red currants

Ripe-for-the-picking in mid-summer, these tart berries are key ingredients in summer desserts and preserves, and are an attractive decoration on pastry flans and patisserie. They'll keep for 3-4 days, if stored in the fridge.

A tangy flavour makes them a good match with rich meats, game, and oily fish. Perhaps its best known use is in redcurrant jelly - a classic accompaniment to roast pork and a main ingredient in Cumberland sauce.

If you're going to cook the berries down and make a sauce, you'll need to add a fair amount of sugar to counter their tart flavour.

The best way to strip berries from their woody stalks is to use the prongs of a fork - the berries will then fall into a bowl, leaving behind the stalks.