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Eat the Seasons - July 2012

 

In season this month

 

Fruit, Nuts & Fungi
Apricots, Blackcurrants, Blueberries, Cherries, Gooseberries, Raspberries, Redcurrants, Rhubarb, Strawberries, White Currants, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Pignuts, Summer Truffles
Vegetables & Herbs
Beetroot, Broad Beans, Carrots, Cauliflower, Courgettes, French Beans, Garlic, Globe Artichokes, Kohlrabi, Lamb's Lettuce, Onions, Pak Choi, Peas, Poatatoes, Radishes, Rocket, Samphire, Sorrel, Spinach, Tomatoes, Watercress
Meat & Game
Rabbit, Wood Pigeon
Fish & Shellfish
Black Bream, Crab (Brown, Hen & Spider), Signal Crayfish (Freshwater), Cuttefish, Lobster, Mackerel, Pollack, Scallops, Sea Bass, Sea Trout, River Trout (i.e. Brown and Rainbow)

At this time of year soft fruits are really coming into their own, and home vegetable patches and allotments will be bursting at the seams.  Hoopefully by the time you are reading this we will have had some more sunshine to ripen all the crops which had a real growth spurt thanks to the heavy rain in June.  Now is the time to enjoy British grown raspberries and strawberries, straight from the punnet, or included in many a pudding recipe.  The raspberries grown on our own little vegetable plot rarely make it back to the kitchen, especially when my children are helpingto pick them!  July is also particularly good for legumes, with peas at their sweet, snappy best and the first of the runner beans ready to be harvested.  New potatoes should be around for a little longer too; boiled and buttered they go with almost anything.

Fromage Frais Cheesecake with Lemon & Blueberries

It seems like every magazine we pick up at the moment has a cheesecake recipe in - but we hope you will agree that none are as good as this one!

Serves 8

Ingredients

For the base

  • 8oz (225g) sweet oat biscuits
  • 20z (50g) butter, melted

for the filling

  • 4oz (350g) full-fat curd cheese
  • 12oz (350g) fromage frais (8 per cent)
  • 3 x size 2 eggs
  • 6oz (175g) caster sugar
  • Zest from 2 lemons

For the topping

  • 1 1/2lb (700g) blueberries
  • 2 level tablespoons caster sugar

You will also need a 9" (23cm) springform baking-tin.

Method

  1. Begin by crushing the biscuits in a food processor or with a rolling-pin, then mix with the melted butter.
  2. Press the mixture into the base of the tin and put it into the fridge to firm up.
  3. Heat the oven to 150 deg. C
  4. Mix together the curd cheese, fromage frais, eggs, sugar and lemon zest using an electric hand-whisk.
  5. Pour the mixture over the biscuit base and place on the centre shelf of the oven for 30 minutes.  At the end of the cooking time turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside the cooling over to set until it's completely cold (this method prevents cracking).
  6. Once cold, remove from the oven and from the tin, transfer to a plate and chill until needed.
  7. To make the topping, weigh out 8oz (22g) of the blueberries, place in a food processor with the sugar and puree.
  8. To serve, arrange the remaining bluebarries over the surface of the cheesecake, then spoon some of the puree over them and serve the rest separately as a pouring sauce.