Gooseberry Fool

This year there were plenty of tiny gooseberries and enough to do something with them so for a quick pudding I whizzed up some gooseberry fool. Here’s the recipe. As the gooseberries were very small, I didn’t think it necessary to blitz them after cooking them and it was nice to have a bit of texture.

500g gooseberries
125g sugar
125ml whipping cream, chilled
1 pot natural yoghurt, chilled

Combine the gooseberries and sugar in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring so that the sugar doesn’t stick.

Cook for 10 minutes and then leave to cool.

Whip the cream and combine with the yoghurt and mix the fruit through.



Poached yellow figs in white wine

This is another fig recipe, this time for yellow figs with a different flavoured sauce made  with orange juice and white wine.

Yellow figs, halved
Glass or two of dry white wine
Squeeze of honey
Cinnamon stick
1 orange, juiced and zested

Bring the wine, honey, orange juice, orange zest and cinnamon to the boil and reduce down slightly for about 5 minutes. Add the figs and cook gently for another 10 minutes. Turn off and leave to cool. Serve with mascarpone cheese mixed with vanilla and icing sugar or vanilla ice cream.

After reducing the sauce down, make cuts in each fig and squeeze. Put in an ovenproof dish and pour over the sauce. Cook in the oven (180ºC) for 35 minutes. Serve with lemon sorbet.

Poached figs in red wine

juicy fig

A juicy fig straight from the tree.

The fig season is one of my favourite times of the year. We’re lucky in that we’ve got both purple and yellow figs. For this recipe I prefer to use the more robust purple figs. I’ve got another recipe for the yellow ones. Again the measurements are rough and I normally allow 2-3 figs per person.

Purple figs, left whole
Glass red wine
Spoon or two of sugar
Cinnamon stick
Couple of cloves

Bring the wine to the boil with the sugar, cinnamon and cloves and reduce down slightly for about 5 minutes. Add the figs and cook gently for a further 10 minutes. Turn off heat and leave to cool. Serve with mascarpone cheese mixed with vanilla and some icing sugar.

Chocolate frigerator cake

This is another recipe for the cherry season. Because I was making it for the party, I used one of those aluminium trays from Mercadona for two packs of chocolate.  Any mixed fruit will do – cranberries, cherries, walnuts, nuts, dried apricots, raisins, etc. and you basically add the amount below or as much/many as you think the chocolate will take. You can also do it with milk chocolate if you prefer. The quantities in brackets are the measurements for the party and for two packs of chocolate.

350g (500g) plain chocolate
150g (215g) unsalted butter
175g (250g) digestive biscuits – broken with a rolling pin in a bag into small pieces
300g (428g) mixed fruit.

Melt chocolate and butter. Add everything. Put in tin. Put in fridge. Eat.

Cherry cheesecake

A recipe for the cherry season.
The measurements are bit more complicated as they depend on the size of your tin. A normal-sized round one needs about 1 pack Philadelphia and 1 of those Danome semicircular pots of Greek yoghurt. As I was making two cheesecakes for the party, I was using two 28cm tins which took 2 tubs of each. What I normally do is put whole biscuits in the tin to see how many I need more or less and then crush those, adding enough melted butter so that they hold together. It’s best to make it the day before you need it to allow the base to set.

hobnob biscuits
squeeze honey

1 tub Philadelphia light
1 tub Greek yoghurt
squeeze lemon juice
grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
spoon icing sugar

spoon of jam (same flavour as fruit)

Crush biscuits to crumbs and mix with melted butter and squeeze of honey. Press down into tin with a potato masher. Leave to cool and harden completely in the fridge.
Beat cheesecake ingredients together. Keep cool and smooth over base when base has hardened.
Melt jam and add fruit, mixing over a heat to soften fruit slightly. Leave to cool.
It’s best to put the cheese mixture on the base the night before and then put the fruit on just before serving.