However you might feel about British food, you cannot deny this island produces some of the best strawberries on the planet. I’m given to understand that this is because they’re still grown in the ground, whilst the rest of the civilised world have taken to growing them hydroponically, which maximises the yield, but at the expense of texture and flavour.
That said, they can occasionally disappoint, and my box of new season’s strawbs are pleasant, but without the richness that they’ll have in June. Here’s how to improve them, quantities below for five greedy people:
- 500g strawberries
- 250g Mascarpone
- 300mL double cream
- quarter cup icing sugar
- 60mL Marsala
Lever the mascarpone out of its tub, and into a large mixing bowl. Sift the icing sugar over it. You need to combine the cream and Marsala, but if you add them all at once, you’ll just be chasing a lump of mascarpone around the bowl with a spoon. So start by adding a quarter of the cream and use a pair of metal spoons to break up the mascarpone and combine, after that it shouldn’t be too hard to add the rest. You want a smooth mix.
Retain a few of the most attractive strawberries for topping; hull and quarter the rest. In each bowl, place a dollop of the cream/mascarpone mix, a portion of strawberries, the remainder of the cream/mascarpone, and top with a single strawberry.
Leave in the fridge for an hour or two to set, and serve chilled.
You could use single cream, but you’ll need to sift in half a teaspoon of cornflour with the icing sugar to give it some stability. A chilled double espresso will add a certain kick to the mix, and you could also try a different alcohol. You could also sprinkle the strawberries with booze and allow them to sit for a while.