TODAY marks my 10th visit to the Dundee Flower and Food Festival: a highlight of late summer. If my cookery demonstration alone doesn’t quite justify the trip, the other sights certainly will. If you’ve never been, or not explored the festival for a long time, then come. You won't be disappointed.

Vegetable-growing competitions, baking exhibitions and garden displays are intriguing, but the astonishing flower displays are beautiful and inspiring, even to the non green-fingered like me.

Food and flowers are only part of the picture. Don’t miss the fascinating beekeepers and their hives. We have all read of the endangered bee population; to me these beekeepers are unsung heroes. Fragrant with floral, heathery or herb aromas, Scottish honey is to be treasured, and can enhance all stages of a meal. I glaze duck with honey imbued with ground juniper, fennel seed and cloves for the restaurant. Stirred through crushed swede or drizzled over turnip, honey will counter natural bitterness. Drizzled on hard or blue cheese, it is a classic. Of course, its natural sweetness makes it ideal for dessert.

Iced honey parfait with creme fraiche and raspberries

Recipes serve six

Makes 1 tray measuring about 28cm long, 18cm wide and 4cm deep

400ml double cream

2 leaves gelatine (3g size)

75g caster sugar

75g clear runny honey

8 egg yolks

2 punnets raspberries

A tub of thick crème fraiche

1. Place 350ml of the cream in an electric mixer bowl and whip using whisk attachment until firm peaks form. You will need to whisk egg yolks in this bowl shortly so unless you also have a handheld electric whisker (in which case, place the bowl of cream in the fridge), transfer the cream to a clean bowl then place in the fridge

2. Soak the gelatine in ice-cold water until floppy and soft.

3. Place the egg yolks in the cleaned mixer bowl (or in a separate bowl, if you're using a hand-held whisker). To these yolks, add the honey and sugar then whisk until pale, foamy and almost doubled in volume.

4. Place the remaining 50ml of cream in a small pan. Squeeze excess water from the softened gelatine, then drop it into the cream. Warm the cream just enough to dissolve the gelatine while stirring regularly then add this to the egg yolk mix and stir in.

5. Add the whipped cream into the egg yolk mixture and fold in gently with a rubber spatula until incorporated.

6. Line the tray with double-thickness cling film, pressing it into the corners thoroughly. Pour the parfait mixture into the tray, smooth the surface with a spatula then place in the freezer overnight.

7. Once frozen and set, turn out the parfait onto a chopping board. Dip a long knife into hot water and slice into desired size fingers. Transfer these for now into a freezer tub, layering up the portions with greaseproof paper then cover with a lid and return to the freezer. Store like this until needed for up to one month

8. To serve, remove the required number of slices and place on serving plates. Allow to stand for 10 minutes so they "relax" a little. Arrange raspberries on top of each slice, place a scoop of thick creme fraiche beside the parfait and serve at once.

Honey and hazelnut ice cream with blackberry compote

For the ice cream

475ml milk

1 vanilla pod, split lengthways or 1 dstsp good quality vanilla extract (not essence)

6 egg yolks

220g dark brown soft sugar

3 tbsp honey

¼ tsp salt

475ml double cream

6 dstsp hazelnuts

For the compote

700g blackberries

100g caster sugar

Pinch ground cinnamon

Juice of ½ a lime


1. Preheat oven to 180C. Place hazelnuts on a tray and bake for a few minutes, until dark golden brown.

2. Scrape seeds from the vanilla pod and place with the milk and the vanilla pod in a medium pan. Add the toasted nuts and heat the mixture slowly until almost simmering.

3. Meanwhile in a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, honey and salt until foamy. Whisking all the time, slowly pour half the milk onto the egg mixture then stir well to combine. Pour this mix from the bowl back into the pan with the rest of the milk.

4. Set the pan over a gentle heat and continue cooking until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, or until it reaches 82C on a sugar thermometer, stirring all the while with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, to prevent the egg in the mixture from setting and scrambling.

5. Remove from the heat, add the cream and stand to cool for 15 minutes then pass through a fine sieve into a clean tub. Cover the surface with cling film and chill.

6. Transfer to an ice cream maker then churn according to instructions.

7. Halve the blackberries and place in a pan. Add all the other ingredients then warm over a gentle heat so the brambles just begin to collapse but still retain some shape and texture. Taste and adjust as needed then set aside to cool. This can be served at room temperature or warmed.

8. To serve: spoon the compote into serving bowls to make a ring shape; scoop the ice cream into the space in the middle; scatter more toasted hazelnuts over the berries if you wish. Alternatively, serve the scoops of ice cream in a glass and spoon the compote over the top like a sauce. Serve at once.

Geoffrey Smeddle is the chef patron of The Peat Inn, by St Andrews, Fife KY15 5LH 01334 840206