May 08, 2019
May is a great month. Not only does it mark the transition from Spring into Summer, it’s also the month that some of our favourite fresh ingredients come into season. The recipes included in this post contain fruit (or vegetables - trust us on this one!) that are now seasonal. They’re so delicious that you’ll wish it was always May!
Before we tuck in to these seasonal May bakes, let us tell you about our Baking Club. Each month, we send out a letterbox-sized parcel containing an exclusive recipe approved by Michel Roux OBE as well as all the dry ingredients you’ll need to make it, perfectly weighed out. We pay huge attention to the seasons when creating each recipe, so if you’re keen on using ingredients when they’re in season, you’re going to love the Baking Club!
While rhubarb isn’t everyone’s favourite vegetable (yes, kids - you read that right!), the combination of tart and sweet flavours in a rhubarb is pretty special. Rhubarb is seasonal between April and June, so May is a great time to be baking with it. And when you do, try mixing it with custard - a classic combination that’s hard to beat!
We’re in love with this Rhubarb & Custard Meringue Tart from BBC Good Food. It’s made with a sweet pastry, lightly spiced with ground ginger. The crisp pastry shell is crammed full of rhubarb puree flavoured with sweet orange and vanilla, mixed with a homemade custard. The tart is finished with beautiful Italian meringue kisses made with a rhubarb syrup. It’s the perfect dessert for a family get-together, or as the centrepiece for your next dinner party.
The freshest apricots will start showing up on supermarket shelves and greengrocers in either late April or early May, making them another brilliant fresh ingredient to include in your bakes. Most apricots are deliciously sweet and juicy, but look out for the small ones when buying apricots as these tend to give you the best flavour and juice content.
Our favourite recipe for baking with apricots is this Apricot & Raspberry Clafoutis from Tesco (https://realfood.tesco.com/gallery/top-fruity-bakes-and-cakes.html?id=e289e29a-2a22-4c4c-955d-a3b136ba2d4a). We love the contrast between the sweet raspberries and juicy apricots when mixed together with a light batter that goes slightly crispy when baked. It’s delicious when served warm with ice cream! While this recipe could be made with other stone fruit, for example cherries, peaches or plums, you can’t beat an apricot when it’s in season.
Grapefruit is available in supermarkets all year round, but the varieties we can buy in the UK are generally best between October and June. Grapefruits are packed full of nutrients including Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin C and potassium, all of which contribute to the grapefruit’s good reputation for weight loss and general good health. What’s not to like?
If that’s enough to get you excited to bake with grapefruit, try this Fresh Grapefruit Cake from Taste of Home. It’s made from two layers of sponge, flavoured with grapefruit juice and grapefruit zest, and then covered in a grapefruit flavour Swiss meringue buttercream. It makes a delicious summertime cake for your next picnic, so why not give it a try?
Nectarine season begins in late April and early May, so is another brilliant fresh ingredient to use in your recipes in the springtime. Nectarines are similar to peaches but tend to have a sharper taste, making them a great addition to sweet desserts for a bit of contrast.
We love this Nectarine Golden Cake from epicurious. It’s similar to a clafoutis, but has a slightly spongier texture and a hint of nutmeg and almond for some additional flavour. We love eating it still slightly warm from the oven with some ice cream or creme fraiche for a lovely springtime treat.
The month of May might be very slightly too early for carrots, but these vegetables are a year-round staple that make a wonderful addition to baking recipes. It’s definitely our favourite way of getting those 5 a day! And if you like the sound of including ‘hidden vegetables’ in your cakes and cookies, have a read of another blog post dedicated to the best vegetable cakes and bakes.
In May 2018, our Baking Club members enjoyed our recipe for Carrot Cake Cookies, made with oats, raisins and aromatic cinnamon. They’re topped off with a delicious cream cheese frosting, giving you all the flavours of a classic carrot cake but in cookie form!
If you want to enjoy a brand new seasonal recipe sent to your door each month, join the Baking Club! Each of our kits contains all the dry ingredients you’ll need to make an exclusive Michel Roux OBE recipe, as well as a step-by-step recipe card and some handy extras too.
Similar to carrots, the best season for gooseberries is late June and into July, but it can’t hurt to get a little prepared, can it? Especially as it’s becoming rare to see gooseberries in the shops, you’ll need to buy them as soon as you see them! The earlier it is in the season, the less sweet they’ll be, which means they’re best enjoyed as part of a dessert sweetened with sugar.
Members of our Baking Club will know that we love a drizzle cake, so when we found this Gooseberry & Orange Drizzle Cake from BBC Good Food, we were sold! It’s really simple to make too, using the all-in-one method for the sponge mixed with fresh gooseberries, and drizzled with a sweet orange drizzle to complement the gooseberries perfectly.
Each one of these recipes contains a seasonal ingredient that’s at its best in May (or just after!) Do you have any other recipes you bake in May? We’d love to hear your suggestions, so leave us a comment below!
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