When summer does eventually get here, I wonder if you might like to try one or two of these delicious recipes including a couple of simple ice cream recipes, a classic fruit flan and some soft fruit recipes. Depending on what time of year you read this, they will either conjour up a vision of summer or provide a mouth-watering temptation. There are two different methods. One is made with cream and the other is made with a custard. The simplest method for Ice cream is the cream method
Summer Fruit Flan
This is a classic recipe, and once you have mastered the method, it can be used for a million dishes!
For the flan case you will need:
200g plain flour
For the filling: - (Crème Patissiere)
100g caster sugar
50g flour or 25g cornflour
10g custard powder
½ ltr milk
Vanilla pod or essence
Method to make the flan case
Rub the butter into the flour till it resembles fine breadcrumbs
Add the sugar and mix well
Then add the water, just enough to combine the pastry, then pop into the fridge to chill
After about an hour, roll out the pastry and line your flan dish, then blind bake for about 15 20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool
Method to make the Crème Patissiere
Mix the eggs and sugar in a bowl till almost white
Mix in the flour and custard powder, or cornflour
Bring the milk to the boil, then pour over the egg and flour mixture and whisk well
Return to the pan and bring to the boil till thickened, then add a few drops of vanilla essence or a vanilla pod
Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl
Sprinkle the top with caster sugar or cover with cling film, making sure the film is in contact with the pastry cream to prevent a skin forming
Allow to cool
Now take your cool flan case and pour in your cold pastry cream. It may need spreading out because it would have thickened up.
On the top of your flan decorate with whatever fruit you fancy. I recommend that you glaze the top of you fruit with some melted jam to hold everything in place! To do this put about 1 tablespoon of jam into a small saucepan and 'let it down' with a tablespoon of water. Warm it through enough to make it runny, not boiling. Then brush it over the top and let it set.
Gooseberry and Elderflower Cobbler
2 tablespoons of elderflower cordial
750g gooseberries. Topped and tailed
25 caster sugar
2 strips of lemon zest or 3 tablespoons lemon juice
For the Cobbler Topping
100g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
35g cold butter diced
75g ground almonds
35g caster sugar
1 large egg
25g flaked almonds
Place the gooseberries, cordial, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water into a pan and bring to the simmer and cook slowly for about 5 minutes until the juices flow.
For the crumble mix together all the crumble ingredients except the flaked almonds, to resemble coarse breadcrumbs.
Put the gooseberry compote into a wide shallow dish. Have a little taste at this stage. If it's too tart add a little more sugar. You want it sweet but with a hint of tartness.
Scatter the crumble topping over the top then scatter over the flaked almonds and bake in the oven at gas 5/190c for about 30 minutes
serve with double cream, custard or ice cream. Delicious!
Thyme Scented Raspberry Crumble
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons finely chopped thyme
125g thick plain yogurt
225g plain flour
Pinch of salt
200g cold unsalted butter cubed
150g demerara sugar
100g medium porridge oats
Mix all the crumble ingredients together with your fingertips until you have a crumbly dough.
Sprinkle this onto a greased baking tray and pop into the oven, gas 4/ 180c for about 25 minutes until golden brown. Then let it cool.
For the filling:
Crush about ¼ of the raspberries to get the juices flowing
Put it into a bowl with the uncrushed raspberries, the sugar and the thyme. Again, let it macerate for about an hour
Divide the raspberries into 4 glasses and top with a good dollop of the yoghurt.
Sprinkle the crumble over it and serve.