Shaking up summertime strawberries

strawberry dessertWhile tennis fans have been embracing the traditional pairing of strawberries and cream, during Wimbledon fine dining experts are modernizing the summer staple using new techniques and flavour combinations. Adventurous diners are realising the many ways in which strawberries can be transformed and updated; strawberries injected with a balsamic vinegar burst and cheesecake-filled strawberries are both recent creations of top class fine dining chefs. This season, we are trying something new by growing white strawberries with red seeds – luckily they still taste just as delicious as the red variety!

Mike Hendry, our Head Chef, has created a dish that combines the complimentary tastes of the strawberry with Italian soft cheese. To maximise its potential, he transforms the hard but delicate form of the strawberry into textures to surprise and impress taste buds. Below, Mike shares his recipe for one of his irresistible strawberry reincarnations, made from strawberries picked freshly from our walled garden, which you can recreate at home.

Strawberry parfait and sorbet with mascarpone cream

Ingredients

230g mascarpone (a soft cheese found in the chilled aisle at supermarkets)
760g cream cheese
200g icing sugar
1 vanilla pod (cut open, with the inside paste scooped out and the outer pod discarded)
50g liquid glucose (available in larger supermarkets)
150g sugar syrup (available in larger supermarkets)
200g strawberries (with their tops cut off)
4 egg whites (to separate from yolk, put the egg through a sieve and keep what drips through)
200g strawberry purée (available in larger supermarkets)
200g sugar
400g semi-whipped cream
50g strawberries soaked in a berry liqueur (you can order frais de bois liqueur online, but many cheaper berry liqueurs are available in supermarkets. If you wish, you can omit this garnish)

Equipment
 
One ice cream maker (we use the fantastic machine called Pacojet 2, but alternative brands are available in larger supermarkets, department stores and online)
Four bowls
One saucepan
One sugar thermometer (available in larger supermarkets, department stores and online)
One whisk
One spatula
Shallow bowls to serve

Method

First, start by making the strawberry sorbet. Put the strawberries, sugar syrup and liquid glucose into the ice cream maker and set the machine to mix for as long as it usually requires for ice cream (this will vary for each machine)
Then, in a bowl, start to make the parfait. With a spatula, mix the sugar with a little water
Pour the sugary water into a saucepan, insert the sugar thermometer then boil the mixture it until it reaches 121˚
Once this happens, slowly add the egg whites and whisk them in. This constitutes what is known in fine dining as ‘Italian Meringue’
Set the saucepan aside
In another bowl, mix together the four egg yolks and strawberry purée
Using the spatula, fold the strawberry and yolk mix into the Italian Meringue in the saucepan. Then fold in the semi-whipped cream
Now make the mascarpone cream. In a separate bowl, use the spatula to mix together the mascarpone, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla. Keep mixing gently until they are fully combined
To serve, assemble the finished trio on a small plate or shallow bowl. Garnish the dish with the liqueur soaked strawberries and enjoy!