Whether you’re picking them from a garden or buying them in the shops and markets, this is a wonderful time for summer fruits. Cherries, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries and currants, they’re all fresh and ripe around now.
Please forgive what might seem like a lazy collection of archived recipes. I know it seems absurd when we’re still in lock-down, but I really have been pushed for time this week and rather than give you a rushed recipe I haven’t properly tested, I’d rather reprise some that I know work and which celebrate the season.
Starting with strawberries, once you’ve got past the eating-them-straight-from-the-plant-warm-from-the-sun stage followed by the cream and sugar stage, you might like to try this tart. With its no-cook creamy filling and piled high with glistening strawberries, it is the essence of summer to me.
If you have ripe redcurrants, this is the perfect time to make this no-fuss redcurrant and almond cake, one of my favourite creations.
As an added bonus, it’s gluten-free, so it’s a very useful recipe to have up your sleeve, but mostly I’d urge you to make it because it tastes so good.
These raspberry crumble bars/squares/slices have been hugely popular with friends and family and with readers.
If you haven’t tried them, give them a go and sit back and wait for the compliments. They might be a bit muffled, as the chances are everyone will have their mouth full.
This is the first year we’ve had a decent crop of cherries, after I finally managed to make the netting blackbird-proof. We ate lots raw and I put some in a compote I’m planning to put on top of a cheesecake (watch this space), but I also made boozy cherries from a recipe by Regula Ysewijn, a wonderful sight sitting in their jar of brandy.
I’ll have to wait until nearer Christmas to see how they turn out but what a lovely thing to look forward to in the depths of winter!
Gooseberries are gorgeous in a pie or crumble and very good made into a jam, especially with strawberries. I made what I think is one of my best ever last week, using a mixture of two-thirds strawberries to one-third goosegogs.
Around 700g of strawberries, sliced; 300g of gooseberries, topped and tailed; the juice of a lemon and 900g of sugar, if you fancy a go. The gooseberries help the set but also provide a welcome sharp edge to the jam.
Their tartness works well in savoury dishes, too. I made a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall gooseberry sauce to go with sage-rubbed pork chops in this recipe but it would also be good with oily fish.
Whatever you make, I hope you enjoy it and if you do, please write and tell me about it! Happy scoffing and fingers crossed for a fruitful and sunny summer.