You won’t be able to stop nibbling on this cake. It’s the one-bowl-beat-everything-together-and-then-bake method. I used cardamom when I tested it first, but did not love the flavour. I switched to vanilla, but experiment yourselves. Vary the fruit using chopped peaches, blueberries or apricots and add some grated lime rind for a little lift. Serve a slice with ice cream and extra fruit for dessert. To pit the sour cherries, I smashed them with a knife and the pits popped out.
The quintessential Canadian dessert, butter tarts are the perfect summertime indulgence, although bakers tend to charge a fortune for them and there’s always competition over whose is the best. This long weekend, blow them all out of the water with these easy, decadent bars that put a spin on the classic. For a more traditional homage, omit the caramel drizzle.
If you have visited French pâtisseries in Paris, you know that one of the confections that always looks so beautiful are the tarts. Making one as pretty and delicious as they are in France is easier than you might imagine and each step can be done ahead of time. This tart is inspired by one of my favourite pâtisseries in Paris, Gérard Mulot in the 7th arrondissement. The pastry is similar to a rich shortbread crust and there’s just a hint of mint and lemon in the custard. It is glazed with chocolate, which stops the custard from running and making the tart soggy. You can glaze it up to an hour before serving but don’t refrigerate it afterward or the glaze may run.
I have childhood memories of rhubarb just picked from the garden and Mum making this rhubarb sponge. Rich and caramel-like with a moist sponge on top, it beats all the rhubarb desserts I know. For my best childhood memories I would serve it with custard, but as an adult I serve it with salted caramel gelato and everyone begs for more.
If I make custard I use the British custard power, Birds, which is not too sweet although you could easily just serve it with whipped cream. I also use Lyle’s golden syrup, a thick caramel-like syrup made from sugar cane, which is supermarket available but you could substitute with maple syrup.
This recipe looks spectacular and it is easy to make. Using phyllo dough and store-bought or homemade lemon curd, it takes very little time to put together. I find it best to stack the desserts about an hour before dinner to allow softening but no sogginess.