I thought I would share a couple of simple recipes that are perfect for using up your summer fruits.
The onset of summer always fills me with a strong desire to go fruit picking, those glossy red berries seemingly symbolising everything wonderful about the summer, and reminding us of eating raw berries with stained fingers when we were children.
Unfortunately, the shelf life of soft berries is as transatory as the season itself and unless you know people who will gratefully accept jars and jars of jams, you may find yourself throwing out strawberries than have grown grey fur coats out to the birds (they're not as picky as us humans).
Fortunately, it is really easy to freeze fruits, you just need to lay them out flat on a baking sheet in the freezer for a day or so, before bagging up. By freezing in this way, you're left with whole fruits that haven't been crushed by other freezer hogging fruits that are demanding their own space in the bag.
The two recipes that I'm sharing are really simple but dazzingly effective, one for quenching your thirst and the other for a relaxed summers meal.
Firstly, you can use any berries you want. I used a combination of frozen blueberries and strawberries (which particularly benefit from the baking sheet method of freezing) but raspberries, loganberries, blackberries or currants would be just as good. It gives you a feeling of having grasped onto a fleeting moment of the summer when, in the middle of winter, you extract a bag of frosty berries from the freezer.
The first usage of fruit is just a simple fat-free smoothie which was inspired by the banana ice cream of several weeks back. I have been experimenting with freezing various fruits and then blending them to see what is achieved and the most succesful thing (in Paul's eyes - or tastebuds) was this chilly drink. The banana isn't obligatory and if you enjoy the tartness that some early season berries carry, then you'll love this. If, like me, you have a sweet tooth that constantly needles your pancreas, then the banana adds a natural sweetness as well as a definite creaminess and makes this drink more like a milk-shake than a healthy drink. Always a winner in my book if the health aspect is downplayed.
FROZEN BERRY SHAKE - makes about 1 pint
Handful of Frozen Berries of your choice
One banana, peeled and chopped (doesn't have to be frozen)
Skimmed Milk, about 3/4 Pint
Throw the berries into your blender and whizz up until they start to resemble unpolished rubies. Now add the chopped banana and blend some more until roughly amalgamated. You don't want to blend the fruits to obliteration at this point as you want to retain that icy cold flavour.
Finally, pour in some skimmed milk and process so that you have a hot pink shake. Add more milk if you prefer a more liquid shake. Pour into a glass (or two if you're sharing, I certainly couldn't manage a pint of milkshake although Paul can - and does) and enjoy!

The second dish is lifted from Ina Garten's latest book, The Barefoot Contessa at Home, Frozen Berries with Hot White Chocolate. It is a recipe that I fell in love with as soon as I saw it, the simplicity of the two ingredients, the slightly refrosted fruit and the silky chocolate and their stunning relationship on the plate, a bit like Rupert Everett and Anna Falchi in Delamorte Dellamore. One is earthy and bold, the other ethereal and pale.
And, whilst this isn't entirely healthy (white chocolate and double cream), it does feel like your body is somehow benefitting from this treat. It is also adaptable enough to serve at a romantic meal for two or at a casual get-together for eight.
300g Mixed Frozen Berries
150g White Chocolate
180ml Double Cream
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
About 15 minutes before you want to serve the berries, remove from the freezer and spread out, in one layer, on each serving plate (or shallow bowl).
To make the sauce, melt the white chocolate with the cream and vanilla extract in a bowl placed over gently simmering water. Do not let overheat or the chocolate might split (although a drop or two of cold water and some vigorous whisking should bring it back again). As soon as the sauce is completely melded together and is diaphanously fluid, pour over your prepared berries and serve to your eagerly waiting guests. And enjoy!


Lydia said...

I make a fruit shake that's similar to yours, but instead of milk I use unsweetened apple juice, and a frozen sliced banana. Comes out almost like fruit sherbet if you don't use much liquid, or like an ice cold fruit drink if you use more liquid. Yum.

Aimée said...

These sound great! Smoothies seem to be one of the few food groups that my 1 year-old agrees with. Go figure!

Kelly-Jane said...

They both sounds lovely for this time of year. My regular also uses fruit juice, but I add in about 2 tablespoons single cream for a little creaminess.

Ulrike said...


Hope you throat is well ;-)

valentinA said...

Hot white chocolate??? With berries?? I wish I could try that!
This sounds so yum, & it'd be perfect on a cold breezy day.... Ohh my..

Deborah said...

OOhh, that berries with white chocolate sounds amazing!

Cheryl said...

I also make a similar shake, but use Carnation Instant Breakfast and a banana.

Mrs. E said...

White there's something I never thought of doing. Sounds delicious :) will definitely try using it. Great recipes.

veron said...

love berry shakes... packed with antioxidants!

Cynthia said...

I do have some frozen strawberries and bananas I bought yesterday and it is scorching hot down here so I am going to make this smoothie a little later, put my feet up, languish on the patio and share a glass with my buddy Susan who is celebrating her birthday today. Thanks or the idea :)

I remember that dish that Ina made. I love all her food.

Hope your USB arrives soon. I miss seeing your creations.

katiez said...

The smoothie sounds wonderful - I like tart so I would leave out the banana.
I'm afraid I have never grasped the appeal of white chocolate.... Maybe if it went by another name ... If I'm going to consume chocolate calories I want black, 75% stuff - not even milk chocolate will do.
So, we could rename it whitalate....

Shaun said...

Freya, love - I, too, like to freeze fruit instead of tossing it to the birds (they spoil enough fruit on backyard trees as it is and don't need more from us). Mum has some frozen blackberries in the freezer right now. She doesn't know what to do with them. I'm thinking blackberry fool...we'll see.

wheresmymind said...

I can't wait to see some of your pix!

lululu said...

These 2 recipes can definitely satisfy my super sweet tooth!!!!

BTW, I miss you photos badly.

Kathryn said...

I love frozen berries with white choc sauce. Mmm. I've made that perhaps a bit too often given all the cream and choc but it somehow DOES feel healthy!

Little Foodie said...

I think we need a blender as the magimix spurts stuff everywhere if you put too much liquid in.. Sounds tasty. I've frozen some bananas to make the banana ice cream. Amanda

Kristen said...

Frozen berries with hot chocolate? Now, that sounds good!
That shake sounds delicious too!