Jam is a lovely way of preserving some of our beautiful summer fruits. Making jam needs no special equipment, although you may find a jam funnel useful for the hot jars to prevent the jam dribbling down the sides.
Preparation time : 10 minutes. Cooking time: 45-55 minutes, Makes 1 x750ml jar or 3 x 250ml jars
1kg blackcurrants, stalks removed
750g jam sugar
This is a simple tray-bake using seasonal English cherries. It is kept very moist by using mild olive oil or vegetable oil in place of butter and with the addition of ground almonds.
Any stone fruit would be suitable, too — Victoria plums or apricots perhaps, stones removed, sliced in half and scattered over the batter.
225g caster sugar
4 large, free range eggs
Finally we are into the best season of the year for locally grown fresh produce. This dish makes the most of all the gorgeous vegetables that are now appearing. Use as many colours as you can. I used red, green and orange peppers and green tomatoes from Borough Market. Pistachios intensify the green colour of the pesto and add an unusual flavour.
This is one of my favourite desserts, good served warm or cold. Rose water gives the fruit compote a wonderful flavour and the pomegranates add a crunchy texture that complements the berry fruits beautifully. Pomegranates are a good source of vitamin C and fibre.
1 large ripe peach
2 large red plums
2 tbsp caster sugar
This provençal tart is a great starter, served as just a little square on a plate, as it really gets the taste buds going Admittedly, I have served just this tart with a green salad for what was supposed to be a light dinner, and we ended up damn near finishing it all.
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 large sliced onions
British-grown rhubarb is still plentiful. Its tart flavour makes it the perfect partner for this pavlova’s sweet, crisp meringue and gooey vanilla cream. Do whip your egg whites well before adding sugar slowly, whisking all the time to make sure all it is incorporated, otherwise the pavlova may brown when cooking.
Tiko Tuskadze of the Little Georgia restaurant uses two small, green sour plums which give this very typical Georgian stew its unique flavour. Sour plums are now in season and available from Turkish or Persian shops, but you could substitute a large red or yellow under-ripe plum.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 90-110 minutes