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. 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.