Summer has officially begun and with it a bounty of seasonal berries are making their way to our shop shelves or ripening on hedgerows and garden plots. Now's the time for strawberries and raspberries, blackcurrants and gooseberries, for jam-making and strawberries and cream, and hot summer pudding. If you're looking for some more ways to celebrate this year's berries or for a more exciting alternative to that Wimbledon classic, here are eight desserts to inspire you.
A NOPI-style Eton Mess, this combination of strawberry sorbet, crushed meringue, mascarpone, pomegranate seeds and rose water, is really quite something. You'll need an ice cream machine to make the strawberry sorbet or you can buy a good-quality ready-made one instead – assemble it all last minute in cute glasses for an impressive dessert.
A five-minute dessert using shop-bought meringues, vanilla ice cream, plenty of fresh berries and shavings of chocolate, a simple but impressive way to round off a summer meal. Jamie uses blueberries and raspberries here, but swap in whatever berries you have to hand.
Capture the taste of warm afternoons and summer picnics into a pot of the good stuff – and this jam is not just for spreading on toast. Kylee Newton recommends pouring it over vanilla ice cream for an instant dessert. Yes!
“This is a good pudding to remember if you have over-ripe strawberries which are slightly past their best”, says Ottolenghi, who roasts them with citrussy sumac, vanilla and mint until soft, sticky and aromatic. Serve up with a zingy yoghurt cream and all those lovely juices drizzled on top.
For a vegan take on a summer show-stopper, this meringue uses aquafaba instead of egg whites. Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas or pulses. “It's kind of like vegan magic”, says Rachel Ama, who tops her crisp, light meringue with whipped coconut cream and plenty of fresh berries and a delicious berry drizzle.
These 'hot strawberries' aren't roasted or cooked down, but rather quickly heated in a pan with butter and flambéed with a splash of brandy – the contrast of hot and cold is what you want here, served with ice cream and crunchy amaretti for added crunch too.
Wedge your strawberries and cream into still-warm buttery, crumbly short cakes for quintessential afternoon tea vibes. Alternatively, try Mary Berry's strawberries and cream Wimbledon Cake from Mary Berry's Baking Bible.
These pretty pastries might make you think of a delicate bake worthy of a French patisserie but Mary has simplified hers with an easy whipped mascarpone filling, topped with strawberries and a redcurrant jelly. “Strawberries are a classic topping, but raspberries or blueberries would be lovely too”, says Mary.