I have always had a sweet tooth and, if I had to choose, it would be dessert rather than starter for me everytime. What a good time to think about all the lovely fruit we have here in Spain and what to cook with it. We have orange, lemons, apples, figs, grapefruit and grapes in our garden, so no excuses for not eating fruit.

There is even more varieties available on market stalls throughout the year and another very good reason why we live in Spain. Fruit helps control cholesterol, normalize blood pressure, helps to reduce inflammation in conditions such as arthritis and helps your skin feel younger. However, once the fruit is picked or harvested, their antioxidant power starts to dwindle, so the fresher the fruit, the better. Below are a few fruit recipes, but there are so many I will repeat this again in a few months, so watch this space.

Buen Apetito

Summer Fruit Tartlets

125g plain flour
50g icing sugar
60g butter
75g milk chocolate
400g mixed summer red fruits (cherries, raspberries and redcurrants make a good display)
2 tbsp raspberry jam
1 small banana

Sift the flour and sugar in a bowl. Dice the butter and rub in with your fingertips. Add the egg and mix to a dough. Cover with cling film and chill for 30 minutes.

Divide the pastry into four equal pieces and roll out flat, curve up the edges and put triple thickness foil around the outside. Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl. Brush the chocolate inside the pastry cases and top with summer fruit. Warm the jam and sieve until smooth then brush over the fruit. Slice the banana and push some slices into the centre of each tartlet and serve.

Mango and Lemon Brulee

2 mangos
225ml mango juice
300ml double cream
6 tbsp lemon curd

Peel the outer skin of the mango, then with a knife carefully cut the flesh away from the stone. Chop the flesh and divide between four dessert glasses. Pour over the mango juice. Lightly whip the cream until it holds its shape, fold in 4 tbsp of lemon curd and gently scoop on top of the flesh. Drizzle remaining lemon curd over the mixture.

Apricot Fudge

450g granulated sugar
100g butter
150ml milk
150ml evaporated
100g ready to eat dried apricots

Place sugar, butter, milk and evaporated milk in a heavy based pan and heat gently until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil without stirring and then boil gently until the mixture is 116ºC (a sugar thermometer is best used for this). Stir occasionally to prevent the milk scorching. Chop apricots, remove pan from heat and add to mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes grainy and thick. Pour into lightly oiled tin and leave to set. When almost set mark squares with a knife which allow for easier removal when completely set.

Banana and Strawberry Honey Crisp

75g oats
25g caster sugar
25g butter
I lemon
1 tbsp orange blossom honey
225g strawberries hulled and halved
4 medium bananas peeled and thickly sliced
4 tbsp Greek yogurt

Sprinkle oats over a baking sheet and scatter with sugar. Dot with butter and then drizzle over the honey. Place in oven 190ºC for around 10 minutes or until toasted. Remove and allow to cool. Place the strawberries and bananas in a bowl and sprinkle with lemon juice. Top with Greek yogurt and finish with a scattering of crumbled honey crisp oats.

Apple and Raisin Parcels

450g apples
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp rum
50g sugar
¼ tsp vanilla essence
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
50g raisin
1 pkt of puff pastry

Peel, core and chop the apples and toss in the lemon juice to prevent discolouring. Place 2 tbsp of cold water, the rum and sugar and spices into a pan. Stir in apples and cook gently for 5 minutes. Stir in raisins and allow cooling. Roll out pastry and cut into squares. Place a spoonful of the apple mixture in the centre of the square and bring the corners up to the middle and pinch together. Cook in oven 200º for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.