Michelle Darmody: Summer berry recipes

Michelle Darmody: Summer berry recipes

A summer pudding is an oldie but a goodie. It can include a combination of any soft summer fruits. The amount of sweetener may vary with the sourness or ripeness of the berries.

I think it works well when there is still a bit of bite in the fruit, I achieve this in the included recipe by not stewing the strawberries.

There may be some trimming and adjusting of the bread to make a neat layer inside the pudding bowl, it is like pattern cutting in a home economics class.

Brioche bread works very well as it tends not to have any large air bubbles, also the butter and sugar in the bread dough make it a nice addition to a dessert.

There are strawberry stalls on roadsides all around the country. I stopped at one this week and picked up a few punnets of deliciously sun-kissed cherries as well as strawberries.

Michelle Darmody: Summer berry recipes

The gentleman manning the stall, very enterprisingly, took credit cards. It seems the time for rooting in the car seats for lost change has past.

It is a great time to begin putting this abundance of fruit and berries in the freezer, or to make jam, so the sweet summer tastes can stretch until the winter.

When choosing berries it is important that they are brightly coloured and firm. Soft berries tend to get mushy and spoil very quickly. This is also true when jam-making. I find firm, shapely fruit makes the best jam.

Summer fruit and coconut loaf

Ingredients

175g of soft butter

165g of golden caster sugar

3 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp of rosewater

175g of self raising flour

100g of desiccated coconut

100g of strawberries, stalks removed and cut into chunks

50g of raspberries

A small handful of slivered almonds

A small handful of coconut flakes

Method

Heat oven to 180C and line a 2lb loaf tin with parchment.

Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs and rosewater until combined. Add in the flour and coconut.

Scoop over half of mixture into your prepared tin. place the berries on top them scoop the rest of the batter on top and smooth it. Sprinkle with the slivered almonds and coconut flakes.

Bake for about 55 minutes or until baked through.

Allow to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Summer pudding

Michelle Darmody: Summer berry recipes

Ingredients

200g of raspberries

100g of redcurrants, tips and stalks removed

50g of blackcurrants, tips and stalks removed

160g of honey

300g of strawberries, stalks removed

6 slices of white bread, with the crusts cut off

Method

Line a medium-sized pudding bowl with clingfilm.

Place the raspberries, red-currants and blackcurrants into a saucepan with three tablespoons of water. You can substitute some of the water for orange blossom or rosewater if you wish. Simmer for about five minutes until the fruit have softened.

Line the bowl with the slices of bread as neatly as you can. The clingfilm should help you remove it from the bowl in the end. Place the pudding into the fridge for at least an hour to allow the juice soak into the bread completely. It works well if it is made the day before.

White chocolate berry cheesecake

Ingredients

75g of butter, melted

150g of digestive biscuits, roughly crushed — or dark chocolate digestives if you wish

300g of white chocolate

600g of cream cheese

280mls of cream

The zest of 2 oranges

20g of golden caster sugar

150g of raspberries, chopped

150g of strawberries, stalks removed and cut into cubes

Method

Line an 8in loose base can tin with parchment.

Stir the melted butter through the biscuits. Scoop it into the prepared tin, press it down and smooth it out.

Melt the white chocolate over a bowl of simmering water. Set aside to cool slightly.

Whisk the cream cheese, cream, zest and sugar together until completely combined and add the white chocolate until that too is combined. Stir the fruit through the mixture.

Spread the berry mixture on top and very gently spread it. Place into the fridge overnight to set. Decorate with some extra berries if you wish.

A summer pudding is an oldie but a goodie. It can include a combination of any soft summer fruits. The amount of sweetener may vary with the sourness or ripeness of the berries.

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