Fig and almond biscuits

Serves 4

Crisis may be over for honey bees as more survive winter

More honey bee colonies made it through this winter than last year despite the harsh conditions, the British Beekeepers' Association says today. But while there was a "small and encouraging improvement" in survival rates this year, the UK's honey bees are still not healthy enough, the organisation's president Martin Smith warns.

Spring goat's cheese and rhododendron honey

Serves 4

Let there be light: Skye Gyngell's soft, subtle spring desserts

As the weather gets warmer, the desire for heavy, warm desserts diminishes – all that is needed now is a little sweetness to complete a meal. Forced rhubarb is still just about around and the beautiful alphonso mangoes from India carry us over until more fruit is available here. Soft spring goat's cheese is in its prime and, served with a spoonful or so of honey, crosses the bridge perfectly between cheese and dessert. All the recipes here are simple and quick to prepare.

Poached chicken and lentil salad

Serves 4

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Madeleines

Makes about 12

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Sadly, the pie has a rather chequered history, due to the fact that there are so many shockingly cheap and nasty examples on our shop shelves. But a well-made pie using good ingredients is sublimely satisfying and guaranteed to make the family's eyes light up as you place it on the dinner table. Pie toppings can range from fluffy mashed potato to melt-in-the-mouth shortcrust pastry to puff pastry for a b'stilla, a Moroccan version of a pie.

Date, almond and honey b'stilla

Serves 4-6
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