Almond cake with fresh raspberries, flavoured with cinnamon and lemon zest. It’s flourless, dairy and gluten free, yet wonderfully airy and soft.
German apple Kuchen with roasted apples and breadcrumb and nut topping. Kuchen, I recall, is what my Grandmother used to bake on Sundays, to be consumed, still warm, after lunch with a coffee.
Apple marmalade, thick and gorgeous spiced apple preserve with natural pectin. If it’s never jam today, perhaps we can have some marmalade, eh?
Perfect apple pie with homemade pastry and apple and raisin filling. I have twisted the classic a little by making sweetened crust but if you use tart cooking apples and not a lot of sugar in the filling, it creates a nice balance.
Cheat's apple strudel with apple chunks and raisins wrapped in sweet tea bread dough. This is a cheat’s recipe. There’s no stretching and stretching and stretching and reading love letters through the dough involved.
Apricot frangipane tart, fresh apricots on a frangipane layer, with Italian shortcrust pastry base. There are three recipes in this one. The tart base is made from pasta frôlla, the Italian equivalent to sable or shortcrust; not really very different but less flaky and crumbly than their Anglo-French brothers
Quick and easy apricot jam with a touch of spice. Kids usually like red jams, at least I did when I was one. Strawberry, raspberry, cherry; once I was hugely let down by redcurrant which was too sour and pippy; and I didn’t quite trust black jams with the exception of blueberry.
Apricot upside-down butter cake. Just when I thought I've seen it all when it comes to cake batters, here comes this little number and what a lovely one it is. The texture is gorgeous, it's not hard to make and it keeps if you let it.
A Greek twist on Eton mess: fresh blueberries or strawberries, lightly whipped cream and filo pastry shards. You’ll never want the Eton version again!
Avocado ice cream, dairy free and vegan, made without ice cream maker. For the people who don’t like ice cream, desserts, chocolate, cake, cookies or pudding I have a real treat today: avo ice. Y
Baked figs with blue cheese, a drop of honey and a drizzle of balsamic can be a gorgeous starter, side dish, lunch or even a healthy dessert.
Banana fried with bacon and a drizzle of maple syrup, a great breakfast on its own or on a toasted slice of sourdough. Let’s be honest: this is not a major culinary discovery. It’s not a new umami, raw fish, salted caramel or cooking things in Coca-Cola.
Blueberry cornmeal shortbread tart from Alison Roman, slightly tweaked, is the best pie/tart/cobbler for the summer season. No soggy bottom!
Blueberry duck is an oven-roasted duck breast fillet with blueberry sauce, flavoured with a hint of rosemary. It's the nicest and the simplest blueberry sauce for duck.
Blueberry flavoured frozen yoghurt, made without ice cream maker. And yes, you can make very good one at home. Here’s how.
Fragrant blueberry jam made in a small batch with a sprig of rosemary is the flavour match made in heaven. This will be your all-time best homemade jar of jam.
Blueberry parfait with strained yoghurt and lightly roasted blueberries. My blueberry parfait is uncertain what it wants to be: for some it will be breakfast and others will insist it’s only fit for after dinner
Bramble jelly, old fashioned seedless jam made from wild blackberries. Pick your brambles and get jamming – and there’s no need for special equipment.
Striped pattern berry cake with buckwheat and almond flour. This is lovely, the sooner served after leaving the oven, the better, as with time the berries start to leach juice a bit and the thing looks much messier.
Indulgent cherry jam with preserved chunks of cherries. The best thing about eating cherries is spitting out the pips, right ahead, no matter where.
Roast chicken with seared halloumi cheese and peach salsa is the perfect warm salad with sweet and spicy combination of flavours.
Wholemeal cider bread with chunks of apples. They allegedly came up with this bread in Normandy but I think anyone could do it: just have a drop of cider (or calvados) and decide you’ll chuck all those apples into the bread do, for a prank.
Slow roasted tomato confit. It brings out the flavour hidden deep when it comes to those plasticky looking imported fruits. It’s a slow job – the longer the better. They should still retain their shape but become very soft and quite a bit darker in colour.
Cranberry ketchup is a sweet, sour and salty condiment with a festive tang, excellent with roast meats instead of the usual cranberry sauce. Tomato ketchup is what springs to mind these days but it wasn’t always so - fish as above, mushroom in 18th century and even walnuts here and there.
