Redcurrant Soaked Strawberries With Cracked Black Pepper Biscuits



We all think of strawberries and cream at this time of year. Not only are the strawberries in season, of course, but they are also very much part of Wimbledon fever. My Grandmother always served strawberries with a twist of black pepper which really brings out their flavour and reminds me of her summer kitchen. This recipe combines the zing of redcurrants and the warmth of the black pepper. You can prepare a couple of hours before you eat and then assemble at the last minute, in between Sets!

CRACKED BLACK PEPPER BISCUITS

115g /4oz butter

55g /2oz caster sugar

115g /4oz plain flour

55g /2oz cornflour

1 teaspoon peppercorns – crushed well in a pestle and mortar or put through a pepper grinder. It should not be too fine.

Caster sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 1700C, 3250F, gas mark 3.

Beat the butter until soft, add the sugar and beat until pale and creamy.

Sift in the flours, add the peppercorns and work to a smooth paste.

Roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin and stamp into 8cm rounds with a pastry cutter. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and chill for 10 minutes.

Bake in the preheated oven for 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, put on a wire rack to cool and dust with caster sugar whilst still hot.

REDCURRANT SOAKED STRAWBERRIES

115g / 4 oz redcurrants (or raspberries)

30g / 1 oz caster sugar

1 tablespoon water

675g / 1 ½ lb strawberries, hulled

Clotted Cream or crème fraiche to serve

Pull the redcurrants off their stalks, wash them and put in a saucepan with the sugar and 1 tablespoon of water. Bring to the boil and cook gently for 3 – 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and push through a sieve. Taste the puree; you may need to add more sugar as redcurrants can vary in sweetness. Allow the puree to cool completely.

Pour the cooled redcurrant puree over the strawberries and allow them to soak for at least two hours before serving.

Lay a biscuit on a serving plate and spoon some strawberries carefully on the top. Place another biscuit on top of that and dust with icing sugar. Spoon some of the sauce around the biscuit and finish with a spoon of clotted cream if wished.

NOTE: Do not allow the strawberries to soak in the redcurrant puree for more than 4 hours in advance, as they will start to go soggy. Assemble just before required.





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