The perfect pudding to round off a lazy alfresco lunch.

Strawberries are very easy to grow, even in pots. After a lazy alfresco lunch, you can just serve them whole, fresh from the plant.

Strawberry, rose and pistachio dacquoise

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 50g almonds
  • 50g pistachios, plus a handful chopped to decorate
  • 6 free-range egg whites
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 500ml double cream
  • Quarter of a teaspoon rosewater
  • 80g icing sugar, plus extra to dust
  • 250g chopped strawberries
  • Rose petals
  • Fresh mint

Method
Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 3. Line two large baking sheets with greaseproof paper and draw three 8in circles onto it, then turn the paper over so you’ll be piping onto the clean side later.

Gently roast the almonds and pistachios on a baking sheet for about 8–10 minutes, then remove them and turn the oven down to 150ºC/300ºF/gas mark 2. Pulse the nuts in a processor until coarsely ground and set aside.

Using either a stand mixer or a handheld electric beater, start to whisk the egg whites on a slow speed, increasing it as they become more frothy. Add the sugar a tablespoon at a time while whisking, until the mixture is stiff and glossy—this will take about 10 minutes.

Next, fold the nuts through the whites with a plastic spatula and transfer the mixture to a piping bag (a freezer bag with the corner snipped off will also work). Starting at the centre, pipe a spiral to fill each of the circles on the greaseproof paper. Bake for an hour, then turn the oven off and open the door, allowing the meringues to cool completely before removing.

Whip the cream together with the rosewater and icing sugar, then gently fold in 200g of the strawberries.

To assemble the dacquoise, layer the meringues with the whipped cream and strawberries, finishing with cream on top. Decorate with the remaining strawberries, chopped pistachios, rose petals and mint leaves, then sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving.

More ways with strawberries

Fresh strawberries and rosemary ice cream

Heat in a saucepan 250ml of double cream, 200ml of milk, 100g of caster sugar, a vanilla pod and a sprig of rosemary. Bring to a near boil, then leave to cool. Heat the cream mixture again, then pour it over 3 egg yolks, whisking continuously. Return the mixture to a clean pan and heat until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Pour into an ice-cream machine and leave to churn. Once ready, serve with fresh strawberries.

Overnight strawberry porridge

Put a few tablespoons of porridge oats into a Kilner jar, pour in enough almond milk to just cover them along with a drizzle of maple syrup. Seal the jar, leaving to refrigerate overnight. In the morning, add a handful of fresh, chopped strawberries and a couple of tablespoons of nuts and seeds, such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, linseed, almonds, pistachios and walnuts. Mix well and top with a dollop of yoghurt before eating.

Super-speedy strawberry-cheesecake pies

Cut sheets of ready-rolled shortcrust pastry into 4in circles. Dollop a spoonful of cream cheese onto each one, add a couple of chopped strawberries and a sprinkling of sugar, then brush the edges with beaten egg, before sealing with a second pastry circle on top. Mark the edges with a pattern and brush the tops with more egg, then bake in a hot oven for about 20 minutes or until golden. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar while they’re warm and serve, but be careful when eating them – the filling will be hot!