3 simple summer desserts

Apricot and Orange Flower water Fool

Serves 4

  • 500g ripe fresh apricot, halved and stones removed
  • finely grated zest and juice of 1 large orange
  • 140g golden caster sugar
  • 150ml water
  • 1/2tsp orange flower water
  • 500g carton mascarpone
  • 142ml carton double cream
  • 2tbsp finely chopped pistachio nuts to serve

Method

  • Put the apricot halves in a saucepan with the orange zest, juice, sugar and water. Shake the pan to combine, then simmer, uncovered, over a medium heat until the apricots are soft. This should take about 10-15 minutes.
  • Tip the contents of the pan into a blender or food processor and whizz to a purée. Decant into a bowl, stir in the orange flower water and leave to cool .
  • Soften the mascarpone in its tub by whisking it vigorously with a fork. Whip the cream in a bowl – you want it softly whipped not stiff. Fold in the mascarpone with a large metal spoon, then lightly swirl in the apricot purée to make a pattern.
  • Spoon the mixture into six wine glasses. (At this point, they’ll keep in the fridge for up to a day.) To serve, scatter over the chopped pistachio nuts .

Peach and Raspberry Friands

Makes 9

  • 100g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 125g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g plain flour
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 3 medium egg whites
  • finely grated rind1 unwaxed lemon,
  • 85g raspberries
  • 2 nectarines or peaches, halved and finely sliced

Method

  • Preheat the oven to fan 180C/ 200C/gas 6. Generously butter nine non-stick friand or muffin tins. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
  • Sift the icing sugar and flour into a bowl. Add the almonds and mix everything between your fingers.
  • Whisk the egg whites in another bowl until they form soft peaks. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, tip in the egg whites and lemon rind, then lightly stir in the butter to form a soft batter.
  • Divide the batter among the tins, a large serving spoon is perfect for this job. Gently press in a few of the raspberries in the top of each along with a few slices of the nectarines or peaches. Bake for 15-20 minutes until just firm to the touch and golden brown.
  • Cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then turn out and cool on a wire rack. To serve, dust lightly with icing sugar.

Almond Baked Golden Nectarines

The filling for these nectarines is a delicious almond frangipane using crushed amaretti biscuits . Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Serves 6

  • 6 nectarines, halved and stones removed
  • 100g amaretti biscuits
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 60g ground almonds
  • 60g caster sugar
  • 1 medium egg
  • 3tbsp flaked almonds
  • juice 1 large orange
  • 4tbsp dry Marsala

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/Fan 180C/gas 6. Place the nectarines in a single layer in a shallow roasting tin cut side up.
  • Place the amaretti biscuits in a food processor and blitz until you have coarse crumbs. Or place in a plastic bag and seal .Then , using a rolling pin crush the biscuits until you have coarse crumbs. Place in a bowl and add the butter, ground almonds, sugar and egg and mix together well.
  • Spoon the mixture into the cavity of the nectarines piling high and then scatter the flaked almonds over the top. Pour the marsala into the bottom of the tin with the orange juice and about 100ml water then bake uncovered for 20 minutes until the topping and filling is golden and crunchy and the nectarines are tender.
  • Serve warm with the juices spooned over with scoops of vanilla ice cream.