Summer baking 2013

I’m looking at a very busy summer but I will definitely try and squeeze in some baking time. I find that warmer weather means an increase in social activities and, whether it’s an invitation for a BBQ in the garden or plans for a countryside picnic, I always want to bake something really tasty as my contribution.


This summer, I find my self obsessed with pies. I believe I’ve found my perfect shortcrust pastry recipe (it’s the one from Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef) that I’ve made quite a few times and it never disappoints. I want to take advantage of all the delicious fruit in season and put it in a pie! I’m thinking of something like this Blueberry and Blackberry Pie or this Strawberry Ginger Pie by Joy the Baker or Nigella’s Blackberry and Whitecurrant Tart from How to Be a Domestic Goddess.

This is true for most of the year but, in the summer especially, I crave zingy, lemony flavours. I made this Lemon Meringue Pie for a BBQ a while ago and it was just perfect! It was the perfect combination of sour and sweet and the meringue was brilliantly crunchy and chewy. Plus, I’ve been working on my piping bag skills and it actually looked stunning too! So I will be making it again for sure. There’s also the Lemon and Lime Cream Tart from The Naked Chef that looks fantastic but I’ve been scared to try until now.

Ok, enough about pies! I think it’s finally time for me to bake a classic Victoria sponge. I’ve made variations in the past, like a chocolate sandwich cake with chocolate icing or a lemon drizzle cake with candied lemons but never the original. So, this summer I will make a Victoria sponge cake with cream and raspberry jam in the middle, and lots of berries, cream and icing sugar on top. Like this one.

Speaking of jam, in further efforts to become my grandmother, I am thinking of making my own. This recipe for Peach and Plum Jam from Martha Stewart Living is what started it all.Β I know it’s not meant to be difficult and I find the potential for variations thrilling. And, having jars of homemade jam in the fridge strikes me as very domestic goddess-y and I like it! But I’ve never made any kind of preserve before so I’m still a bit hesitant. What do you think? Have you ever made jam?

Finally, I am very excited to put my new loaf tin to good use. (Up until now, I never needed a tin for making bread.) I made a Brown Butter Banana Bread with Rum and Coconut the other day and it won’t be the last time this summer because Joy the Baker is a genius! Next I would like to make a carrot cake or maybe a coffee cake. Do you have any such recipes to suggest? I also remember having walnut cake years ago and it was delicious…

So, that’s what will keep me busy and happy in the kitchen this summer. What’s on you baking to-do list these days?

P.S. If you are looking for an easy summer dessert, I made the Meringue Sandwiches with Strawberries and Cream in the top picture and they were a huge hit in one of our recent BBQs (plus more piping bag practice). The variations for the filling are endless: lemon curd, coffee cream, mascarpone… For an even easier dessert, nothing is more summery than the Elderflower Jelly in Miss Dahl’s Voluptuous Delights.

21 thoughts on “Summer baking 2013

  1. Trish says:

    For some reason I do more baking in the fall and winter than I do in the summer. Maybe because the thought of turning on my oven when it’s already 100 degrees outside makes me want to melt. The sponge cake looks delicious, though, and I’ve been trying to think up ways to use my first batch of jam from this year because I’m not crazy about it (hub wanted me to not completely crush the fruit and I don’t like the chunkiness of it). Re jam. I started last year and have now made four batches. All of the recipes have come from Ball Guide to Preserving, so tried and tested again and again. It is much easier than I expected BUT it does require a lot of steps and I find it helpful when I have Scott helping me get through. The last batch I made took two hours start to finish. You can do it!! πŸ˜‰

    • bookworm says:

      I totally understand why you’d be reluctant to spend time in a hot kitchen when it’s boiling hot outside. I don’t bake on hot days either, and it’s never as hot here as where you are!
      As for jam, I hadn’t realised it was so time consuming. Were you making very big batches? If I were to try, I think I would do very small quantities, at least at first…
      And yes, what better way to use up jam you’re not so keen on than to stick it in a cake?!

    • bookworm says:

      I think meringues are great for summer desserts, they are easy enough to make in large quantities, extremely versatile and so light and fluffy and sweet!

  2. fanficfan44 says:

    My daughter loves meringues, it is just too humid right now to make them. the lemon tart sounds good. I love shortcrust pastry. i usually use Martha Stewart’s but I’ll have to try Jaime’s.

    • bookworm says:

      I first made Jamie’s Shortcrust Pastry about 3 years ago in order to bake his Simple Chocolate Tart which was one of the first things I ever baked. It was delicious and I’m very fond of it so I haven’t even tried a different recipe for shortcrust dough!

  3. Teddyree says:

    Ooh your meringues look so pretty. We made individual ones (like an individual pavlova shell) last weekend and filled them with vanilla bean custard, fresh cream, strawberries and passionfruit. Will have to check out your lemon meringue pie recipe, I love citrus desserts and I make a yummy Key Lime Pie!

  4. Beth F says:

    I love making meringue. It’s so pretty and light. In my youth, I would spend hours canning jams and preserves but I’ve gotten away from it lately. Maybe you’ve inspired me! What a wonderful roundup of summer recipes.

    • bookworm says:

      Meringue has been my saviour on a couple of occasions lately when I needed a gluten free option for dessert. And I love that it’s so versatile!
      As for jam, I really want to give it a go. At the moment, I’m still enjoying summer fruit as it is but, once I’ve had my share of eating peaches over the sink, I’ll get jamming! πŸ™‚

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