Tag Archives: Strawberry

Strawberry Heaven in a tart

Who doesn’t associate strawberries with Summer? I know you can now get strawberries all year round, but honestly, there is NOTHING better than in season, local strawberries.  And as my love of pastry is always lurking somewhere beneath the surface, strawberries+ pastry= strawberry heaven.

As much as I always love my favourite recipes and make them often, it’s nice to try new things.  I picked up “The Boy Who Bakes”- Edd Kimber while in the UK on a trip.  Although I follow him on #Instagram, I had never seen him on TV on the GBBO, or tried one of his recipes.  Until now.

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Retro Cooking

I love getting to spend time at the weekend in my kitchen cooking for the whole family, usually something special that takes a little more time, and as there’s always lots of extra people to help us eat the mountains of food.  As we were catering today for a group in Alan’s garden, Saturday was chosen for the dinner of substance.

I was going to decorate the dessert with rose petals, but it looked so beautiful on the bush, I couldn’t bear to pick it.

Rose in almost fool bloom

Rose in almost fool bloom

Baked Alaska is truly retro, and not simple in its execution.  Needing a few basic ingredients, it comes together in it’s majesty at the last minute.

Preparing the ice cream

Preparing the ice cream

A simple sponge is used as the base, I usually make two, one for this, and one to freeze for an emergency. Homemade strawberry ice cream is a complete must.

Ice cream and a sponge base

Ice cream and a sponge base

This gets frozen while I make meringue, which is then spread carefully over the entire dish, completely covering the ice cream, this is very important, so that it stays intact in the oven.

Final addition of meringue

Final addition of meringue

This then gets put back in the freezer until you are 10 minutes away from serving, the entire dessert goes into a very hot oven for ten minutes until turning golden.

Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska

It was polished off rapidly, sure there was no point in keeping any leftovers, they wouldn’t have been nice!

Strawberries- part deux

And the quest to make every possible strawberry dish continues.  At this stage it’s jam time. And strawberry jam goes with just about everything.  And bears no resemblance to the shop bought variety, even if the first batches can lack consistency, no pun intended!

The finished product

The finished product

Shop bought strawberries are often grown hydroponically, and for some reason they have less pectin, resulting in a runnier jam.  So use sure-set if you need to, half and half is probably best.

In it's natural environment!

In it’s natural environment!

My next favourite recipe, which requires a little planning is mini strawberry tarts.  Perfectly proportioned, these little beauties are best fresh and cold, and unlike most desserts, go equally well with both a cup of tea and a glass of champagne.

A strawberry tea party

A strawberry tea party

Credit at this stage must go to my willing team of helpers (and tasters) who rescued me as I frantically tried to get the shoot set up outside before the sun went in behind a cloud.They get paid well in food- don’t worry!

the food photography helpers

the food photography helpers

And for my nephews third birthday- a chocolate fudge cake filled with cream- and strawberries.  He even managed to sneak a few off the cake before anyone else got to it.

A birthday cake fit for a three year old

A birthday cake fit for a three year old

 

The time is now

The first strawberries from our tunnel

The first strawberries from our tunnel

After we’ve carefully picked the “tunnel” strawberries, the “outside” strawberries come thick and fast.  There is genuinely nothing like them.  They all seem to ripen at once, and it’s just aswell the children are on school holidays, as the weeding requires slave labour of epic proportions.

But the result is this….

Strawberry gateaux

Strawberry gateaux

And this recipe for Strawberry Ice Cream that I came across some years ago.

Strawberries, fresh from the garden

Strawberries, fresh from the garden

Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingredients

225g fresh Strawberries, hulled and chopped

18oml Milk

135g caster Sugar

250ml Cream

1-1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Pinch of salt

Method

Pulse the strawberries in a food processor until roughly chopped or finely chop by them by hand.  How you chop (fine or coarse) depends on your preference, but large pieces simply freeze and are not the best for the teeth! . Reserve in a bowl.

Strawberries for pulsing

Strawberries for pulsing

In another bowl whisk to combine the milk, sugar, vanilla and salt until the sugar is dissolved.

Milk, sugar and vanilla

Milk, sugar and vanilla

Stir in the cream.

Stir in the strawberries with all their juices. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Looks awful at this stage

Looks awful at this stage!

Next day, churn in your ice cream maker as per the manufacturers instructions.  Then enjoy- delicious!

Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice Cream