Summer is peak season for mangoes in Florida. They drop off the trees and scatter over the ground and sidewalks. People literally can’t give them away and squirrels can’t get enough of them. Cantaloupe melons are also at their best and this really is a seasonal recipe to be enjoyed in the moment and put away for next year. The sweetness of the two ingredients is cut by the addition of lime juice and zest. For the melon I use a melon baller but if you don’t have one then cut the cantaloupe into chunks. Puree the mango to make a sauce which you can either pour over the melon balls or serve on the side so people can help themselves. Makes a quite decadent breakfast or a simple, thirst-quenching dessert.
1 x cantaloupe melon – de-seeded and cut into melon balls
1 x mango – peeled and cut into chunks
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lime
Place the melon balls in a serving dish
Puree the mango in a food processor along with the lime juice, then either drizzle over the melon or pour into a sauce bowl.
Grate lime zest over the melon.
Two flavors you may never have thought to find in the same recipe – balsamic vinegar and ripe red strawberries. I may never have tried this combination if I hadn’t been offered it at a friend’s house as the sound of it rather put me off. How wrong I was! The taste is hard to describe but suffice it to say that you get a hint of balsamic vinegar before the sweetness takes over. Best eaten the day it is made and is delicious served with meringues.
16 oz ripe strawberries – quartered and then cut into small pieces
2 tbsp. good quality balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. sugar
Place strawberries in a serving bowl, pour over the vinegar, then add the sugar and stir.
Cover the bowl and leave on counter top for half an hour or so, then refrigerate for an hour before serving.
This cake is traditionally found in the North Western region of Spain bordering on Portugal known as Galicia. Many European Catholics make a pilgrimage to this area to visit the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where it is believed that the relics of the Apostle St. James, Patron Saint of Spain, are buried. This type of cake can be found in virtually every bakery in the town and has the Cross of St. James depicted on the top of it. It is so easy to make and is virtually foolproof. The template of the St. James’s cross can be found on the internet, otherwise just sift confectioner’s sugar over the top. The cake is lovely and moist cake and can be eaten at any time of day with a cup of coffee or a cup of tea or a glass of dessert wine.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
1 x 8 – 9 inch round cake tin, oiled and lined with a circle of parchment paper (which should also be oiled on the top to prevent the cake sticking)
8 oz. caster sugar
8 oz. ground almonds
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Zest of half an unwaxed lemon
5 eggs – lightly beaten
Confectioner’s sugar for sifting over the top of the cake
Place the first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Slowly add the beaten eggs a little at a time while stirring with a spoon.
When mixture is smooth pour into the cake tin.
Cook in the oven for 50 around minutes until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch.
Turn cake out onto a cake rack and let cool before either placing the template on top of the cake (oil it lightly to stop it from moving around) and sift confectioner’s sugar over the cake. Carefully peel off the template and serve.
So simple and sophisticated. The addition of a couple of tablespoons of either of the liqueurs gives the fruit salad a delicious, richer flavor. I serve it in either a large glass bowl or individual glasses. Make the salad an hour or so ahead of serving and leave out of fridge so that the liqueur can permeate the fruit and stir it periodically. Creme de Cassis and Creme de Framboises are found fairly easily in a good drinks store and a little can be added to champagne. When I serve champagne like that I add either a blueberry or a raspberry to the glass for a nice effect.
6 oz strawberries – cut into quarters
6 oz raspberries
6 oz blueberries
2 tbsp. Crème de Cassis/Framboise
Combine all the fruits in a bowl.
Pour over the Crème de Cassis/Framboise, mix the fruits together and leave for an hour outside of the fridge before serving so that the liqueur permeates the fruit. Stir periodically.
Bought too many blueberries to nibble for breakfast and didn’t want them to go to waste. The only thing I could think of doing was to stew them but I wanted them to taste of something as blueberries can be quite bland and I didn’t want to add lots of sugar – I added a good teaspoon of honey and the juice of half an orange and the pulp too.
1 punnet of blueberries – about 8 oz
4 fl.oz boiling water
1 heaped tsp. honey
Juice of half an orange and its pulp
Place blueberries in a small pan and add the boiling water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and keep simmering until liquid reduces quite a bit.
Add the honey, orange juice and pulp and simmer for a while longer.
Can be served warm or cold – as is or over other fruits as dessert or breakfast (over banana slices hmm…)
This is a cake full of surprises. It has no frosting or filling and looks rather understated except for the sprinkling of confectioner’s sugar over the top. But it is moist as can be and oozes with citrus flavor due to the orange, lemon, lime syrup which as been slowly poured over it. It can be served as a dessert but a slice would be wonderful for afternoon tea. Can be served warm or cold.
Tip – because top of cake is moist the confectioner’s sugar should be sprinkled over at last minute
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
Juice of 1 lime, 1 lemon (Mayer type, if possible) and 1 orange
Bring water and sugar mixture to a boil.
Boil, stirring frequently, for around 15 minutes to reduce until it is slightly syrupy (it will not go thickly syrupy)
Canola oil for greasing a 9 inch cake tin and circle of parchment paper used to line the bottom of the cake tin.
4 x eggs – separated
Zest of 1 lime, 1 lemon (Mayer type, if possible) and 1 orange
1/2 cup of sugar – split into 2 x 1/4 cups as it is used for 2 different purposes
1 1/2 cups ground almonds
1 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
Mix egg yolks, 1/4 cup of sugar and zest together in a food processor.
Add ground almonds, baking powder and salt to egg mixture.
Beat egg whites until stiff, then add 1/4 cup of sugar a little at a time.
Fold egg whites mixture into ground almond mixture a spoonful at a time.
Put mixture into cake tin and cook at 350 degrees for 35 minutes (check cake at 15 minutes and cover loosely with aluminum foil if it is going too brown).
Turn cake out onto a rack to cool a little bit.
When still warm place cake on a flat plate, prick all over with a fork to make holes for the syrup to enter the cake, then spoon the syrup over the cake until it is saturated taking care to moisten the sides too. Serve any leftover syrup as a sauce.
The season is short for such fruits as apricots, nectarines and peaches which makes it all the more precious. I found all three fruits in beautifully ripe condition and I sliced them up and roasted them in the oven which intensified their flavor – they were absolutely heavenly as a dessert all by themselves.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2 ripe apricots – sliced
1 large, ripe nectarine – sliced
1 large peach – sliced
Place the sliced fruits on a piece of aluminum foil on a baking tray and roast in the oven for half an hour. Remove from oven and let cool.