This is a very simple summer dessert, a take on Eton Mess using summer fruits which are plentiful now. It also works if you only have a few fruits. I have made a version of this using damson puree instead of grated lemon.
300 ml double cream
2 dessert spoonfuls icing sugar
grated rind of one lemon
meringue – you can make your own but I used ready-made ones from the supermarket
summer fruits – I picked raspberries and strawberries from the garden
Add the icing sugar to the double cream.
Grate the rind from a lemon and add to the cream. (An alternative is to add damson puree).
Whisk together until the cream thickens and forms soft peaks.
This can be used now or placed in the fridge for an hour or two until you need it.
Break the meringues into pieces.
Gently fold into the cream mix.
Put onto individual plates – this makes four servings.
Dot the fruit around. I used a mix of fresh raspberries and sliced strawberries.
You can now find all of Nannie RaRa’s recipes in one place: Recipes
A simple recipe today for cheese scones, perfect for afternoon tea in autumn.
8 oz self-raising flour
2 oz hard butter
3 oz strong cheese, plus extra for topping
approximately 1/4 pint milk
Switch on oven to 200 C.
Grease a flat baking tray – a swiss roll tin is perfect.
Put the flour into a mixing bowl.
Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the flour. Rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips until no lumps are left. I use hard butter as it rubs in better than using spreadable butters.
Mix in the 3 oz of grated cheese. Strong cheese gives a better flavour – mine was classed as having a strength of 6.
Add the milk a little at the time using your hand to blend it into the flour and butter mix. Gradually collect the mixture together into one piece. Knead lightly to form a soft dough.
Roll into a thick sausage shape, about two-inch diameter. Cut into 8 pieces. Knead each slightly into a round about an inch thick.
Add grated cheese on the top of each scone pressing gently so that it sticks to the scone.
Place the scones on the greased baking tray and cook in the oven for fifteen minutes until well risen and golden.
When cooked, cool the scones on a slatted tray or trivet.
You can either eat these warm or cold. If you like, spread butter and jam in the middle. Perfect with a cup of tea.
My greengage plum tree has had a super crop this year, but it has been a battle harvesting the plums as the blackbirds like them a lot. The trouble is the blackbirds don’t just eat one, they peck a hole and eat a little bit then go onto the next. I’ve picked several pounds of plums and stewed and frozen some, and given loads away.
I decided I’d make something a little different and produced this plum pudding cake. It can be eaten either as a cake or with cream as a dessert.
If you don’t have greengage plums, any plums will be a good substitute.
Approximately 20 greengage plums quartered and stoned
4 oz butter
4 oz soft brown sugar
6 oz self-raising flour
1/2 level tespoon cinnamon
2 dessertspoons granulated sugar
Switch on oven to 180 C
Grease and line a 7 ½ inch cake tin with greaseproof paper.
First quarter the plums. I score round each one with a knife then twist the sections off. Discard the stones.
In a bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add one egg at a time beating each egg into the mix. Add the flour, stirring well to make a smooth mixture.
Put half the mix into the prepared cake tin, smoothing it level.
Layer half the quartered plums on top of the mix, pushing each quarter down slightly.
Spoon the rest of the mix on top, levelling as before.
Put the rest of the quartered plums on top pressing them into the mix slightly. I start with a circle round the outside, then inner circles from that. The whole surface should be mostly plums.
Sprinkle the cinnamon on top, then scatter the demerara sugar over to give a crunchy top. You can use more sugar if you like a sweeter taste.
Bake in the oven at 180 C (fan), for an hour and a quarter.
Remove the pudding cake from the tin, and if not eating it warm, cool on a wire rack. Remove the greaseproof paper.
Keep the plum pudding cake in an airtight tin.
The plum pudding cake can be eaten warm or cold either as a cake or a dessert.
My favourite is cold as a dessert served with thick cream, but then a slice with a cup of tea is rather good.
Simnel cake is one of my all-time favourite cakes as it combines a rich fruit cake with almond paste. I make it for Easter but it is good any time of the year. Once cooked and decorated it will keep for several days in an airtight tin – unless it gets eaten straightaway 😉
Ingredients for almond paste
10 oz ground almonds
5 oz icing sugar
5 oz caster sugar
Ingredients for cake
6 oz butter
6 oz caster sugar
8 oz plain flour
15 oz mixed dried fruit
4 oz glace cherries, quartered
1/2 level teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 level teaspoon nutmeg
Switch on oven to 150 C
Grease and line a 7 ½ inch cake tin with greaseproof paper.
Make the almond paste.
Put the dry ingredients for the almond paste into a bowl. Mix together, removing any lumps in the sugar. Lightly beat the egg and add to the dry mix.
Knead together to make a solid paste. It may appear dry at first but as you work it, the oil from the almonds will make it pliable. Divide in half. Put one half in foil in the fridge until needed later. With the other half make a disc slightly smaller than the cake tin and put to one side.
Now for the cake. In a bowl put the flour, dried fruit and cherries. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg. I use whole nutmegs and have an amazing tiny grater to grate them with. Mix together so that all the dried fruit is separated and covered in flour.
In a separate bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add one egg at a time, beating each egg into the mix.
Fold in the dried ingredients combining them until there are no signs of flour on the fruit. If the mixture does not drop easily from the spoon add a small amount of milk.
Put half the mix into the prepared cake tin, smoothing it and bringing it slightly up the edges. Place the rolled out almond paste on top, then spoon the rest of the mix on top. Smooth the top making a dip in the centre.
Bake in a cool oven, 150 C, for two and a half to three hours.
Cool in the tin on a wire rack.
When the cake is completely cool, remove from the tin and take off the paper that lined the tin.
Take the rest of the almond paste and divide into half. Roll one half into a circle slightly smaller than the simnel cake.
Brush the top of the cake with egg white or melted jam, then place the circle of almond paste on top.
With the other half of the almond paste make eleven balls. Using egg white to stick them, place them around the edge of the circle of almond paste. Paint egg white over the tops of the balls and on the almond paste circle.
Place the whole cake under a medium grill until the tops turn golden brown – there will be a wonderful smell of roasting almonds.
The simnel cake is now complete. Keep it in an airtight tin.