Get together with your favourite people this summer and host a tea party in aid of Breast Cancer Care. The charity’s Strawberry Tea campaign, sponsored by Seasonal Berries, runs from 1 June to 31 August and raises money to support the 50,000 people who are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in the UK.
From tarts to sorbet to semi freddo, these recipes will help get you started. Not only will these delectable dishes help to cure cancer, they are also a treat for the tastebuds.
Glazed Strawberry Tarts with Elderflower Cream
These dainty tarts have been topped with sliced strawberries but you may like to top with different fruits, so perhaps decorate 4 with strawberries, 4 with raspberries and the remainder with blueberries or try with a mix of different fruits, leaving the smaller fruits whole.
For the pastry:
225g/8oz plain flour
50g/2oz icing sugar
100g/4oz butter, diced
2 egg yolks
For the filling:
200ml/7fl oz double cream
25g/1oz icing sugar
2 tbsp elderflower cordial
400g/14oz strawberries, sliced
75g/3oz redcurrant jelly
To make the pastry, put the flour into a bowl, add the icing sugar and butter then rub in the butter with fingertips or an electric mixer until it resembles fine crumbs. Stir in the egg yolk then squeeze together with fingertips to make a dough, adding a little water if needed.
Knead lightly then roll out thinly on a lightly floured surface. Cut out 10cm/4in circles using a large biscuit cutter then press circles into buttered sections of a 12 hole deep muffin tin. Prick bases with a fork and chill for 15 minutes.
Line each tart with a circle of greaseproof paper and some dried lentils or baking beans and bake blind in a preheated oven set to 190oC/gas mark 5 for 10 minutes, remove paper and lentils or beans and cook for 3-4 minutes until pale golden. Leave to cool.
Remove pastry cases from the tin, arrange on a serving plate. Whip the cream with the icing sugar and elderflower cordial until it forms soft swirls. Spoon into the tart cases. Arrange the strawberries on top. Warm the redcurrant jelly in a small saucepan until melted then brush over the tarts. Serve within 30 minutes of decorating.
Strawberry and Elderflower Sorbet
A wonderfully refreshing and decadent dessert for fancy summer parties. This can be made in advance then served scooped into pretty tea cups and decorated with tiny pansy or borage flowers.
300ml/ ½ pt water
150g/5oz caster sugar
500g/1lb 2 oz strawberries, hulled
3 tablespoons elderflower cordial, undiluted
Juice ½ lemon
1 egg white
Tiny pansy or herb flowers to decorate
Pour the water into a saucepan, add the sugar and heat gently, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil for one minute then leave to cool.
Meanwhile puree the strawberries in a food processor or liquidiser until smooth. Pour into a sieve set over a bowl and press the puree through with the back of a spoon then discard the seeds.
Stir the puree into the sugar syrup then mix in the undiluted elderflower cordial and lemon juice.
Pour into a non-stick roasting tin or shallow plastic container – the larger the container the shallower the syrup will be and the quicker it will freeze. Place in the freezer for four hours or until semi-frozen.
Lightly beat the egg white in a small bowl until frothy. Mash the semi frozen sorbet with the fork to break up the ice crystals then beat in the egg white. Spoon into a plastic container. Cover and seal, freeze until firm enough to scoop.
Scoop sorbet into teacups, decorate with flowers and serve with soft amaretti or small shortbread biscuits.
Tip: If you have an ice cream machine, churn the strawberry syrup in the pre-cooled machine for about 20 minutes, until semi frozen and then gradually pour the lightly beaten egg white through the feeder tube at the top. Continue churning until the sorbet is thick enough to scoop then serve immediately or transfer to a plastic container and store in the freezer until required.
Dolly Parton's Strawberry Pie
Dolly says: 'I loved the strawberry pie at Linebaugh’s, a good old-fashioned diner in Nashville. The strawberries in their pies were huge. On one of my very first “business” lunches in Nashville, Chet Atkins took me to Shoney’s and boy was I nervous. I was havin’ lunch with a big star and I was just a little wannabe. He ordered me a piece of Shoney’s strawberry pie and when the waitress set it down in front of me, the words just came out of my mouth, “Golly, these strawberries are bigger than Linebaugh’s!” , which sounded like ‘lion’s balls’ because of my Tennessee mountain accent. He died laughing. Here’s my best rendition of that Linebaugh’s delight.'
Makes one 9-inch single crust pie, serves 8
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¼ cup strawberry gelatin
2 quarts large strawberries, washed and hulled
1 baked 9-inch pie shell, baked
Whipped cream for topping
Combine the sugar, cornstarch and 1 cup of water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the syrup coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice and gelatin. Chill until the mixture begins to thicken.
