Strawberry Cheesecake

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

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

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

 

Strawberry Cheesecake

 

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

 

Strawberry Cheesecake
Prepares: 8 servings (images show 4 servings size)
 
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • Cooling time: about 15 minutes
  • Chilling time: 2 hours

  • Ingredients

  • Strawberry Cheesecake


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

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

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

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

  • You will also need a 23cm (9 inch) springform pan or loose-bottomed pan.


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

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

  5. Strawberry Cheesecake


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

  7. Strawberry Cheesecake


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

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

  11. Beat the two packets of cheese together until soft and creamy, using a food mixer or electric hand mixer. 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.

  12. Strawberry Cheesecake


  13. Bake for 35 minutes until the cheesecake is just 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. If you have time, leave to cool in the oven with the door slightly ajar. This will allow it to cool down very slowly which again helps prevent cracking. Then refrigerate for 2 hours.

  14. Strawberry Cheesecake


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

  17. Set aside 170g (6 oz) (about ½ pint container) and purée. Then strain through a sieve so you are left with a smooth sauce.

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

  19. Strawberry Cheesecake
  20. Strawberry Cheesecake


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

  22. Slice the remaining strawberries.

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

  25. Strawberry Cheesecake


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

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

  • Ingredients
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) Archers/peach schnapps (½ cup)
  • 1 orange
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 3 medium peaches
  • 200g (7 oz) raspberries (1¾ cups) or strawberries, halved (1 cup)

  • You will also need 4 x glass serving dishes.


  1. Method
  2. Pour the schnapps into a small pan.

  3. Juice the orange and add to the pan along with the redcurrant jelly.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Halve the peaches, ease out the stones and clean up the hole left with a teaspoon.

  7. 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.

  8. Note
  9. 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.

Updated: September 12, 2018

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

Frozen Strawberry Sundaes

Frozen Strawberry Sundae

 

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

 

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

  • Ingredients
  • For the base
  • 115g (4 oz) Oreo chocolate baking crumbs (1 cup)*
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 40g (1½ oz) butter, melted (3 tbsp)

  • *This is a North American recipe where the chocolate baking crumbs are bought ready in a box. Use the following for a substitution for the ingredients to make the base in England:

  • 115g (4 oz) plain digestive biscuits crushed to make fine crumbs
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 55g (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
  • 280g (10 oz) vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt (8 scoops)
  • 170g (6 oz) strawberries, rinsed and hulled (about 1¼ cups)
  • 1 tbsp sugar

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

  • You will also need a 17cm (6½ in) square metal baking tin at least 5cm (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 24cm (9½ in) square tin.


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

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

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

  7. Now slice the strawberries and put into a small bowl. Toss with the sugar and leave for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

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

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

  10. Frozen Strawberry Sundae


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

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

  14. Break the chocolate into small pieces and add half to a glass bowl. Melt the chocolate over a pan of just simmering water. (The bowl should not touch the water.). Remove from the heat and add the remaining chocolate to the bowl. Stir until the chocolate has melted and there is a smooth sauce. Leave to cool.

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

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

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

Updated: August 8, 2018

Summer Fruit Glory

Summer Fruit Glory

 

Summer Fruit Glory is a quick summer dessert to prepare that looks very impressive. Layers of mascarpone and strawberry yogurt, summer fruits and amaretti biscuits soaked in Marsala. Delicious!

 

Summer Fruit Glory
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 250g or 275g tub mascarpone
  • ½ x 500g pot strawberry yogurt
  • 12 strawberries, hulled
  • 140g (5 oz) raspberries (1¼ cups)
  • 140g (5 oz) blueberries (¾ cup heaped)
  • 1 tbsp icing/powdered sugar for dusting
  • 225g (8 oz) amaretti biscuits (about 24)
  • 4 tbsp Marsala, medium sherry or brandy

  • You will also need 4 x pretty glasses, sundae glasses or short tumblers.


  1. Method
  2. Whisk the mascarpone and yogurt together until smooth.

  3. 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.

  4. Crush the biscuits.

  5. 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.

  6. Spoon a quarter of the mascarpone mixture over the biscuit crumbs and smooth the surface.

  7. Next, divide half the fruit between each of the glasses and then layer with another quarter of the mascarpone mixture and smooth the surface.

  8. 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.

  9. Finally spoon over the remaining fruit and finally the last quarter of the mascarpone mixture.

  10. You should now have 4 layers of the mascarpone mixture, 2 layers of the amaretti biscuits and 2 layers of fruit.

  11. Halve the reserved strawberries and decorate each glass with the reserved fruit.

  12. Sieve over a dusting of icing/powdered sugar just before serving.

Updated: August 5, 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.

 

Tipsy Eton Mess

Tipsy Eton Mess

 

Tipsy Eton Mess – a grown-up version of Eton Mess!

.

Tipsy Eton Mess
Prepares: 4 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Standing times: 30 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 2 hours cooling in the oven

  • Ingredients
  • 450g (1 lb) strawberries (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tbsp caster/white sugar
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier
  • 4 small meringue shells*
  • 284ml (9 fl oz) carton double/whipping or heavy cream (1⅛ cups)

  • *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
  • 115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (1 cup + 1 tbsp)

  • You will need 4 glass dessert dishes


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

  4. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Gradually whisk in the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until stiff and glossy.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 for a further 2 hours to dry out completely. You will only need four of them for this recipe.

