It’s funny how you associate certain things with times of the year.
I know I said a few weeks ago that a ham hock press reminds me of summer days and cricket, but like so many of you I also think of bright red strawberries and tennis when the sun is high in a cloudless blue sky.
The strawberry was the fruit of summer when I was a child when we would go picking for jam and the freezer while the likes of McEnroe and Borg were on the grass courts at Wimbledon.
I loved going strawberry picking because it was always: one for me, one for the punnet.
When we got home with red-stained T-shirts, there was always ice cream to go with the fruits of our labour.
I use only English strawberries in the restaurant as I believe they have a far better flavour than anything that is imported.
I’ve been told that the local Titchfield strawberries are the ones used at Wimbledon so you can enjoy the best strawberries around and not have to pay silly money for them.
Here is a recipe for a strawberry mousse that I enjoy and makes an alternative to ice cream and red stained T-shirts.
If you make some jam you can put it in the bottom of the sundae dish before topping with the mousse.
75g caster sugar
2 gelatine leaves
40g caster sugar
120ml double cream
1. Heat the strawberries, 75g of caster sugar and the water in a pan until syrupy.
2. Blend the mixture together and add the gelatine that has been soaked in water to soften. Allow to cool but not set (warm is OK).
3. Whisk the eggs with an electric machine and slowly add the 40g of caster sugar.
4. Continue to whisk while you hand whisk the cream to soft peaks.
5. Add the strawberry mix to the cream and fold in the egg mixture.
6. Pour into glasses or moulds and put in the fridge for at least two hours.
7. Decorate with fresh strawberries before serving.