Strawberries come into season in June and so this is the perfect time to find the sweetest, ripest and best quality berries around. They are so versatile that you can do almost anything with them depending on what you fancy. Eat them on their own for a healthy, tasty snack, make jam or compote or add them to a delicious creamy dessert. A classic strawberry dish is Pavlova which is actually far easier to make than you may think. Here is a simple recipe, perfect for a summer dinner party.
Serving size 6
For the Pavlova:
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cornflour
4 large egg whites
100 grams light muscovado sugar
100 grams golden caster sugar
25 grams hazelnuts
For the topping:
600 grams strawberries
3 tablespoons cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)
1 (568 millilitre) carton double cream
Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C /Fan 120 degrees C/Gas 1.
Line a large, shallow baking tin with greaseproof paper.
In a bowl mix the vinegar, vanilla and cornflour to form a paste.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff.
Slowly whisk in the sugars, adding a little paste with each addition, until a thick marshmallowy meringue is formed.
Spread the meringue out to a 20-centimetre circle on the baking sheet, swirling the knife to make peaks.
Scatter over the nuts and bake for 1 hour, turn off the oven and leave it to cool.
Sieve 100 grams of the strawberries into a bowl. Stir in the cassis to form a sauce.
Whip the cream softly. Slice the remaining strawberries in half and fold into the cream. Swirl in 3 tablespoons of the sauce.
Put the cooled meringue on a flat plate. Spoon in the cream, scatter on the strawberries and drizzle with sauce.