Now that the summer has unofficially receded I feel it is a good point to highlight what a great year it has been for British Strawberries. The harvest this year has been unusually sweet and also beautifully scented. Nothing comes close to the smell of freshly picked ripe strawberries.
I know this is another strawberry recipe but I feel that we have to make use of them whilst they're in season. This recipe adds an earthy, slightly perfumed, hibiscus sauce to the mixture of cream, meringue and strawberry and moves it beyond an ordinary Eton Mess.
Strawberries and Cream
1 pot double cream
500g strawberries hulled and quartered
1 tablespoon icing sugar
handful dried hibiscus flowers
125g caster sugar
250g egg white
250g caster sugar
250g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 110degrees C. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form and add the caster sugar. Whisk again until stiffer peaks are formed and whisk in the icing sugar for a few minutes. Spread onto a non-stick baking tray and cook until crispy and dry.
Add a handful of dried hibiscus flowers to the sugar and water and slowly bring to a boil. Let the mixture simmer until it thickens into a syrupy mixture and reduced 1/3. Cool down and then take the hibiscus flowers out.
Whisk the cream until soft peaks form and then add the sugar before whisking to a firmer peak. Crumble meringue into the mixture and fold in. Add the strawberries and fold in. Add some of the syrup and fold in. Serve in a dessert glass and top with more strawberries and more hibiscus sauce. Summer in a glass, it's a shame it's gone.