Among the greatest joys of summer are the berries the sunshine brings with it. But what to do with them? Try these…
1. Dish the dirt
Keep fresh berries in the fridge, but avoid washing them first (unless you like them soft and mouldy…). Wash immediately before you use them, and pat dry with kitchen paper.
2. Freeze with ease
Firm summer berries freeze well. Wash and leave to dry on a clean tea towel. When completely dry, lay them out on a baking tray and put in the freezer. When frozen, put them in freezer bags, squeezing out the air before sealing.
3. Nice ice, baby
Put a few blueberries in each section of an ice cube tray and fill with a ½ and ½ mix of cranberry juice and water. Freeze and serve in soft drinks or prosecco.
4. Hey up, flower
Gooseberries love elderflower. Lightly stew in elderflower cordial and water mixed at a ratio of 2 tbsp elderflower to 3 tbsp water and 2 tbsp sugar to add hints of Muscat to their flavour.
5. Happy fool
To make a fruit fool, stir cooled stewed berries through a ½ and ½ mix of whipped cream and natural yoghurt. Serve with a few fresh berries on top.
6. Make a toast
Spread sourdough toast with ricotta cheese and top with slices of strawberry, mint leaves, honey and a dash of balsamic vinegar.
7. Well dressed
Whizz olive oil with lemon juice, garlic, raspberries and redcurrrants in a food processor for a berry vinaigrette. Drizzle over baby spinach leaves, strawberries, blueberries, pecans and goat’s cheese.
8. Bread and butter
Use raspberries instead of sultanas in bread and butter pudding made with brioche, spreading each slice with crushed berries and sprinkling whole berries over.
9. Sweet sensation
Marinade sliced peaches, blueberries and mint in 50g sugar and 50ml lemon juice, cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours. Before serving, add raspberries, blackberries and more sugar if needed.
Dissolve 100g caster sugar in 100ml water over a low heat, add 200g raspberries and leave on the heat for a further 2 mins. Cool then whiz until smooth in a blender for a fruity ice cream sauce.