Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with strawberries.
“As the strawberries begin to ripen in the kitchen garden, I know summer has arrived. This is the perfect afternoon-tea tart, full of flavoursome spices offset by the delicious sweetness of English garden strawberries definitely one to be enjoyed outdoors. If you don’t have the time to make the ice cream, mix cinnamon into whipped cream for a similar effect. Delicious!”
Sun-blushed strawberry and nut tart with cinnamon ice cream
For the strawberry and nut tart
250g plain flour
150g ground almonds
100g ground hazelnuts
1tspn baking powder
250g caster sugar, plus more for sprinkling
Half a tspn ground cloves
Juice and zest of half a lemon
2 egg yolks
250g butter, unsalted, plus
more for greasing the tin
2 egg yolks for brushing
For the cinnamon ice cream
300ml double cream
250ml full-fat milk
15g ground cinnamon
80g caster sugar
To prepare the ice cream, mix the double cream, milk, cinnamon and sugar together. Ideally, mix in an ice-cream machine or, alternatively, pour the mix into a dish and freeze for a minimum of six hours, stirring every 15 minutes until it starts freezing.
For the tart, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, ground almonds, ground hazelnuts, cinnamon and cloves in a bowl.
Tip the dry ingredients out onto a clean work surface and make a well in the centre of them, adding the egg yolks, lemon juice and zest to mix in. Cut the cold butter into cubes and drop those into the well, then use your fingertips to rub the butter into the mixture until it comes together as a smooth ball. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and refrigerate it for at least an hour.
Preheat your oven to 170˚C/340˚F/gas mark 3. Wash and hull the strawberries, lining them up on a baking sheet. Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of sugar over them and roast them for about 15 minutes or until juicy. Remove the strawberries from the oven and stir them in a bowl.
Take the dough out of the fridge and roll two-thirds of it to the thickness of a £1 coin, refrigerating the unused third. Press the dough into the base of a greased, 9in spring-form tin so that it comes an inch or so up the sides before spreading the strawberries across the dough.
Roll the remaining third of dough to the thickness of a £1 coin and slice into strips that will create the lattice top or other shapes if you’d prefer and drape them over the strawberries.
Put the tart in the fridge for half an hour, then brush with egg yolk before baking for about 45 minutes or until golden. Take from the oven and allow to cool before gently removing the tart from the tin. Serve with fresh strawberries on the side and a scoop of cinnamon ice cream.
More ways with strawberries
Strawberry choux buns
Preheat your oven to 210˚C/425˚F/ gas mark 7 and line a baking tray with parchment. Heat 80g butter with 180ml water in a pan until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat to add 90g plain flour before continuing to heat for a few minutes. Take off the hob to slowly mix in 2 beaten eggs. Using a piping bag, create balls on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature a little and cook for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack and make small incisions to release steam. Once cooled, slice openings in the sides to fill with whipped cream and strawberries. Finish with a dusting of icing sugar.
Strawberry mille feuille
Take 2 sheets of pre-rolled puff pastry and cut each sheet into 6 rectangles. Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Cover with a sheet of parchment and add a baking sheet on top of that, to weigh it down. Bake for 15 minutes, then take the pastry out of the oven, removing the top baking sheet and parchment paper before returning it to the oven for a few minutes. Allow to cool. Whip 300ml double cream with 50g caster sugar and mix in 200g chopped strawberries. Place four rectangles of pastry onto a board and spread the cream over them. Top with a layer of pastry and repeat. Smooth out the sides and press the pastry lightly down before dusting with icing sugar to serve.
Strawberry and chia-seed jam
Gently heat 500g strawberries with 100ml maple syrup in a pan until the strawberries release their juices. Add 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and heat for a couple of minutes. Remove from hob and allow to sit for about 10 minutes, by which time it will be thick. Transfer to a jar and keep in your fridge.