  7. For the Tipsy Eton Mess
  8. 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, sprinkle over the sugar and drizzle with the Grand Marnier. Then mix gently and leave for 30 minutes at room temperature.

  9. Now in a separate bowl, break the meringue shells into bite-sized pieces.

  10. Next whip the cream in a large bowl until it forms soft peaks. It should still fall from a spoon.

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

  12. Then gently fold the rest of the meringue into the cream and, just using a few strokes, fold in the strawberries and their juice.

  13. Divide between the glass dishes and top each dish with an equal quantity of the reserved strawberry halves and meringue.

  14. Serve immediately.

Updated: July 31, 2018

Strawberry Choux Puffs

Strawberry Choux Puffs

 

These light pastry buns filled with strawberries and cream are a delight. Another perfect way to use fresh strawberries in the summer.

 

Strawberry Choux Puffs
Prepares: 8 puffs
 
  • Preparation time: 50 minutes
  • Cooking time: 35 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the choux buns
  • 65g (2¼ oz) butter, cut into cubes (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • 70g (2½ oz) plain/cake and pastry flour (½ cup)

  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), lightly beaten

  • For the filling
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) double/whipping cream or heavy cream (1¼ cups)
  • 14g (½ oz) caster/white sugar (1 tbsp)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 285–340g (10–12 oz) strawberries (1 pint punnet, or about 2 cups)
  • icing/powdered sugar for dusting

  • You will also need a large baking sheet, lined with parchment paper


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

  4. First, sift the flour onto a piece of kitchen paper or parchment paper.

  5. Now measure the butter into a small heavy-based pan and add 150ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup) of cold water. Melt the butter over a medium heat and then bring the mixture quickly to the boil. Immediately remove from the heat and tip in the flour, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon to combine. Now cook this over a low heat for 3–5 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture will form a soft ball. Remove from the heat, transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, and leave to cool slightly, about 3 minutes.

  6. Using an electric whisk, gradually add the eggs, whisking well between each addition, until a smooth, shiny paste is reached. (Using an electric whisk will allow air to be incorporated into the mixture as the eggs are added.)

  7. Pipe or spoon eight mounds onto the lined tray, spacing well apart. Bake in the centre of the oven for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 190°C (375°F) (gas 5) and cook for a further 15–20 minutes. The buns should be a lovely golden brown.

  8. Remove from the oven and pierce a small slit into each choux bun, using a small sharp knife, to allow the steam to escape. Return them to the oven for 4–5 minutes for the centres to dry out.
  9. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Then halve each bun, cutting at an angle, and remove any uncooked pastry. They are now ready to be filled.

  10. For the filling
  11. Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla extract together until soft peaks form.

  12. Wash, hull and thickly slice the strawberries. Pat dry and then gently fold into the cream.

  13. Remove the tops of the choux buns and fill them with the strawberries and cream. Put their tops back and then dust over with the icing/powdered sugar, using a small sieve.

  14. Note
  15. These are best eaten within a few hours. Once filled with the cream mixture, the pastry will tend to soften.

 

Lemon Angel Pie with Strawberries

Lemon Angel Pie with Strawberries

 

This is a lovely light dessert and another way to enjoy strawberries now they are at the height of their season.

The base is a soft meringue nest which is filled with a lemon cream custard, topped with whipped cream and decorated with delicious strawberries.

 

Lemon Angel Pie with Strawberries
Prepares: 6–8 servings
 
  • Preparation time: 25 minutes
  • Chilling time: 2 hours
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the meringue
  • 4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), whites only (reserve the yolks for the filling)
  • ¼ tsp cream of tartar
  • 225g (8 oz) caster/white sugar (1 cup + 2 tbsp)

  • For the filling
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100g (3½ oz) granulated/white sugar (½ cup)
  • 1 lemon
  • 225ml (8 fl oz) whipping/double cream or heavy cream (1 cup)

  • For the topping
  • 120ml (4 fl oz) whipping/double cream or heavy cream (½ cup)
  • 2 tbsp icing/powdered sugar
  • 280g (10 oz) strawberries, washed and hulled (1 punnet or about 2 cups)

  • You will also need a 23cm (9 inch) round glass dish.


  1. Method
  2. For the meringue
  3. Preheat the oven to 130°C(250°F) (gas ½)

  4. Whip the egg whites until stiff. Sprinkle over the cream of tartar then gradually add the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well between each addition, until the meringue is smooth and glossy.

  5. Very lightly grease the glass dish then spoon in the meringue making a nest about 2.5cm (1 inch) deep with a rim about 5cm (2 inches) deep.

  6. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes and then leave to cool.

  7. For the filling
  8. Zest half the lemon and squeeze the juice from the whole lemon and set to one side.

  9. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together in a glass bowl sitting over a pan of just simmering water. (Make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water.) Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened, stirring frequently. Remove the bowl from the pan and leave to cool.

  10. Now, whip the cream until soft peaks just start to form (you don’t want it to become stiff). Then fold into the cooled lemon sauce until incorporated. Pour into the meringue nest, level the top, and chill for 2 hours.

  11. For the topping
  12. Whip the cream and sugar together until stiff and spread over the lemon filling.

  13. Decorate with the strawberries. If they are small, leave them whole but if they are large, slice them.

Updated: July 25, 2018