Serves 4

Very old-fashioned and not seen around very much now, crème Chantilly is a lightly sweetened cream laced with vanilla. Lovely with meringues if they are to be served on their own, or with apple or blackberry pie, which are two tarts perfect for making right now.

250ml/8fl oz double cream
1/2 vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise
2 tsp icing sugar

Put the cream into a bowl and whisk until you have soft peaks – the cream should just be able to stand up on its own. You will find the cream is much easier to whip if it is not too cold.

Now scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod using a sharp knife and gently fold into the cream. Sift the icing sugar above the cream so that all the lumps are removed and stir together.

Cover, and put in the fridge until you are ready to use – although it should not be made too long in advance, as it will begin to take on the flavours of the other food in your fridge if left to sit for hours.