Brilliant berries: Bill Granger's taste of summer
You don't need to do much to enjoy the ripe, fresh berries on offer at this time of year. But it's worth trying these simple alternatives to sugar and cream, says our chef.
Sunday 23 June 2013
Sometimes, the excitement chefs try to rustle up when a fruit or vegetable comes into season seems over the top. Few of us truly stick to the seasons any more, whatever our intentions, and I have to admit it's not unheard of for the occasional punnet of raspberries to find its way into my house in winter. But what a non-event it is to eat them then.
The lovely berry aroma you get in the fruit aisle of the supermarket at this time of year is an experience that always brings a smile to my face. It lets me know that we're on the home stretch to summer and anything that points in that direction has to be a good thing. I enjoy berries even more here in the UK. It feels like such a treat to be able to be so plentiful with them, rather than having to pay the extortionate prices they charge in Australia.
When berries are sweet and delicious you don't need to do very much to them. Eat them as they are or make a salad with a dusting of sugar and squeeze of lemon. I don't even feel the need to serve them with cream, but when I do feel like having a proper dessert, these recipes are quick, light and hardly any work at all.
Bill's restaurant, Granger & Co, is at 175 Westbourne Grove, London W11, tel: 020 7229 9111, grangerandco.com
Frozen berry yoghurt
This recipe is the result of a morning when I set out to make a smoothie, only to realise I didn't have enough yoghurt…
2 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
500g/1lb mixed berries, we used blackberries, strawberries and raspberries
170g/6oz pot fat-free Greek yogurt
1 tbsp honey
Place the bananas and berries in a single layer on a baking sheet. Freeze for four hours, or until solid. Remove from the freezer and k put into a food processor or blender. Pulse until the fruit starts to break up. Tip in the yogurt and honey and continue to whizz until smooth. Spoon into bowls and serve immediately.
Pimm's jelly with strawberry and orange
Well nobody can accuse me of not embracing British tradition… With a twist, of course!
Juice and zest of 2 oranges (to give 200ml/7 fl oz orange juice), plus 1 orange, chopped
75g/3oz caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp
400g/13oz strawberries, roughly chopped
A handful of mint leaves
2 tsp gelatine
100ml/3 ½fl oz Pimm's, plus 1 tbsp
Place the orange zest and juice, sugar, half the strawberries and a small handful of mint leaves into a small saucepan and heat gently over a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved and the strawberries are soft. Mash the strawberries with the back of a wooden spoon, remove the mint leaves then push the mixture through a sieve into a clean pan.
Add 150ml/¼ pint water and sprinkle over the gelatine. Place over a low heat and stir until the gelatine has dissolved, being careful not to boil. Remove from the heat, stir in the 100ml Pimm's then pour into a plastic container. Chill for four hours, or until set.
Place the chopped orange, remaining chopped strawberries and tablespoon each of caster sugar and Pimm's in a bowl and mix well. Cover and chill in the fridge until needed.
To serve, scoop spoons of the jelly into glasses. Top with the chopped fruit and some extra mint leaves.
Berries with white-chocolate and brandy sabayon
I save this for special occasions, as it is quite rich. The sabayon can be made and eaten straight away, or left to cool and then served at room temperature.
500g/1lb mixed berries, we used blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and redcurrants
Zest and juice ½ lemon
2 tsp caster sugar
For the sabayon
100g white chocolate
3 egg yolks
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp brandy
Put the berries, lemon zest and juice and sugar in a bowl, stir and set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, then set aside. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl over barely simmering water and whisk using electric beaters until pale and frothy and doubled in volume.
Gradually add the brandy, continuing to whisk in to combine well. Whisk in the white chocolate and remove from the heat.
Serve the berries, topped by the sabayon.
And why are 'southern' ways of speaking spreading north?
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