I’ll be manning the information stand at Penshurst Farmers Market tomorrow Saturday 7th July where we’ll be celebrating the best of summer produce with a focus on local soft fruit, now at its very best. What better way than to enjoy an evening of sport than with a meal of all the best that the South of England has on offer.
I suggest a barbecue of either a whole fish – salmon or sea bass depending on what Paul at Arcade Fisheries is recommending – marinated in yogurt and curry spices or a maybe a wonderful butterflied pork joint from Renhurst Farm, rubbed with Chinese five spice, drizzled with honey mixed with a little oil, and roasted over sliced new potatoes. I like to serve it in thick slices with mayonnaise flavoured with rose harissa and the wonderful chilli jelly from Sugar and Spice.
Of course there are always sausages to fall back on and when they are as good as you can buy from Kieron’s Game – try his wild boar and apple, a personal favourite – they aren’t a poor option at all.
My monthly recipes for Waitrose Weekend newspaper in June featured raspberries and here are the three recipes for you to try if you missed out, any of which would make the perfect way to finish your summer meal. I think for saturday night I’ll be going for the gorgeous blondies – raspberry, cardamom and chocolate chip – with local ice cream. We have wonderful cherries from Dalloways and raspberries, strawberries and other soft fruit from New Park Farm featuring at the market tomorrow so you’ll be spoilt for choice.
In Season June – Raspberries recipes for Waitrose
My desert island meal – wild salmon, Jersey Royals and asparagus – would end in a bowlful of freshly picked local raspberries, served dripping with luscious English double cream and a scattering of caster sugar. Maybe I’d add a squidgy meringue to the bowl before mashing the lot together as I’ve done ever since I was a child. Raspberries really are my favourite fruit of all, either served as simply as described, cooked in a pudding like the cheesecake recipe here, or maybe layered up with whipped cream to add oomph to a classic Victoria sponge cake.
To me the best food is always the simplest and freshest, which is one of the joys of eating with the seasons. It’s when ingredients are at their very best, and clever old nature provides the perfect partners to enhance flavours. So, serve raspberries with other seasonal red fruit – strawberries, currents, cherries – in a classic summer pudding, try scented with rose petals as in the meringue below, or just enjoy on their own in a homemade jam or tart.
Baked raspberry, white chocolate and lemon cheesecake
This is the perfect pudding for a summer party as you can make the cheesecake a day ahead to allow the flavours to develop together then chill until ready to serve
Serves 8/Prep 20 minutes/Cook 35 – 40 minutes plus 4 – 5 hours cooling and chilling
150g Lotus Biscoff biscuits, crushed
50g unsalted butter, melted
300g fresh raspberries
150ml double cream
100g white chocolate, broken into chunks
400g soft fresh cheese (I find Philadelphia works well here)
50g caster sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
3 medium egg yolks
3 – 4 tbsp soured cream
shaved white chocolate curls or crushed honeycomb pieces
1 Preheat the oven to 170C Gas mark 3. Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter and press into the base of a 20cm greased and base-lined spring release tin. Arrange two thirds of the raspberries over the biscuit base.
2 Place the cream and chocolate together in a small pan and heat gently until melted then cool. Beat together the soft cheese, sugar and lemon rind until smooth then add the egg yolks and beat well. Stir in the cooled cream and melted chocolate mixture. Spoon into the tin and level the surface then bake for 35 – 40 minutes until only just set. The top should wobble gently. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight to let the centre set..
3 To serve, remove the cheesecake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Spread the soured cream over the surface, top with the remaining raspberries and scatter with shaved white chocolate curls.
Chocolate chip, cardamom and raspberry blondies
Gooey and gorgeous, these blondies are halfway between a pud and a cake so I say enjoy them either way! Don’t overcook – they should be soft in the centre – and eat within a couple of days (if they last that long)
Makes 12/Prepare 15 minutes/Cook 25 – 30 minutes
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
6 cardamom pods, seeds removed and lightly crushed
150g light brown muscovado sugar
50g dark muscovado sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g butter, melted
100g dark chocolate chunks
75g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
100g fresh raspberries
1 Heat the oven to 200C gas mark 6. Butter and base line a 20cm square baking tin. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl then stir in the cardamom seeds and sugars. Add the eggs, vanilla and melted butter and mix lightly, then fold in the chocolate chunks and two thirds of the pistachios to give a soft consistency, being careful not to overmix.
2 Spoon into the tin, level the surface and scatter over the raspberries and remaining pistachios. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes until just cooked through but still a little sticky on top. Cool in the tin then cut into squares and serve with thick yogurt or in slices with coffee.
Raspberry and rose hazelnut meringue layer
In my house, it’s not truly summer without a meringue, cream and fruit pud. Here I use a yogurt and cream combination in the filling to balance the sweetness of the meringue
Serves 8/Prepare 20 minutes/Cook 2 ½ hours
3 medium egg whites
150g golden caster sugar
1 tsp raspberry or white wine vinegar
100g chopped toasted hazelnuts
¼ tsp rose water
250g fresh raspberries
100ml double cream, lightly whipped
4 tbsp Greek yogurt
extra raspberries and dried rose petals to decorate
1 Preheat the oven to 100C Gas Mark 1/4. Line two baking sheets with baking parchment and draw an 18cm circle on each. Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer in a clean bowl until stiff then whisk in half the sugar until the mixture is stiff and glossy. Whisk in the rest of the sugar and whisk again until stiff. Whisk in the vinegar then fold in the chopped hazelnuts.
2 Spoon the meringue onto the baking sheets and spread out into the circles. Bake for 1 ¾ – 2 hours until the meringues are pale golden and crisp but still a little soft in the centre. Cool on wire racks.
3 To assemble, fold the whipped cream into the yogurt. Mash half the raspberries on a plate with a fork and fold into the cream with the remaining whole fruit. Spoon over the top of one of the meringue circles and top with the other meringue. Chill until ready to serve. Dust with icing sugar and scatter with rose petals and extra raspberries.
Three quick ideas with raspberries
- traditionally a mix of 4 parts raspberries to one part redcurrants, I use a mix of raspberries, red and black currants, halved strawberries and blackberries for mine. Cook with a little sugar until the juices run then spoon into a basin lined with thin slices of day old bread. Pack well and top with more bread. Weight the basin with a plate and chill overnight. Serve with cream.
Raspberry, blueberry and banana crumble
- If it seems odd to make a crumble in the summer then try this combo of fruit, using your regular recipe for the topping – vegans can use a non-dairy spread instead of butter. I make a tray bake of it and serve it chilled cut into squares with thick yogurt or clotted cream
Quick raspberry jam
- It’s easy to make a pot of your own raspberry jam for a summer breakfast treat. Simply gently cook a punnet of fresh raspberries with an equal weight of sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice in a pan to melt the sugar then boil for 8 – 10 minutes until thick. Pot and store in the fridge once cold.