Now is the perfect time to celebrate the short but glorious UK summer soft fruit season. Everything is at its peak of ripeness and flavour; juicy sun-warmed fruits that make for blissful eating whether enjoyed as they are or in one of these show-stopping recipes.
Summer pavlova brings together seasonal favourites, with blackcurrants, redcurrants and berries alongside sweet peaches in a slightly boozy fruit layer that sits atop a chewy, fudgy meringue base. Served with silky vanilla whipped cream, it is truly heavenly. If you love Eton mess, use the same recipe but just break the meringue into the bowl with the fruit and fold in the cream instead. For the recipe click here.
Gooseberries are also delightful at this time of year. No need to spend ages in a hot kitchen making crumble – take a shortcut with a quick-to-assemble gooseberry pudding. The tart-sweet fruit is set off by unctuous crème fraîche and counterbalanced by the slight spice and texture of crushed ginger biscuits. For how to make, click here.
A classic for a very good reason, raspberry ripple ice-cream is always a winner. Refreshingly tangy ribbons of raspberry cut through a rich, creamy custard ice cream that is easy to make without an ice-cream maker. Enjoy it in a cone or with shortbread biscuits as a perfect dessert on balmy evenings – to learn how to make this click here.
A lighter after dinner – or afternoon tea – option are these very pretty strawberry and elderflower jellies. Like summertime in a cup, they are easy to make and keep in the fridge well for four to five days. You can make the recipe with any fresh berries you like, so a good one if you grow your own– a combination of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries is especially good. For the recipe, click here.
Think berries are just for dessert? Think again! They are also the perfect ingredient for salads that demand a little sweetness, such as in this balsamic strawberry, cucumber and halloumi salad. Marinating strawberries in balsamic vinegar balances the sweetness and creates a slightly sharp flavour that goes fantastically with halloumi and fresh cucumber. Fresh herbs and toasted pine nuts finish this summer salad off. For instructions and ingredients click here.