Lemon, berry and Wighton cheese trifle

Summer Tiramisu
June: Step by Step Dish.
Prepared by Richard Hughes, Lavender House, Brun

STEP 1 Summer Tiramisu June: Step by Step Dish. Prepared by Richard Hughes, Lavender House, Brundall. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

Tempted by the coast, the garden and the deckchair, the summer months mean people are far less likely to want to spend their leisure time in the kitchen. Barbecues, picnics and al fresco eating are the order of the day for the coming weeks and so we are looking for dishes that are fresh, easy to prepare and reflect what’s in abundance in the farm shops, by the roadside and in our gardens and allotments.

I never look to complicate this season’s ingredients. English soft fruits are at their peak for what seems such a short time that your chosen recipes should be sympathetic to your ingredients. Keep it simple is the mantra.

This little trifle-cum-cheescake fits the bill, it’s probably one of the simplest recipes we’ve done here in the step-by-step column. The first of the summer berries go beautifully well with fresh soft cheese; think of the classic French couers a la crème.

This simple dessert of soft cheese, sour cream and sugar is served moulded in wicker heart-shaped baskets and is a classic from the Normandy area, a region not unlike Norfolk with its proximity to the coast, rolling crops and love of the land. It’s an area of France that will doubtless be in many people’s minds as we commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D Day landings.

Closer to home we have a number of cheeses to choose from, the goats’ curd from Fielding Cottage, the Nortons’ Dairy St Swithin’s Soft range or, as here, Mrs Temple’s Wighton are all suitable for this lovely summer dessert.

Richard Hughes if chef proprietor of The Lavender House at Brundall and the Richard Hughes Cookery School. He is also director of The Assembly House, Norwich; www.thelavenderhouse.co.uk, www.richardhughescookeryschool.co.uk

Lemon, berry and Wighton cheese trifle

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Makes four individual sundae dishes

125g Madeira cake

Limoncello liqueur

125g caster sugar

125ml whipping cream

125g Wighton cheese (or your favourite soft cheese)

200g Norfolk summer berries (I’m using strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

1 Cut the cake into a dice.

2 Place in the bottom of the chosen trifle glass.

3 Place half of the berries into a bowl, add 25g sugar.

4 Crush the berries lightly with a fork.

5 Place the crushed berries on to the sponge.

6 Whip the cream with a dessertspoon of the liqueur, until it begins to thicken.

7 Crumble the Wighton cheese into a mixing bowl.

8 Add 50g sugar.

9 Beat the cheese and sugar together.

10 Add the whipped cream, and beat again until smooth.

11 Pipe the cheese mixture on to the sponge.

12 Top with the remaining berries and fresh mint.

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