Making Good Use of the Things That We Find…

By Victoria Glass •


The nation's waiting with bated breath to see if Andy Murray will be the first Brit in 74 years to win the male finals at Wimbledon.  But as all good foodies know, Wimbledon wouldn't be Wimbledon without strawberries & cream. Great British Chefs blogger Victoria Glass echoes the country's curiosity to see if Murray will triumph.  And like Wimbledon's other residents, the Wombles, makes good use of some strawberries found at the back of the fridge!

Blog post & recipe by Victoria Glass - @victoria_glass

This year’s Wimbledon is really hotting up. I can’t remember ever feeling quite this excited about the men’s final before, and it’s all thanks to the stellar skills of Andy Murray. He may huff and scowl his way round the court like a sulky teenager, but Murray’s tennis talents can’t help but make him a hero in our eyes. The nation is waiting, with bated breath, to see the outcome of Sunday’s final. Can our boy beat six times champion Federer, to become the first British man to win the tournament since Fred Perry 1936? I’m certainly not ruling him out.

I’m hoping to see Murray on the front cover of Monday’s papers clutching the big gold cup. But whatever the outcome of the game, he’ll still get a shiny trophy to hold up for the cameras, and if that’s not a good enough reason to celebrate, I don’t know what is.

2012 Wimbledon Tennis Championships
Photo by Su-May

Wimbledon just wouldn’t be Wimbledon without strawberries and cream, but, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have been dazzled by all the half price strawberry deals and filled your fridge to bursting point. Nothing wrong with that; who gets bored of eating strawbs? But there always seems to be one punnet that manages to wriggle its way to the back of the fridge, behind all the half-used jars of condiments that have been knocking around in there for longer than you’d care to admit - just out of sight enough to be out of mind. This hidden plastic tub of summer’s scarlet jewels, is usually rescued just in the nick of time, but they’re not always quite at their best.

There’s no need to get distraught, they’ll be perfect for a delightfully easy and deliciously refreshing chilled strawberry and balsamic soup, topped with an indulgent dollop of clotted cream ice cream. I’m serving mine in champagne bowls for an added touch of glamour, and in the hope that I can fill them with celebratory fizz afterwards if Murray hits the winning shot.

Strawberry and balsamic soup

1 punnet (400g) of British strawberries

2 tbsp caster sugar, or more to taste if you wish

1 – 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

A dash of double cream

Method

1.  Wash and hull the strawberries before cutting them up into small pieces and popping them in a bowl. Scatter over the sugar and balsamic vinegar and mix it all up so the strawberries are all well covered.

2.  Leave to sit for about an hour before whizzing in a blender with a splash of cream to make a purée.

3.  Taste for balsamic, adding more if you wish, before pushing the lot through a fine sieve into a jug.

4.  Pour into (champagne) bowls and leave to chill for an hour in the fridge.

5.  Top with a scoop (or quenelle if you’re feeling posh) of clotted cream ice cream and serve immediately.

Clotted cream ice cream

½  pint of double cream

½ pint of whole milk

100g of caster sugar

4 large egg yolks

The scraped out seeds of a vanilla pod

2 heaped dessertspoons of clotted cream

Method

1.  First, make a custard. Whisk together the yolks and sugar until pale and creamy. In the meantime, place the double cream and vanilla in a saucepan over a gentle heat.

2.  When the cream scalds, pour it over the egg mixture and whisk thoroughly before pouring it back in the saucepan.

3.  Stir continuously over a gentle heat until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

4.  Pour the custard into a cold jug and give it a quick stir to release any trapped steam before popping some cling film over the top to prevent a skin forming.

5.  Once the custard is cool, pop it in the fridge to get properly cold.

6.  Whisk in the clotted cream before pouring it into an ice cream maker (follow the manufacturer’s instructions). If you don’t have an ice cream machine, pour the custard into a Tupperware box and place in the freezer to set. Whisk the custard every couple of hours to prevent ice crystals forming.

7.  Transfer the ice cream to the fridge 10 minutes before serving to soften slightly, for an easier scoop.

Blog post & recipe by Victoria Glass - @victoria_glass

You'll find many more dishes making good use of strawberries in Great British Chefs strawberry recipe collection.

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Victoria Glass

Victoria is a London based food writer. She founded Victoria's Cake Boutique in 2008 & her first two books, Boutique Wedding Cakes and Deliciously Vintage are out now. Her celebrity clients include Miranda Hart, Dave Gorman and Zach Braff. She's cooked her way through the alphabet from artichokes to za'atar zebra on her blog, Alphabet Soup. She is currently writing her fourth book and her third is out in September. She has just been appointed the food writer in residence at The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre.

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