As you might recall, a certain Scotsman won Wimbledon and during that fortnight the restaurant paid homage to the most famous of SW19 partners, strawberries and cream.
We did a whipped strawberry jelly and a tonka bean cream, a little palette cleanser before dessert.
It went down well, so here’s a dish combining them with a touch of decadence: strawberry and vanilla cream tart.
Nothing about this is complicated, it’s just a brilliant combination of three elements: the sweet and short pastry that crumbles to the touch, shop-bought tart cases or a meringue nest for something a little more exotic, and fresh English strawberries.
There’s no better time to pick or buy strawberries.
The season doesn’t last long so get them while you can, then top off the tart with a dollop of whipped vanilla cream. Desserts don’t get any better than this in my opinion, because of the simplicity and ingredients that you want to speak for themselves and that are not drowned by over-complicatedness.
The past few weeks have taken me a little out of my comfort zone (not fine dining) so in the next few weeks it’s only right for me and you to create some wonderful fine dining dishes that wouldn’t be out of place on the 27 menu.
We have some wonderful creativity coming out of the kitchen at the moment and it will be a good time to share, but I don’t want to give away all my secrets.
Kevin Bingham is the chef patron of Restaurant 27 at Southsea (023) 9287 6272.
STRAWBERRY AND VANILLA CREAM TART (SERVES ONE)
Ingredients per tart per person:
1 sweet individual pastry tart/meringue nest
2 fl oz whipping cream
2 drops vanilla essence
Half teaspoon icing sugar
Splash of raspberry liquor, grand marnier or liquor of your choice
First hull (remove green stalk) the strawberries, cut into quarters and place in a bowl.
Add liquor of choice and leave for one hour covered in cling film placed in the fridge.
Take the cream and add vanilla and sugar and whip until stiff peaks are formed. Now cover and refrigerate until needed.
To assemble the tart take the tartlet case or meringue and place a little of the cream at the bottom of the tart.
Then decoratively and evenly place the strawberries on the cream and add any of the liquor left from the marinade.
Spoon on a generous dollop of whipped vanilla cream on top.
Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes to release the flavour from the strawberries. Finish with a sprig of mint and a dusting of icing sugar.
It is very important to leave the tart out so it is not eaten at fridge temperature. This maximises the flavour of the strawberries.