5 Essential British Summer Desserts

Discussion in 'Europe' started by NileGuide, May 30, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Summers don’t last long in London and those precious three months are crammed with outdoor concerts, alfresco dining, festivals, the social sporting events of Ascot, Wimbledon and Henley Royal Regatta, and lazy afternoons in pub gardens – which all must be accompanied by local seasonal treats. While you’re visiting this summer, be sure to indulge in a quintessential British summer delicacy listed below.
    Wimbledon's famous strawberries and cream, served with or without sugar

    • Strawberries & Cream – Strawberries are the soul of a British summer and the principal ingredient in English summer desserts. Eating the juicy heart shaped fruit slathered in rich cream is simply supreme. If you require proof then look no further than The Championships at Wimbledon where over 28,000 kg of strawberries and 7,000 liters of cream are consumed in a fortnight!
    • Eton Mess is another take on the classic strawberries & cream, although this time the two are mixed with pieces of crunchy meriengue into, well, a big mess. First served to students in the 1930s at the prestigious Eton College after a dog sat on a picnic hamper, Eton Mess evolved to include meringue and is still enjoyed at the school’s annual cricket match against Winchester College.
    • Trifle – The 16th century dessert has not changed much, with the exception of the ‘whether or not to include gelatin’ debate. Layers of custard, cake laced with alcohol, summer fruit, gelatin (or not), and whipped cream are gorgeously displayed in footed glass bowls. According to Mrs. Beeton (the Betty Crocker of England), trifle does not include gelatin.
    • Fool & syllabub – The two are often synonymous: crushed fruit folded into sweetened whipped cream, yet technically are different. Syllabub should include alcohol, sherry or white wine to be persnickety. Rhubarb or gooseberry are highly recommended.
    • Summer Pudding – Bread soaked in the fruit pieces and sugary juice of blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and red currants is then molded into a domed shaped pudding basin and chilled to set overnight. The bright red cake is turned out in a dramatic presentation with fruit spilling out and served with, you guessed it, cream. It’s a summer party for your taste buds.
    A gorgeous English summer pudding
    flickr image: kthread

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