Summer Mess

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.

add icing sugar

Grate the rind from a lemon and add to the cream. (An alternative is to add damson puree).

grate lemon rind

Whisk together until the cream thickens and forms soft peaks.

whisked cream

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.

summer mess


You can now find all of Nannie RaRa’s recipes in one place: Recipes


Plum pudding cake

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.


ingredients for plum pudding cake
  • Approximately 20 greengage plums quartered and stoned
  • 4 oz butter
  • 4 oz soft brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 oz self-raising flour
  • 1/2 level teaspoon 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.

quartered greengage plums

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.

mixing the ingredients

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.

first layer of plums

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.

top layer of 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.

sugar and cinnamon on top

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.

the finished pudding cake

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.

pudding cake with cream



Jean’s lemon freezer cake

My neighbour, Jean, gave me this easy-to-make lemon dessert recipe that is simply delicious. It can be made and kept in the freezer, taking it out and cutting a slice to eat whenever you want.


Ingredients for Jean's lemon freezer cake
Ingredients for Jean’s lemon freezer cake
  • 4 oz (114 g) icing sugar
  • Zest and juice of lemon
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 2 oz (57 g) meringue nests
  • half a 300 g jar lemon curd
  • 2 lb loaf tin (or similar) lined with clingfilm

Put the icing sugar plus the juice and zest of the lemon in a large bowl. Mix together until the icing sugar has dissolved.

Mixing lemon zest and juice with icing sugar
Mixing lemon zest and juice with icing sugar

Add the double cream and whisk all together until it forms soft peaks.

Roughly crumble the meringue nests into the mix, add teaspoonfuls of lemon curd as well.

Using a metal spoon gently fold the meringues and lemon curd into the cream. This does not need thorough mixing, finding areas of lemon curd when eating is good.

Roughly mix the meringue and lemon curd
Roughly mix the meringue and lemon curd

Spoon the mix into the lined tin. Cover with clingfilm and place in the freezer for a few hours.

Spoon the mixture into the tin and cover with clingfilm
Spoon the mixture into the tin and cover with clingfilm

The cake is now ready to eat.

Take the cake from the freezer and remove from the tin.

Finished dessert
Finished dessert

Turn it out onto a plate and remove clingfilm. You now have the lemon dessert. Single slices can be cut from the cake as you want them with the remainder returned to the freezer just wrapped in the clingfilm. It will keep for up to three months.

Jean's lemon freezer cake
Jean’s lemon freezer cake