Summer Berry Sorbet and Arlettes

Summer is here (at last!) and the shops are full of delicious ripe berries, so much so I’m constantly popping them into my shopping basket. Whilst you can’t beat a bowl of fresh berries, a homemade sorbet is a close second (especially now it’s hot), and a great option when you’ve managed to squash the whole punnet on the way home, like I did this week.

Whilst the dairy-free ice cream ranges are constantly improving, I’m more of a sorbet fan. A good sorbet is utterly delicious and so packed full of flavour that’s it’s perfect on a hot sunny day. Even before we were catering for food allergies, D and I would always choose sorbet for pudding.I’ve served this sorbet with these wonderful little wafers called Arlettes. They’re puff pastry spirals, rolled out very thin, coated in icing sugar and baked until golden. They’re the perfect caramel flavoured crisp accompaniment for any kind of pudding.

Summer Berry Sorbet

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

serves at least 6

150g caster sugar

200ml water

juice of 1/2 a lemon

400g berries

  1. Roughly chop the berries and then whizz up in a food blender. Sieve if you like a smooth sorbet, don’t if you like some pips.
  2. Dissolve the sugar in the water and lemon juice by bringing the syrup to a rolling boil. Immediately turn off and stir in the berry puree.
  3. Pour into an ice cream machine and churn as instructed, or pour into a Tupperware box and place int he freezer. If using the Tupperware method, remove from the freezer ever hour or so and give the sorbet mix a good stir/whisk, to break up any large ice crystals. The whole process should take 4 or 5 hours.
  4. Serve with this wonderful caramelised, crispy Arlettes for a show stopper dessert.

Arlettes

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes about 20

1/2 pack puff pastry

lots of icing sugar

  1. Roll the puff into a neat rectangle and then roll up to form a tight cylinder. Wrap and freeze for at least half an hour so it is very cold. Once chilled cut into 1/2cm slices
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade.
  3. On top a mound of icing sugar, roll out each circle until very very thin and totally covering in the icing sugar. Stamp out fluted circles, or traditional leaf shapes
  4. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 5-6 minutes until totally golden. Keep a close eye on them, a burnt Arlette is not nice! Once golden, turn over and bake for a further couple of minutes.
  5. Cool on a wire rack. These are best eaten on the day they’re made.

Very berry granola

 

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Cereal can be so dull. When you have restrictions on your diet the choices aren’t so great, despite being faced with entire aisles of boxes! Having to avoid milk, nuts and seeds we’ve found Nestlé brands are a no-go, so it has to be Kellogg’s every time, but even then only certain varieties. Rice Krispies and Cornflakes are good staples, Coco Pops are also fine but bizarrely Frosties are not an option! You might have imagined the opposite would be true. Sugar Puffs and Honey Pops can go down well but that’s about it. Dull huh?

That’s where granola comes in ( homemade, as most varieties contain nuts in some form) – working perfectly with any type of yogurt, this is a breakfast to appeal to both adults and children. I’d opt for dried fruits that aren’t sticky as the whole mix goes a bit cleggy – so with this one, I used a mixture of dried blueberries and freeze-dried strawberries. A colourful, healthy, tasty breakfast of champions!

Very Berry Granola (dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, can-be gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, soya-free)

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makes a 500ml jarful

  • 1 1/2 cups of oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps sugar
  • 2 tbsps sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsps maple syrup/golden syrup (honey for non-vegan option)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried berries of choice
  • 1/4 freeze-dried berries of choice

– Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade

– In a bowl mix together all the ingredients, except the dried fruit.

– Spread evenly over a baking tray lined with foil

– Bake for 20-30 minutes (stirring every 10 minutes) until very lightly golden.

– Cool, then stir in the dried fruits.

– Serve for breakfast topped with soya yogurt and maple syrup

 

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Red Berry Cordial

Due to the bad weather earlier in the summer, this was our first trip to a local ‘pick your own’. Sadly for them they hadn’t managed to make much grow this year, but did have plenty of berries, raspberries, loganberries, red currants… so we came away with far too many punnets of ripe red berries. Little S doesn’t even like berries, and I doubt even Big S could eat that many!

Some were scoffed straight away, some made jam and lots made this delicious, refreshing homemade cordial. It’s nothing like a shop-bought cordial, more a sweetened thick berry puree that tastes wonderful when diluted with sparkling water. Although make sure you remember it isn’t concentrated like the bought variety, so you’ll have to use almost half/half measures. Basically it’s late summer in a glass – yum!

Red Berry Cordial (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes 1 wine bottle full

  • 800g mixed berries ( I used, 200g red currants, 100g loganberries, 500g raspberries)
  • 350g caster sugar

– Sterilise a glass bottle

– Blend up the fruit with 100ml water

– Pass through a sieve, pressing the pulp and seeds to extract all the juice

– In a saucepan heat up the sugar with 100ml water, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.

– Pour the sugar syrup into the strained juice. Stir well.

– Pour into the glass bottle.

– Keep in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.