  • Ingredients
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) Archers/peach schnapps (½ cup)
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 3 medium peaches
  • 200 g (7 oz) raspberries (1¾ cups) or strawberries, halved (1 cup)
  • You will also need 4 x glass serving dishes.


  • Method
  • Pour the schnapps into a small pan.

  • 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.

  • Note
  • 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.
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Updated: September 12, 2018