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Five best summer desserts

The summer season is a time to really enjoy an abundance of fruit, and let those fresh flavours shine out in some wonderful desserts. From barbecuing to baking, read our top five favourite recipes to enjoy at the peak of the soft fruit harvest.

Barbecuing may seem like a crass way to treat such a delectable soft fruit as strawberries, but it is all about the contrast of hot and cold, sharp and sweet. After macerating, these balsamic BBQ strawberries are threaded onto skewers and only want a quick flip-flop across the grill to warm them and caramelize some of the sugar. Serve with classic vanilla ice cream – you can use a plant based one for a great vegan dessert.

Balsamic strawberries

Melon is such a refreshing fruit eaten on its own, but this dairy free honeycomb, melon and raspberries recipe also uses some intriguing contrasts. There is something quite magical about making honeycomb, and from simple store cupboard staples you can create delectable golden shards to sprinkle over quick-griddled melon. The sweetness of the honeycomb is balanced by the tartness of the raspberries, making a simple-to-assemble dessert that is full of mouth-watering flavours.

Honeycomb

Summer on a plate, pavlova is a classic for very good reason and this recipe is a real celebration of the soft fruit season. Fudgy, chewy meringue paired with tart blackcurrants, sweet berries and fragrant floral peach is cut through with a hint of liqueur and served with vanilla cream. If you prefer, the same recipe makes an easy Eton Mess by breaking the meringue into the bowl with the fruit and folding the cream in.

Pavlova

Some weeks have been dreamily sunny, but others a bit less so and a rhubarb and strawberry crumble is definitely what’s needed to brighten a dull day. A classic combination that brings out the best of both fruits, you can replace the flour with oats and fine oatmeal for a gluten free alternative.

If you have lots of apples loitering in the fruit bowl that have been neglected as you feast on all the soft fruits, this simple apple tart is a perfect way to use them up. Almond amaretti biscuits are used in the base and set the apples off to perfection. Lovely eaten al fresco with a coffee for the perfect at-home holiday café experience.

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