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Kitchen Secrets: Readers share their simplest summer dessert ideas (with no baking required)

Make the most of juicy peaches and ripe raspberries with these no-bake recipes.

Image: Shutterstock/Piccia Neri

EVERY HOME COOK has their own kitchen hacks, cheats and traditions, and we want to know yours.

Each week as part of our Kitchen Secrets series, we ask readers to share their cooking tips and go-to-food and drink ideas. From the secret to quick-and-easy dinners, to the best way to scramble an egg, we set a new question every seven days.

This week, we asked Ireland’s home cooks for their favourite summer fruit desserts.

What’s one really simple dessert made with summer fruits?

Next week, we’ll be sharing the childhood dishes readers still love to make – and we want to hear yours. Email us on food@thejournal.ie – and you could see your response in the magazine!

Ripe peaches with a few add-ins: I love sliced peaches marinated in lime juice, fresh basil and sugar. Marinate for a few hours and then eat as they are. You can reduce the leftover juice into a syrup and serve with some softly whipped cream.

- Donna O’Shaughnessy

Eton mess with shop-bought meringue nests: This dessert is so simple to prepare and yet so delicious. I use shop bought meringue nests, fresh raspberries, double cream and a little sugar. Whip the cream, add sugar, squash half the raspberries and stir through the cream. Gently break the meringues. Next just fold all your ingredients together and you’ve got the perfect ending to any summer meal.

- Angela Nolan

DIY vanilla panna cotta (with a splash of booze): One of my favourite (also easy and quick) dessert recipes is panna cotta. Vanilla is a classic and goes with everything but lately I’ve been adding some cream liqueur to mine – everyone perks up with a bit of booze in their dessert! I use this recipe.

I usually make a fruit compote to go with it, which breaks through the creaminess. Mix together 350g berries with 175ml sugar, splashes of water added gradually (you’ll know if you need to add more by eye, your sauce needs to be syrupy, not set like jam) and a teaspoon vanilla extract. Gently cook over a low heat until the berries and sugar have melted down. Try to keep some berries whole (or add them in last minute) as this looks even better. Serve drizzled over your set panna cotta with a sprig of mint on top. Voila!

- Donna Connolly

Fancy ice cream sandwiches: Buy some small brioche buns (the posh burger bun) and toast for a few minutes. Get yourself a few different ice cream flavours, some chopped nuts; a bowl of chocolate; a bowl of whipped cream; some chopped fresh berries and then build your own sandwich and dust with icing sugar to finish. If the bun is still warm, then you’ll just have to eat this quickly. Tasty and slightly messy fun!

- Ross Boxshall

Nutty cheesecake, no oven required: I make mine with a nut base topped with strained yoghurt (I use labneh but you could use strained Greek yoghurt), plus lovely seasonal fresh fruit like raspberries or strawberries. It tastes deliciously creamy and is easy to make.

- Fiona Staunton

More: Readers share the one power ingredient that’s always in their fridge>

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