As we gallop into late summer, raspberries in the UK are at their peak. The majority of which are grown in Scotland, where they have the longest season.
I wanted something that could showcase any summer fruits, that could be made ahead, and that would not be too heavy.
Cheesecake traditionally has a biscuit or sponge base, then I recalled a Bill Granger recipe of old; a base-less cheesecake that was lower in fat and higher on flavour, using ricotta cheese, honey, and Marsala soaked raisins.
I used a heather honey that gave a rich, peaty after taste to the dense, almost squeaky, baked cheese. The deep yellow colour is due to using supremely fresh eggs, it was almost obscenely golden as you can see!
Towards October I will be making this again, and serving with baked with figs, I'll probably switch the heather honey for chestnut, which has a caramel kick to it and should work well.
I should probably say, without further ado, that this is a British take on the delicious cups of corn available from many street vendors of Mexico and beyond. The flavours, however, remain absolutely reminiscent of Mexico; lime, coriander, chili and onion, the key differences being the cheese (Cotija being somewhat hard to come by in North England) and the setting; what might be a decadent and sultry walk through old Mehico for your corn if you're fortunate to be there, is more likely to be a drizzly barbecue on the lawn-type-setting if you're here. The joy of this is that it can either be made on flame, and kept on the cob and simply brushed with, or dipped in a mix of the ingredients. Or removed from the cob, and toasted in a searingly hot pan over the hob before mixing with the other ingredients.
It is THE perfect barbecue salad, pair it up with a caprese salad, matured rib eye steaks, to drink add Pimms, Mohitos and/or lagers (obviously
), and you have yourself the best of many worlds and some very happy friends.
**A little reminder that the Great British Giveaway is still on, you have until this weekend to enter, so get on it, HERE!
A really rather delicious way to drink coffee, a bit naughty, and something of an enigma here in Britain due to the fact we only have about three windows of opportunity in the year where such a thing actually appeals due to our rather meager summer. However, with a bit of luck, you can enjoy this at least once this year, although given its rather rich and decadent nature, if you take it after a meal, it's rather like a dessert. You could always add a shot of cognac or amaretto if you liked.
Read on for the recipe, and also a chance to win some rather great, British goodies...
Lammas, or Lughnasadh as it is traditionally known, is the Pagan festival celebrating first harvest, where fruits are ripe for the picking, and grains ready for collection. Rather sadly, it is also the recognition that long hot summer days are coming to their inevitable end; although here in Britain, our climate seems to have shifted somewhat, and I feel we have a good few weeks before it truly feels like the end of summer.
I have taken so much pleasure in podding broad beans, and snipping pea shoots into garlicky oil with my scrambled eggs, toasting oats and almonds for muesli
and eating corn from the cob.
Summer breakfast can be difficult. You wake up hot and parched. The last thing on your mind is hot food. I find most shop bought cereals and whatnot are too sweet, too dull, or too eclectic. Making your own is not only easy, you can tune the recipe entirely to your personal taste. The recipe I've given is merely a basis for quantity ratios and one of the healthiest sweetening and toasting methods I've come across.
I had forgotten just how delicious a home-made pizza could be (I had also forgotten, until recently, how delicious a delivered pizza could be, but that's an issue for my thighs and my conscience to reconcile between themselves).
Please don't be put off by the idea of making your own crust (base) - it's really very easy, and by applying Jim Lahey's no-knead genius concept, the least labour intensive thing you could imagine. All you need is a bit of time; this is an over-night process. Other than planning a little ahead, it's a sinch, and as an added bonus, the recipe I'm going to share yields four twelve-inch crusts, and can be frozen for at least a month to be used at a later date.
The base here is thin, and slightly chewy, with a crisp edge.
I'm also going to share the two toppings used in the above pictures; a basic margherita, and an aged cheddar with Serrano ham and spinach. which, I'm half-ashamed-half-proud to say, I ate all of. To myself. In one evening.
Dear, glorious sunshine, I never want you to end.
Hazy, lazy weekend afternoons with wine on the lawn.
The friendly, smiley faces of the other-wise reserved Great British people.
Long, light evenings with laughter and a perpetual holiday feeling.
In keeping with the orange theme; oh yes, there's a theme, please find herewith, for your delectation, The Sweet Orange Roll.
Though you may be forgiven for wondering, after baking this Sicilian dessert cake.
As the intoxicating aroma of sweet scented oranges and olive oil fill your home, you'll wonder.
Whole oranges are gently cooked in syrup until soft, and form the basis for this cake.
Olive oil is your fat of choice here, it's not weird at all, just utterly exotic and so perfectly complimentary to the orange flavour.
One word; heady.
So easy to put together, a child could do it, but be under no illusion, this is one seriously grown up dessert.
Read on for full recipe, and prepare to feel like the domestic god(dess) that you truly are.
I know Easter is long gone, and I did eggs recently, with these
delicious suggestions, but I LOVE eggs, and something egg-related I keep seeing lately is bugging me, so you're going to have to put up with some further yolk talk, and I'll try to keep it brief.
Eggs, there are rules, one of those rules is that eggs used should be at room temperature, which of course they should; eggs are complex and delicate and cooking them from cold will impact upon the end result, plus eggs are really porous, you don't really want them rubbing shoulders with other high-flavour things.
What has been bugging me is that lately, 'advice' has been appearing on how to bring your eggs to room temperature. I would like to counter this, with my advice: do not store your eggs in the fridge. I keep mine on a counter-top, I've never stored eggs in the fridge, I've chilled them once or twice for recipe purposes, but my default egg position is out in the kitchen.
Now I don't know if this eggs-in-the-fridge thing is new, or if I've just noticed it, but I get my eggs from a local chicken keeper, and there are no storage instructions, and the eggs don't go near a fridge prior to me getting them.
I get a bit cranky when I see that boxes now have 'refrigerate after purchase'.
And buy your eggs free-range, local, and as fresh as you can get.
Better still, buy a chicken or 3 and have the BEST eggs ever.
Read on for one of my favourite sandwiches, Eggy Butty extraordinaire (invented title fresh from my own brain).