Strawberry sorbet with fresh berries and mint.
Strawberry sorbet with fresh berries and mint. PHOTO Thinkstock

RECIPE: Matt Sawtell's berry delicious desserts

IT'S berry season and they're bountiful.

Take advantage of summer's nutritious fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries while they are cheap. 

Most store-bought berries will stay fresh for about five days. Simply freeze them and use at a later date.

Berry sorbet


  • 4 cups fresh raspberries, strawberries or blueberries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup water


In a saucepan, bring sugar and 1 cup water to the boil.

Stir regularly until sugar dissolves.

Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and let syrup cool.

Blend your choice of berries and 1/2 cup water into a puree.

Strain into a bowl using a fine sieve. Add syrup and combine.

Refrigerate for 60 mins then place in an ice cream machine.

Store in an airtight container in the freezer. Makes 1 litre.

Blueberry panna cotta


  • 1 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean pod
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 3 tsp gelatine powder
  • 1 punnet fresh blueberries
  • icing sugar


Combine cream and milk in a saucepan over medium heat.

Cut the vanilla bean lengthways and scrape out the seeds.

Add seeds to saucepan.

Bring mixture to slow boil. Remove from heat, then add sugar.

Return to stove on low until sugar dissolves.

Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with gelatine.

Use a whisk to dissolve gelatine in mixture.

Divide into lightly oiled ramekins and refrigerate for three hours.

Coat berries in icing sugar and serve over panna cotta.

Balsamic strawberries and cream


  • 250g fresh strawberries
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbs sugar


Halve strawberries, then toss balsamic vinegar and 1 tbs sugar in a bowl.

Refrigerate for one hour or try roasting them in the oven at 180C for 10 to 15 minutes.

Whisk mascarpone, cream, vanilla and 1 tbs sugar.

Serve cooled berries with cream.

Raspberry iced tea


  • 1 cup of strong black tea
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 3 cups iced water
  • juice of 1-2 lemons and sliced lemon to serve
  • 150g fresh raspberries, gently muddled
  • 2 cups ice
  • mint leaves


Dissolve sugar in cup of black tea.

The tea should be strong but not bitter.

Allow to cool.

In a litre jug, combine tea, iced water, lemon juice, raspberries and torn mint leaves.

Serve over ice and garnish with a slice of lemon.

Watermelon and strawberry granita


  • 1/2kg seedless watermelon, diced
  • 1 punnet strawberries
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 2 tbs sugar.


Blend all ingredients in food processor until smooth.

Pour through sieve into a large container.

Freeze for five hours or until almost set.

Use a fork to scrape the granita to form ice crystals.

Return to freezer for one hour before serving in a glass.

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