Lawrence serves up a true taste of British summer with a delicate strawberry and elderflower dessert.
Strawberries used to be grown for a six week period that coincided with the British summer, but by using polytunnels the English strawberry season has been extended so we can enjoy the beautiful fruit from May through to September.
The best fruits in my opinion are grown outside still in the summer period and are always a must-have item when watching tennis. We didn’t get a British Wimbledon champion this year but at least we have the strawberries.
There are many varieties of strawberry (I was told about 600) but most commercially grown and bought in supermarkets are the Elsanta variety. This is a very good fruit but you would be better off picking your own and trying some of the leaser known types such as Florence, Rosie, Jubilee or Red Glory.
When you pick your own fruit you will be able to get them in the best condition possible and you will be sure of their origin.
If you don’t have time to pick your own choose bright red berries that are unblemished and make sure that they are British. Handle the fruit as little as possible so as not to bruise them and gently wash in water before using.
If you can, use strawberries at room temperature which helps bring out the taste and fragrance. I will be using the elderflower cordial that I made a few weeks ago in this recipe, bringing together two fantastic English ingredients.
To find out more about Lawrence’s restaurant Fat Olives, visit fatolives.co.uk or call 01243 377 914.
Elderflower jelly with fresh strawberries and meringue
Ingredients (serves 4)
For the elderflower jelly:
140ml of elderflower cordial
140ml of water
3 leaves of gelatine
For the meringue:
1 egg white
45g of sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
200g of strawberries
A little whipped cream with vanilla
1. Make the meringues by whisking the egg white, sugar and lemon juice together until thick and shiny.
2. Pipe the meringue mix onto a baking mat and cook in an oven set at 50c gasmark 1 for one-and-a-half to two hours. Allow to cool – the meringues should be crunchy and white.
3. To make the jelly heat the cordial and whisk in the gelatine. Add the cold water and pour the mix into moulds. Allow it to cool and then place in the fridge for at least two hours.
4. To serve, put the jelly in the middle of a plate. Cut the strawberries into quarters and arrange around the jelly. Put a little cream and meringue around the plate and serve.