The individual basin-shaped pudding arrived with a top knot of fruit. Made from pressing dark red summer fruits into a mould of bread, the double cream made marbled patterns in the blood red fluids that oozed out once cut. The added kick from this pudding came from the Pimms.

James Pimms has a lot to answer for! The Kent farmer served the concoction in a City of London oyster bar, back in 1823. What can be as British as Pimms?

Summer pudding is a 20th century creation that may have developed from Dr Johnson’s pudding of stewed rhubarb and gooseberries, layered between bread. Raspberries, strawberries, blackcurrants and blueberries reigned supreme.

Mulberries or tut are now in season and are ideal to use; just watch out for the clothes, as stains are unforgiving.

With these two desserts under our belts, it set me thinking of what other treats lay in store for me this summer. Then to our table came along a tray of cute miniature cones of sorbet to clear the palate.

In Malta, watermelon is king. If you fancy trying something a little fancier, try watermelon fluff. De-pip and purée the flesh and thicken with gelatine and leave to set over-night. Layer spoonfuls of the puree with cream or yoghurt and top with a little toasted coconut. And if you get bored of eating it, try carving the green monsters. The Japanese have made them into a high art form often seen on cruise ship buffets.

With well-chilled cantaloupes, there is nothing better than scooping the ripe flesh into balls and adding just a splash or two of Limoncello liqueur.

Fruit pizza may seem an odd idea but will make its own statement as a showy finale to a meal. Sweet pastry, rolled out and gently baked in a pizza pan, can, when cool, be topped with cream and adorned with concentric circles of contrasting coloured fruit.

Figs on a skewer are ideal for the barbecue. Take ripe figs and fill with a little goats’ cheese. Wrap each fig in a vine leaf and skewer several together. Lightly oil and grill for just a few minutes. Drizzle with a little honey and you have a treat from heaven.

Finally, to peaches and cream but with a twist. Halve the ripe peaches and brush with a mix of brown sugar, nutmeg and melted butter. Place on a grill or barbecue and serve with cream.

With little preparation time, these desserts are the epitome of summer.

From my first summer pudding at the Brasserie Max in the theatre district of London, I can thankfully say summer has arrived no matter what.

Summer fruits have won, hands down.

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