Arrange the strawberries stem side down in the pie shell and spoon the thickened gelatin mixture over the top. Refrigerate at 4 hours or overnight. Top with whipped cream and serve.
Used with permission from Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s published by the Viking Group. All proceeds from the sale of Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s are donated to her Imagination Library. For more information, please visit imaginationlibrary.com
Jamie Oliver's Wonderful Welsh Cakes
Jamie says: 'I completely fell in love with Welsh cakes after Jim gave me my first taste of one in Pontypridd market. The Welsh cooks of old did a lot of cooking on bakestones, which are essentially round cast iron skillets. They’d place them over a fire in their home, and use them for things like these sweet little cakes, which have a crisp outside and a soft, slightly crumbly inside that is to die for. You can replicate that bakestone style of cooking using a heavy-bottomed non-stick pan. I love serving these warm as they are or filled with a spoonful of cream and a few berries. Jim was using chunks of chocolate, different dried fruits and even sprinkles of desiccated coconut, so feel free to experiment once you’ve mastered the basic recipe.
For the Welsh cakes:
500g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
75g caster sugar, plus extra to serve
1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice
250g cold, unsalted butter
a pinch of sea salt
150g mixed raisins and sultanas
1 large free-range egg
a couple of splashes of milk
For the filling:
300ml double cream
1 heaped tablespoon caster
sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
400g fresh berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries
Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the sugar and mixed spice. Cut up the butter and add to the bowl with a pinch of salt. Use your hands to rub it all together until you get a fine breadcrumb consistency. Toss in the dried fruit, then make a well in the centre of the mixture and crack in the egg. Add a splash of milk and use a fork to beat and mix in the egg. Once combined, use your clean hands to pat and bring the mixture together until you have a dough. It should be fairly short, so don’t work it too much.
Put a large heavy-bottomed non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. While it’s heating up, dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with flour and roll the dough out until it’s about 1cm thick. Use a 5cm pastry cutter to cut out as many rounds as you can. Scrunch the remaining scraps of dough together, then roll out and cut out a few more. To test the temperature, cook one Welsh cake in the pan for a few minutes to act as a thermometer. If the surface is blonde, turn the heat up a little; if it’s black, turn the heat down – leave for a few minutes for the heat to correct itself, then try again. When you’ve got a golden cake after 4 minutes on each side, you’re in a really good place and you can cook the rest in batches. It’s all about control.
As soon as they come off the pan, put them on a wire rack to cool and sprinkle them with caster sugar. You can serve them just like this, as they are. Or, if you want to do what I’ve done, gently cut each cake in half while turning so you get a top and a bottom. Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla paste together until you have soft peaks. Put the berries into a bowl, slicing up any big ones, and toss them with the juice of 1 lemon and a sprinkling of sugar. Open the cakes up, and add a little dollop of cream and a few berries to each one.
Wonderful Welsh Cakes © Jamie's Great Britain, Penguin Books. Photograph credit: © David Loftus, 2011 www.jamieoliver.com
Sophie Dahl 's Ruby Frais Strawberry Semi Freddo
Sophie says: 'This recipe is so titled for a young girl named for a future of all things sweet, a Miss Ruby Frais. Her dad calls her ‘Pudding’ and she, like me, is partial to berries and vanilla ice cream. This then, quite literally, has her name all over it.'
450g/1lb of strawberries, hulled and halved, plus extra for serving
100g/3/4 cup of icing/confectioners’ sugar
Juice of 1/2 a small lemon
300ml/11/4 cups of double/heavy cream
30g/1oz of meringues, bashed up
Put the strawberries in a bowl. Tip the sugar on top and leave to macerate for 1 hour.
When they’re a lovely, sticky mess, pour into a blender with the lemon juice and purée.
In a large bowl, whip the cream until thick but malleable enough to fall from the spoon.
Pour the fruit into the cream and fold through thoroughly.
Put into an old ice-cream container or a loaf tin. Freeze for about 1 hour until crystals form around the edges, then take out and run through the blender. Freeze for 2 hours; blend again, then freeze for around 4 hours.
Take out 20 minutes before serving, slice and scatter over the meringues and some extra strawberries.
© From Season to Season: A Year in Recipes, Harper Collins Photograph credit: © Jan Baldwin
Register now for a free Strawberry Tea fundraising pack full of ideas and tips. Visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk/strawberry or call 0870 164 9422.
Daily tip from the lady archive
"It is not always she who appears most kindly in her interest who is the safe sharer of sacred (maybe sorrowful) secrets! Charming manners do not always connote sincerity of heart!”The Lady. In Confidence. 4th April, 1918