The cream of the crop…

Is there any finer combination than strawberries and cream? We think not! In support of our dairy farmers, our soft fruit farmers and pick-your-own farms,
we present a berries and cream extravaganza!

Summer berry buttons

Makes 18
These dainty little sponge cakes are filled with crème fraiche swirled with lemon curd and chopped strawberries. What’s not to like?

3 medium eggs

75g/3 oz caster sugar

75 g/3 oz self-raising flour

a little strawberry sugar (see tip) or caster sugar

3 tbsp lemon curd

250ml/8floz full fat crème fraiche

100g/4oz strawberries, hulled and chopped


Preheat oven to 190C/Gas 5. Line 2 large baking trays with non-stick baking paper.

Add the eggs and sugar to a large bowl then set this over a saucepan one third filled with simmering water, making sure that the base of the bowl is not touching the water. Using a handheld electric mixer whisk the eggs and sugar together until very thick and the whisk will leave a trail on the surface when lifted above the mixture. If your electric mixer is on a stand then whisk the eggs and sugar in the fitted bowl (not on the pan of water) but it will take a few minutes longer.

Sift the flour over the surface, then using a large spoon fold in gently in a figure of eight movement, being careful not to knock out the air, until there are no traces of flour. Spoon or pipe the mixture using a 1cm/½inch plain piping tube into circles about 4cm/1½ inches in diameter then bake for 5-8 mins, alternating the baking sheets after 4 mins so that all the sponge cakes colour evenly.

Take out of the oven and sprinkle with strawberry sugar or a little caster sugar, slide paper and mini sponge cakes on to a wire rack and leave to cool.

When ready to serve, fold the lemon curd into the crème fraiche until only just mixed then spoon over the undersides of half the cakes. Top with spoonfuls of chopped strawberries then the remaining biscuits. Best served within a few hours of assembling the biscuits together.

TIP: To make strawberry sugar, mix 2 tbsps of strawberry puree (made by pureeing and sieving 50g/2oz hulled strawberries) with 175g/6oz granulated sugar then spread into very thin layer over a sheet of foil set on a baking sheet. Bake at 110C/Gas¼ for 15 mins. Allow to cool then wrap in the foil and keep in the fridge until needed. Crumble into tiny pieces to use.



Ruby berry nests

Makes 12


50g/2oz butter

270g pack of 6 frozen filo pastry sheets (defrosted) (use 3 sheets each 46 x 21.5 cm)

150ml/¼ pint double cream

400g/14oz can low-fat readymade custard

½ orange, grated rind and 1tbsp juice

450g/1lb mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, halved or quartered)

3 tbsp strawberry jam

icing sugar (sifted) to decorate

Warm the butter in a small saucepan until melted and use a little to grease a 12-section deep muffin tin. Separate the pastry sheets, brush each one with a little butter then cut into 12 rectangles.

Lay one piece in each section the muffin tin then arrange a second and third square at a slight angle to the previous one to give a jagged nest like effect.

Bake at 180C/Gas 4 for 6-8 minutes until golden and crisp. Leave in the tin to cool.

Take the pastry cases carefully out of the tin and arrange on a large serving plate. Whip the cream until it forms soft swirls then fold in the custard and orange rind. Spoon into the pastry cases.

Warm the jam and orange juice in a small saucepan, stirring until the jam has melted. Add the berries, coat in the jam glaze then spoon into the tarts. Dust the top edges of the pastry with a little sifted icing sugar and serve.






Glazed Strawberry Tarts with Elderflower Cream

Makes 12


225g/8oz plain flour

50g/2oz icing sugar

100g/4oz butter, diced

2 egg yolks


200ml/7fl oz double cream

25g/1oz icing sugar

2 tbsp elderflower cordial

400g/14oz strawberries, sliced

75g/3oz redcurrant jelly

To make the pastry, put the flour into a bowl, add the icing sugar and butter then rub in the butter with fingertips or an electric mixer until it resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the egg yolk then squeeze together with fingertips to make a dough, adding a little water if needed. Knead lightly then roll out thinly on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 10cm/4in circles using a large biscuit cutter then press circles into buttered sections of a 12 hole deep muffin tin. Prick bases with a fork and chill for 15 minutes.

Line each tart with a circle of greaseproof paper and some dried lentils or baking beans and bake blind in a preheated oven set to 190C/Gas 5 for 10 minutes, remove paper and lentils or beans and cook for 3-4 minutes until pale golden. Leave to cool.

Remove pastry cases from the tin, arrange on a serving plate. Whip the cream with the icing sugar and elderflower cordial until it forms soft swirls. Spoon into the tart cases. Arrange the strawberries on top. Warm the redcurrant jelly in a small pan until melted then brush over the tarts. Serve within 30 minutes.



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