A winning serve: 5 strawberry desserts worthy of Centre Court

Get in the mood for Wimbledon with sumptuous strawberry puds worthy of Centre Court.

Cheat’s strawberry flan

strawberry desserts
Chris Alack

MAKES 1 x 23CM FLAN

1 x 23cm bought sponge flan case
1 level tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp amaretto or fruit liqueur
150ml seedless raspberry jam
squeeze or two of lemon
450g small strawberries, hulled
300g quark
50g icing sugar, sifted, plus extra for dusting
few drops of almond extract
225ml double cream

1. Place the flan case on a serving plate. In a small bowl, pour a tablespoon of boiling water over the caster sugar and stir to dissolve, then add the amaretto. Brush this over the base of the flan case within the rim, using a pastry brush.

2. Combine the jam with a squeeze or two of lemon to loosen it. Slice a third of the strawberries, combine with the jam and spoon into the flan case.

3. Beat the quark, icing sugar and almond extract together in a large bowl until smooth. Whisk the cream to soft fluffy peaks in a medium bowl using an electric whisk, and fold into the quark half at a time. Dollop this over the jammy fruit, swirling the top. Cover and chill for up to a day. Shortly before serving, slice the remaining strawberries and pile on top, then dust all over with icing sugar.

Simplest strawberry mess

strawberry desserts
Chris Alack

SERVES 6

First hull 800g strawberries and set aside 500g. Place remaining 300g berries in a blender with 40g icing sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Whiz to a purée and sieve into a bowl. Quarter the reserved berries and fold into the sieved purée. Whisk 450ml whipping cream until stiff. In a deep 20cm trifle bowl, roughly layer the cream and strawberry mixture with about 120g mini meringues, gently messing up the layers to give a swirly effect. Finish with extra meringues and edible rose petals. Alternatively, arrange the individual elements in a wide shallow serving dish, as in the picture, and mess everything up as you serve. 

Strawberries with ricotta citrus cream

strawberry desserts
Chris Alack

SERVES 6
750g ricotta, drained
75g white caster sugar
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
12 soft amaretti (about 100g), finely crumbled
1 tbsp medium sherry or madeira
600g strawberries, hulled and sliced, plus a few extra to serve
small mint leaves to decorate

1. Whiz the ricotta, sugar and orange zest together in a food processor until smooth.

2. Toss the amaretti crumbs in a medium-size bowl with the sherry to coat them lightly, then scatter half of these over the base of a 20cm glass trifle dish or similar dessert bowl, about 1.5 litre capacity. Scatter half the sliced strawberries over the crumbs, then smooth over half the ricotta, and repeat.

3. Cover and chill, and serve within half a day, decorated just before serving with a few extra strawberries and small mint leaves. Alternatively, you can make individual servings in dessert dishes or glasses, if you wish.

Easiest ever shortbread ice

strawberry desserts
Chris Alack

MAKES ABOUT 1 LITRE

600ml whipping cream
250g condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
10 shortbread biscuits, roughly chopped
jammy berries (see opposite) or fresh berries to serve, optional

1. Whisk the cream, condensed milk and vanilla in a large bowl using an electric whisk until it forms soft, fluffy peaks (this can take some minutes – use a large bowl to catch any spatters). 

2. Fold the chopped biscuits evenly into the cream mixture. Transfer to a container, seal and freeze for at least half a day. If freezing overnight, remove from the fridge 20-30 minutes ahead of serving. Serve with jammy berries or fresh berries of your choice.

FOR THE JAMMY BERRIES

SERVES 4-6

Place 450g hulled and quartered strawberries in a bowl and drizzle over 4 tablespoons kirsch. Cover the bowl and chill for several hours. Remove from the fridge 30-60 minutes before serving. Gently warm 125g strawberry jam in a small saucepan until it begins to liquefy, then press it through a sieve into a bowl. Strain the strawberry marinating liquid into the bowl and stir to blend it with the jam. Pour the warm jammy liquid back over the strawberries, stirring to coat.

Iced orange polenta cake with berries

strawberry desserts
Chris Alack

MAKES 1 x 20CM CAKE

180g unsalted butter, softened and diced, plus extra for the tin
200g golden caster sugar
3 large eggs
finely grated zest and juice of 2 small oranges
130g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder, sifted
100g fine polenta (for example Holland & Barrett Maize Meal)

ON TOP

150g icing sugar, sifted
2-3 tbsp sieved orange juice
sliced fresh strawberries
extra orange zest (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 190C/170Cfan/gas 5. Butter a loose-bottomed 20cm cake tin about 7cm deep and line the base. Place all the cake ingredients in the bowl of a food processor with the metal blade attachment. Whiz on full power for 10 seconds. Do not overmix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and process briefly on pulse for 10 seconds until smooth. 

2. Transfer the mixture to the tin, smooth the surface and bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted at the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool in the tin before removing.

3. Combine the icing sugar and enough orange juice to give a thin icing. Lightly coat the top of the cake using a palette knife and leave to set for 1-2 hours. Just before serving, arrange a few sliced fresh strawberries casually on top with a scattering of orange zest if wished. 

SERVING IDEA This also makes a brilliant pud served with a dollop of crème fraîche and jammy berries (see above).

Recipe by Annie Bell. Food styling by Clare Lewis. Styling by Sue Radcliffe.