June is when summer really begins in the UK and the ripening of juicy fruits coincides with lighter, warmer evenings and the feeling of freedom when you release your feet from winter boots into summer sandals. There’s a beautiful heap of June fruit to be eaten, either in its natural state or used in mouth watering recipes. Even better, you can eat a cake made with delicious June fruit and claim it as health food, as it makes up one of your five a day!
Fruits in season June: Apricots
Fruit doesn’t get much more attractive than apricots – the soft, almost fuzzy skin, the fragrant flesh which is at the same time tart and sweet. It can be used in so many recipes but it’s hard to beat the simplicity of a tarte Tatin.
Preheat the oven to 190C. Scatter 35g of caster sugar in a heavy based, oven safe frying pan and heat gently. As the sugar begins to caramelise, scatter over another 35g and stir in unti you have a soft, golden syrup. Whisk in 40g of melted butter and, once well combined into a caramel, remove from the heat. Place apricot halves with the cut side up into the caramel – as many as will fit in the pan. Cover the caramel apricot layer with a sheet of puff pastry, cut slightly larger than the pan so that you can tuck the edges in around the sides. Prick the pastry with a fork to allow steam to escape than bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and risen. Allow to cool for 15 minutes then turn out onto a plate..
Fruits in season June: Cherries
Like apricots, there’s something extremely sensuous about cherries. Once again simplicity is beautiful, so try a good, old fashioned pie.
Heat 150g of good quality back cherry jam gently in a saucepan with 100ml water until melted and bubbling. Make a smooth paste of one tablespoon of arrowroot and two tablespoons of water and stir into the jam mixture until smooth and thickened. Stir in 750g fresh cherries, stones removed and leave to cool. Use ready made pastry to line a pie dish and fill with the fruit mixture, then top with the pastry and prick with a fork. Glaze with some beaten egg and bake for 40-45 minutes in a preheated oven at 190C, until the top is golden.
Keep an eye out for other fruits in season in June such as kiwi and a number of red fruits just beginning to make their mark on the season: blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.