To mark the beginning of the strawberry season I’m picking up some Kent strawberries for The Guildford Arms. The weather forecast looks good this weekend, so with a bit of luck we’ll be able to serve them in the garden with a crisp pavlova.
Sun ripened strawberries are very different to strawberries forced to grow out of season. On the surface these strawberries look fine, bright red and shiny, but bite into them and the bitter truth is revealed; the centre is white and the strawberry is hard and sour. A strawberry that has ripened in the sun has a pink centre, a sweet flavour with just enough acidity to sharpen the flavour, and a gentle perfume.
A good pavlova, is crunchy on the outside with a slight chew in the centre. Whisk the egg whites until they reach stiff peaks, then gradually whisk in the caster sugar. A splash of vinegar and a teaspoon of corn flour will stabilise the mixture, improving the texture. When the time comes to serve the dish make sure the strawberries are at room temperature, as cold strawberries (even sun ripened ones) have very little flavour.
Kent Strawberries with Pavlova & Whipped Cream – serves 8
6 Egg Whites
380g Caster sugar
1Table spoon of Corn flour
1 Teaspoon of White wine vinegar
350ml Whipping cream
2 Punnets of strawberries
- Whisk whites stiff until stiff, then whisk in the sugar until glossy. Whisk in the corn flour & vinegar.
- Spoon round mounds onto a tray lined with greaseproof paper.
- Bake at 100C for about an hour, or until the meringue is crispy on the outside & a little soft in the middle. Remove to a rack & cool.
- Whisk the cream.
- Spoon out the centre of the meringue and fill with the cream mix & the strawberries.