Better off red: Skye Gyngell's favourite summer raspberry recipes

While I was growing up in Australia, summers could be fierce, with endless days spent on the beach followed by long, restless nights. English summers are gentler, sweeter, and the produce that arrives during these months is glorious – nothing more so than raspberries. Tart yet sweet, they have a beautiful texture, delicacy and softness. My very favourite variety are tulameen, which have a lovely mellow flavour and are around during late summer.

Skye Gyngell is head chef at Petersham Nurseries, Richmond, Surrey, tel: 020 8605 3627, petershamnurseries.com

Roasted figs with raspberries

Serves 4

4 large, ripe green figs
The juice of one orange
1 tbsp Pedro Ximénez (optional – but don't be tempted to substitute with another sweet sherry; this will give by far the best results)
1 tbsp honey
1 punnet of raspberries

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Slice the figs in half and lay on a roasting tray, cut-side up. Pour the orange juice, sherry and honey in a bowl and mix together to combine. Pour over the figs and place the roasting tray on the middle shelf of the oven.

Roast for 15 minutes or until the figs are soft, almost bubbling and slightly caramelised around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool, place in the fridge to chill; they are nicest served slightly cold.

Arrange attractively on a plate and scatter the raspberries over the top. Serve with a dollop of rich, thick Jersey cream.

Almond tart with raspberries and crème fraîche

Serves 8

For the pastry

125g/4oz unsalted butter
250g/8oz plain flour
25g/1oz caster sugar
1 whole egg
tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp iced water

For the almond filling

300g/10oz whole blanched almonds
300g/10oz unsalted butter
300g/10oz caster sugar
tsp vanilla extract
6 whole eggs
The zest of one unwaxed lemon

To serve

1 punnet of raspberries
Crème fraîche

Start by making the pastry. First, make sure the butter is cold, and dice into small pieces. Sift the flour and place in a food mixer; add the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Turn the motor on and pulse until you have the consistency of wet sand. At this stage add the water; the pastry will soon begin to come together and form a ball. Turn off the machine and remove the ball of pastry to a work surface; knead lightly once or twice and wrap in parchment paper. Place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Once it is chilled, lightly flour your work surface and roll the pastry into a circle about an eighth-of-an-inch thick. Place as a base into a 10-inch tart tin, pressing the pastry firmly into the side of the tin with your thumbs. Prick the base well all over with a fork and return to the fridge to chill for a further 30 minutes.

While the pastry is chilling, make the almond filling. Place the almonds into a food processor and pulse until ground. Add the butter, sugar and vanilla extract and purée until smooth. Add the eggs one by one through the funnel in the top and finally add the lemon zest. Remove from the mixer and set aside.

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas6 and blind bake the pastry case for 15 minutes (to do this, lay a circle of greaseproof paper across the pastry and weigh down with dried beans).

Remove from the oven, discard the beans and fill with the almond paste. Return to the middle shelf of the oven. Turn down the heat to 180C/350F/Gas4 and bake for 30 minutes or until firm in the centre. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.

Serve the tart with a spoonful of crème fraîche and a scattering of raspberries for each person.

Meringue with sweet cream and raspberries

Makes 8 medium-sized meringues

For the meringue

6 egg whites
Small pinch of salt
360g/12oz caster sugar
¾ tsp vanilla extract

For the sweet cream

180ml/6fl oz double cream
1tbsp icing sugar
tsp vanilla extract
200g/7oz raspberries

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Put the egg whites (make sure they're at room temperature) in a clean, dry bowl and add the salt. Using an electric or balloon whisk beat the egg whites, slowly at first until they break down and begin to froth slightly. Increase the speed and continue until stiff peaks form. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time and finally beat in the vanilla.

Place spoonfuls of the meringue mixture on the baking tray, spacing them evenly apart to allow for them to expand. Place in the oven and immediately turn down to 120C/250F/ Gas and cook for 45 minutes, then turn off the heat and leave to cool completely before removing. If you're not using them straight away, they can be kept in an airtight container for up to three days.

To make the sweet cream, pour the cream into a bowl and whisk until just soft. Add the sugar and vanilla and stir well to combine. Place the raspberries in another bowl and, using the back of a fork, press down gently to release the juice and lightly crush them. Stir the crushed raspberries into the cream.

Arrange the meringues on a plate and spoon the raspberry cream over them. Serve immediately.

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