Simple and easy cranberry sauce to serve with your turkey. It can be made well ahead of time as it stores well in the fridge. If you prefer it a little tarter, reduce the amount of sugar.
Easy cherry sponge cake with fresh cherries lightly roasted; the base is gently prebaked and the end result is pure, gorgeous summer dessert.
Feta cheese, roasted grapes and crunchy walnuts is a perfect combination of juicy, sweet, crunchy and salty. I roast grapes like I like to roast summer berries when so plentiful they get a little tired: sprinkled with very little sugar and blasted with big brief heat.
Fig confit with fresh fig chunks in madeira syrup, great with cheese or charcuterie. Something with figs but not jam was the objective. Why not jam?
Quick and simple glace cherries recipe: make your own candied fruit. They will last for a couple of weeks in a jar. Joking, of course – they’ll never last that long…
Greengage jelly with chilli and rosemary is a full of flavour, unusual condiment. It’s a cross between greengage chutney and plum jam and it’s perfect with lamb.
Jamaican hummingbird cake is a wonderful thing: easy and unpretentious, but gorgeous enough for a birthday or wedding. Try my version with crushed pineapple, pistachios and apple buttercream.
Lumberjack date and apple cake with caramelised coconut topping. Try as I might, I can’t trace the origin of lumberjack cake or why it is called thus.
Smooth mango ice cream without eggs, churned in an ice cream maker. Make sure the fruit is as ripe as it can be; apart from the insufficient sweetness, unripe mango smells a bit off-putting.
Mascarpone blueberry cake, rich and velvety with a tangy flavour from the blueberries. Adding mascarpone to the cake mix makes it rich, moist and tender and no, it doesn't taste like a cheesecake!
Norwegian apple cake, eplekake, is plenty of apple slices on sponge batter enriched with milk. This recipe is from NY Times but cross-referenced with Norway!
Oatmeal and banana smoothie with chia seeds, dairy and gluten free but not free of taste. Briefly – the epitome of what I usually sneer at. Vegan. Gluten free. Dairy free.
Old fashioned apple cake with brown sugar frosting. We used to have two apple trees in the garden: one eating, one cooking, fruiting every other year each, in alternative years – a perfect arrangement.
Oven roasted duck breast fillet with chilli flavoured pineapple slices, charred on the griddle. Served on a pile of green lettuce, it’s an outstanding warm salad dish.
Baked peach with blue cheese and cinnamon crumble. I like a savoury take on a dessert dish. You expect a roasted peach, honey and pillows of whipped cream or mascarpone and here’s blue cheese with its sharp, salty sting.
Peach jam with a hint of vanilla, easy to make and very flavoursome. Roughly chopped peaches with skins make wonderfully chunky jam.
Peach pound cake is the richest, most buttery and tender crumb made with peach puree, with diced fresh peach embedded in the batter. Jerrelle Guy’s recipe from NY Times Cooking with minor tweaks.
Pimm's special for the summer, with a secret ingredient. Let’s have a Pimm's this summer, rain or shine (the former more likely). The worst that can happen is we’ll have to run inside sheltering the jugs and the strawberries!
Pomegranate jelly, mega flavoursome stuff and not so very difficult to make. I’m a pomegranate fiend. It is an addiction, obsession, guilty secret – call it whatever, I can eat pomegranates for England and any other country I might call home.
Pomegranate molasses made using fresh fruit. It is powerful stuff and works a treat as meat glaze, acidity provider in dressings and sauces, dropped on cereal and dribbled over ice cream. Even if calling it molasses is a thorough misnomer.
Raspberry and almond slice, a gorgeous buttery traybake with flaked almonds, sugar and butter topping: it’s easier to make and tastier than Bakewell!
Homemade raspberry jam. I used to think that to make jam you need tonnes and tonnes of fruit and it takes hours and hours of boiling the stuff in huge pans, with lots of splattering and covering the kitchen with sticky gunk – NO.
Raspberry muffers are not muffins. There’s no milk, or cream or yoghurt in the ingredients. It’s an ordinary cake mix baked in muffin tins, just for the variety. And no – they aren’t cupcakes either because no icing? No pink colouring? No little roses...
Raspberry sponge cake recipe, with fresh berries scattered on top of light and airy cake batter. Dust with icing sugar for a perfect summer dessert.the oven every five minutes and deciding it’s still not cooked in the very middle – the raspberries on top are too juicy and wet!
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