Make the most of strawberries in and out of season. You’ll need four small oven-proof gratin dishes for this dessert or one larger one. Make the liquid mixture the evening before and you can pour it over the fruit the next day just before you are ready to bake them.
Mark Doe of the Just Cooking school in Kerry showed us how to make a sophisticated cheat’s dessert with no fuss at short notice with just one trip to the supermarket.
Called Millionaire’s Shortbread because it is so rich, this chocolate caramel shortbread is a bestseller in every café you visit. It comes with a warning: when you make it at home, you’ll eat the lot and be sorry. We’ve also given you instructions to adapt the master recipe to make Ginger and Chocolate Shortbread.
When you are making a fruit tart, the moisture that leaks out of the fruit during cooking can make the base of the pastry soggy, even if you have blind-baked the pastry case first. Here are the best ways we have found to prevent this happening.
A french classic. Make them a few hours in advance, chill and bake just before serving. They take just 12-13 minutes to cook.
A speciality of Brittany in France, a Far Breton is a pastry-less custard tart with prunes which is often served with a glass of cold cider. It is good with a coffee after dinner or even as a sweet breakfast.
Physalis fruit, also called Cape Gooseberries, are luscious round yellow fruits encased in a papery wrapper that makes them look like miniature Chinese lanterns. You can eat the fruit raw, poach them or use them to decorate everything from a cupcake to a pavlova to a cheesecake.
When you see fresh apricots in the supermarket, buy them and make this luscious brunch dish. You can poach the apricots in advance and reheat them in a small saucepan while you make the French toast if you are short of time.
Panna Cotta is an Italian baked cream dessert. It has to be one of the most delicious desserts in the world – it can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the fridge.
Clafoutis is a dessert made with a sweet egg batter which originated in the Limousin region of France. While it is traditionally made with fresh unstoned cherries, you can also make it with other sunny fruits from apricots to plums and blueberries to raspberries. You need to make it in the dish in which are you serving it as you can’t turn it out.