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Compote of Figs in PortServes 4

Compote of Figs in Port

Dessert figs that have become too dry to eat as they are can be excellent made into a compote. This is superb served with ice cream, but failing that, try it with some Greek yoghurt.

 
 
Caramelised Orange TrifleServes 8-10

Caramelised Orange Trifle

I have been making the same Christmas trifle for years on end – but recently I decided to experiment with something new, without totally sacrificing the traditional qualities we've grown to love. This fits the bill perfectly.

 
 
Iced Chocolate Chestnut Creams with White Chocolate SauceServes 8

Iced Chocolate Chestnut Creams with White Chocolate Sauce

Easy to make, these impressive creams are one way to get ahead at Christmas: make them up to six weeks ahead for hassle-free entertaining.

 
 
Chilled Rum SabayonServes 8

Chilled Rum Sabayon

Serve this lovely, light sauce with mince pies or Little Mincemeat Souffle Puddings for a true taste of France...or Italy, where it's known as zabaglione. Either way, it will soon become a firm favourite.

 
 
Tropical Fruit Salad in Planter's PunchServes 8

Tropical Fruit Salad in Planter's Punch

Fruit salad with a kick, based on a Caribbean cocktail of rum, fruit juices and spice: a mouthwatering way to end a summer meal and a good recipe when entertaining.

 
 
Strawberry Cheesecake Ice CreamServes 8-10 – makes 2½ pints (1.5 litres)

Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

This is what I'd call half dessert and half ice cream. My niece Hannah and nephew Tom are chief ice-cream tasters in our family and this one gets very high ratings indeed. It differs from most other ice creams in that it needs 2 hours in the main bod

 
 
English Gooseberry CobblerServes 6

English Gooseberry Cobbler

This is a classic English version of a fruit cobbler, but speeded up with the aid of a food processor – which makes it one of the fastest baked fruit desserts imaginable.

 
 
Strawberry GranitaServes 8

Strawberry Granita

This is the recipe to make when there's a real glut of ripe strawberries. It's a much nicer way to conserve them than simply freezing them. The granita looks like sparkling jewels when you serve it in tall glasses.

 
 
Summer Fruit CompoteServes 6

Summer Fruit Compote

This wonderful summery compote is a great way to use up a glut of fruit if you grow your own or find some reduced in the shops. The joy of it is that you can use any fruit you like.

 
 
Prune, Apple and Armagnac Cake with Almond Streusel Topping

Prune, Apple and Armagnac Cake with Almond Streusel Topping

This is a cake that borders on being a dessert, and would be my choice for a celebration supper party, served warm with crème fraîche. If you are not a lover of Armagnac, the prunes also taste good served with port or amaretto liqueur.

 
 
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