Our resident chef Mark Hix on how to throw together the perfect dinner party dessert. It's all about the berries

 
Mark Hix

Summer fruits are delicious and they’re coming into season now. Strawberries and raspberries are classic, but if I want to impress or try something different, I’ll get my hands on tayberries – a cross between a blackberry and a red raspberry – or loganberries, which are probably best described as posh raspberries on steroids.

You can occasionally find them at farmers markets and fruit farms, but I’ve got a couple of plants down in Dorset. I have to get in there quick though, otherwise the birds get to them before I do.

If you’re planning a dinner party dessert, summer berries make life so much easier. There’s nothing more disappointing than ending a meal with a contrived and adventurous dessert that hasn’t quite gone to plan. Keep it simple; serve seasonal berries on their own or mix them up with a good quality ice cream on the side.

Tayberry and Kingston Black fool with honeycomb

SERVES 4
This fool can be made with most fruits, including gooseberries and all red summer fruits. Kingston Black is a fantastic apple aperitif made by Julian Temperley down in Somerset . If you can't get your hands on it, then a dessert wine will do just fine.

Ingredients

  • 300g tayberries or loganberries
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • A few pieces of honeycomb

For the fool

  • 5tbsp Kingston black or dessert wine
  • Juice from ¼ lemon
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 250ml the best double cream like Jersey
  • Put 100g of the tayberries in a pan with the sugar, and cook on a low heat for a minute. Remove from the heat and blend in a liquidiser until smooth. Refrigerate for about an hour.
  • For the fool, mix the Kingston Black or dessert wine, lemon juice and sugar, then add the cream and whip the mixture slowly with an electric whisk or by hand until thick. Then carefully fold two-thirds of the purée and half of the remaining tayberries to form a rippled effect.
  • Put the rest of the purée into the bottoms of individual glasses or a serving dish and spoon the cream mixture on top and chill for at least half an hour. Serve with the remainder of the tayberries on top of the cream mixture with a slice or two of honeycomb.

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