3 summer dessert ideas to make the most of berry season

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The weather may be temperamental, but we can still enjoy desserts that maximise juicy fruits and berries.

Say what you like about British summertime, but at least it’s never predictable. Just when we think we’re due a week of glorious weather, the clouds gather and the temperature dips.

Even on grey days, though, we can still bring some sun into our lives through the power of food. In Donna Hay’s book Modern Baking: Cakes, Cookies and Everything In Between (£30, Fourth Estate), the acclaimed Australian cook shares summery dessert recipes that make the most of seasonal fruit and berries – juicy, joyful flavours that are guaranteed to make you smile.

Modern Baking by Donna Hay (£30, Fourth Estate)

Below, find three of Hay’s easy summer dessert recipes: blackberry, lemon and yoghurt eton mess; banana and raspberry ice cream; and crushed raspberry tart. On days when the weather refuses to play ball, let’s make our own sunshine. 

  • Blackberry, lemon and yoghurt eton mess

    • 1 cup (150g) frozen blackberries+
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • 2 tablespoons icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
    • 1 cup (280g) natural Greek-style (thick) yoghurt
    • 1 cup (250ml) single (pouring) cream
    • 1⁄2 cup (160g) store-bought lemon curd
    • 50g store-bought mini meringues, crushed

    Place the blackberries, water and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 10 minutes or until reduced and syrupy. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate until cold.

    Place the yoghurt, cream and remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks form.

    Divide the yoghurt mixture, the lemon curd and the blackberry mixture between 4 x 1-cup-capacity (250ml) serving glasses to create a layered effect. Top with the meringue and dust with extra sugar to serve. SERVES 4

    + You can also use frozen raspberries for this recipe.

  • Banana and raspberry ice-cream

    • 500g bananas (about 3 medium bananas), peeled
    • 1 cup (150g) frozen raspberries
    • 1⁄3 cup (80ml) maple syrup
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

    Slice the bananas into even rounds. Layer in a freeze-proof container between sheets of non-stick baking paper. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight.

    Place the banana slices, raspberries, maple syrup and vanilla in a food processor and process for 2–3 minutes or until smooth. Spoon into a 1.5-litre-capacity metal container and freeze for 3–4 hours or until firm. SERVES 4–6

    Tip: When you have an abundance of bananas in the fruit bowl, why not slice and freeze a few, as in step one. Then you’ll be ready to whip-up this ice-cream whenever you like.

  • Crushed raspberry tart

    • 1 sheet frozen butter puff pastry, thawed
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar
    • 250g raspberries
    • 2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar, extra
    • 11⁄2 cups (375ml) single (pouring) cream
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pastry on the tray and, using a small sharp knife, score a 2cm border around the edge. Brush the border with egg and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until puffed and golden. Set aside to cool a little.

    Place the raspberries and extra sugar in a medium bowl and gently crush with a fork. Place the cream and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk until soft peaks form.

    Spoon the cream onto the pastry and top with the crushed raspberries to serve. SERVES 6

Modern Baking: Cakes, Cookies and Everything In Between by Donna Hay (£30, Fourth Estate) is out now

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