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Strawberries and Cream

This strawberries and cream recipe is slightly unique, as it contains a black pepper sponge and lemon curd. It’s perfect for a picnic, garden party or summer dinner.

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Strawberries and Cream

Ingredients:

Pepper sponge:
- 135g of plain flour
- 135g of caster sugar
- 5 eggs
- 2 pinches of Bart black pepper

Lemon curd:
- 4 lemons, unwaxed, juiced and zested
- 200g of caster sugar
- 100g of butter, cubed
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk

Vanilla cream:
- 240ml of double cream
- 40g of caster sugar
- 0.5 tsp of Bart vanilla essence

Garnish:
- 200g of strawberries, stems removed and halved,
- 10 reserved to top the sponge
- 25g of strawberry jam, combined with 10ml water
- icing sugar for dusting

Equipment:

- Sterilised jars

- 8cm cutter
- 4 high ended 7cm pastry rings
 

Method :

Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Start with the sponge by whisking the eggs and the sugar in a large bowl over a pan of simmering water until light and fluffy.

Leave the mixture to cool for 5 minutes before gently folding in the flour and pepper. Spread the mix onto a slightly dipped baking tray which has been lined with greaseproof paper and cook for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove, cool and then cut into 8cm rounds using a pastry cutter.

In a heatproof bowl, combine the lemon zest, lemon juice, caster sugar and butter over a pan of simmering water - make sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.

Stir until the butter has melted, then whisk in the eggs and egg yolk. Cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mix resembles a thick custard. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

For the vanilla cream, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla essence and whisk until soft peaks form. Set aside in the fridge to cool.

To assemble the strawberries and cream, use a high ended 7cm pastry ring and place 1 of the 8cm sponge circles at the base.

Arrange a few halved strawberries flush inside the ring with the cut-sides facing outwards - this should leave a small gap in the centre, fill this gap with the lemon curd.

Next, add the vanilla cream to fill any remaining gaps and cover the top of the strawberries. Place another sponge circle on top of the cream and press down firmly to hold the shape. Repeat this process for each ring and set aside.

When almost ready to serve, combine the strawberry jam and water in a pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, strain to remove the seeds and keep warm.

Remove the rings from the strawberries and cream and place 2 strawberries on top. Glaze with the jam, dust with icing sugar and serve.

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