• These Polish crepes (naleśniki) evoke strong family memories. (Jason Loucas)Source: Jason Loucas
Be merry with berries and embrace the season, because let’s face it, you can eat chocolate year-round.
29 Jul 2019 - 10:52 AM  UPDATED 30 Jul 2019 - 10:06 PM

With more and more fresh berries appearing on supermarket shelves, Australians no longer have to rely on the freezer section for our berry fix. Pick up a punnet on your next shopping trip and channel your inner European with these berry desserts (plus one dinner).

1. Swiss berry quilt cake

This is an impress-your-guests kind of cake, and its lightness is perfect for warm weather. Layer berry coulis with meringue-heavy sponge and smother in peach roasted peach coulis. Fruit provides all the colour so you can say goodbye to heavy, sweet icing.

2. Dutch summer pudding

If a laborious sponge cake isn’t your thing, you can thank the Dutch for this summer pudding recipe which uses ready-made (or old homemade) brioche soaked in berry coulis and layered with more fresh berries. Buttery bread soaked in sweet fruit puree? What could go wrong.

3. Blackberry fool

For a simple sweet treat, try our Matthew Evans’ blackberry fool recipe. His thick homemade custard base will envoke bakery vanilla slice memories, and it helps to give a bit of structure to the soft berry dessert. No need to be refined, a crème anglaise won’t work here or you’ll end up with soup.

4. Kefir panna cotta with vodka strawberry salad

For something a bit more hardcore that will strip and replenish your gut bacteria at the same time, try this polish kefir panna cotta with vodka strawberry salad. It’s a real quick one to put together, and who doesn’t love a boozy dessert?

5. Blackberry pie (pita od kupina)

Blackberry pie

Bake up a storm with this Croatian blackberry pie. The top is crumbly, crust buttery, and filling soft and fluffy. Take meringue and fold through fresh blackberries before baking in a pastry shell dotted with extra buttery dough.

6. Smashed liquorice meringues with berries & chocolate cream

Liquorice and chocolate is a classic Icelandic combination. Combined with meringues and fresh berries, you can’t get more European than that! Don’t tell Rick Stein, but in a pinch this recipe would be delicious even without the liquorice.

7. Cheese blintzes with blueberry sauce (nalesniki z serem)

These Polish crepes (naleśniki) evoke strong family memories.

Berry up some Polish cheese blintzes with traditional blueberry sauce. The light cottage cheese filling makes them the perfect breakfast or light dessert, or even dinner… we won’t tell.

8. Strawberry risotto (risotto alle fragole)

Yep, strawberry risotto. Believe it or not, this is a legitimate Italian dish, and after salting and slowly cooking in stock the strawberries take on a tomato-ey flavour. Topping strawberry rice with parmesan cheese feels a little weird, but the pretty pink colour makes for a good conversation starter.

Matthew Evans is back in his brand-new series of Gourmet Farmer, 8pm Thursday nights from August 1 on SBS and SBS On Demand. Visit the Gourmet Farmer website for recipes, the episode guide and more.

Scone fingers with strawberry compote

Scone fingers are an even easier way to enjoy this afternoon tea classic - no re-rolling the dough. It's all baked as one, and cut to serve. Perfect with an easy strawberry compote you can make in advance and have in the fridge, ready to serve.  

Pepperberry ice-cream

The scent of Tassie’s native pepperberry adds a lovely note to luscious ice-cream. You can make the basic custard, called an ‘anglaise’ in French, in a double boiler, which helps ensure you don’t overcook it.

Wasabi cranberry sauce

This is no regular cranberry sauce. This is one reinforced with a punchy heat of wasabi. Use it with Desiree Nielsen's tempura, or in whatever way takes your fancy. 

Strawberry tarts

These festive-looking tarts are perfect when you need to whip up a light dessert for entertaining, and can be served warm or cool. Serve with a dollop of your favourite creamy accompaniment. 

Rose and strawberry sufganiyot (jam doughnuts)

Make an extra batch of these Israeli doughnuts, because 12 is just not enough! 

Eggs, strawberries and wild Nordic foods: Can they really help you lose weight?
A simple guide to understanding what's behind the egg, strawberry and new Nordic diet (besides eggs, strawberries and Viking foods).
Banana berrylicious

Use fresh berries instead of frozen when they are in season and abundant. This smoothie bowl is great to whip up on short notice as it uses simple ingredients that you are likely to already have stocked in your house.

Strawberry margherita madness

Exactly what it sounds like: a boozy look-at-me margherita, made with coconut water for zippiness.