July sees the most British of sport competitions begin, so we’ve got our favourite Pimm’s and strawberries on hand to enjoy while watching.
Martha Collison’s Pimm’s trifles
Prep: 30 minutes plus chilling
For the Pimm’s jelly
4 gelatine leaves
250ml apple juice or lemonade
½ 25g pack fresh mint, chopped
200g strawberries, chopped
For the custard
50g caster sugar
1tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
300ml double cream
For the topping
300ml double cream
6 thin slices cucumber
First, make the Pimm’s jelly. Place the gelatine sheets into a small bowl and cover with cool water. Allow to soften completely, around five minutes. Heat the apple juice in a saucepan with the sugar until steaming, but don’t allow it to boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the softened gelatine, one sheet at a time. Mix in the Pimm’s and chopped mint.
Divide strawberries between the glasses or jam jars and pour over the jelly mixture, then place into the fridge to set for at least two hours. If you’re stretched for time, freeze the jellies for 30 minutes instead.
While the jellies set, make the custard. In a jug, whisk together the sugar, cornflour, vanilla, eggs and egg yolk until smooth. Heat the milk and cream in a saucepan until steaming but not boiling. Gradually pour this over the egg mixture, continuously whisking until blended. Return the mixture to the saucepan and heat gently, stirring until thickened. Whisk the custard until it is thick and creamy, then pour into a bowl, cover with cling film and chill until cool.
Whip the cream for the topping until it forms soft peaks. Divide the cooled custard between the glasses or jars on top of the jellies, and then spoon over the cream. Garnish each trifle with a piece of cucumber and a mint leaf, and chill until ready to serve.
Strawberry, elderflower and mint pavlova
Prep: 20 minutes, plus macerating and cooling
Cook: 1 hour
4 egg whites
1 lime, juice
200g caster sugar
400g strawberries, halved
5tbsp elderflower cordial
Small handful mint leaves, shredded, plus a few leaves to decorate
150ml double cream
150g Greek yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 150C. Draw a 20cm circle on parchment; place upside-down on a baking tray. Using electric beaters, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt and a few drops of lime juice. Start slowly then turn up the speed and beat to firmish peaks.
Beat in the sugar in three additions, combining completely between each, to a stiff and glossy meringue. Pile onto the parchment inside the 20cm circle and use the back of the spoon to make a dip in the middle. Put in the oven, lower the heat to 120C and bake for an hour. Once baked, turn the oven off, prop the door open and cool completely (around two hours).
Meanwhile, mix together the strawberries, 2tbsp cordial and the remaining lime juice. Macerate for 30 minutes, then stir through the shredded mint. Using a balloon whisk, whip the cream to soft peaks. In a separate bowl, mix the yoghurt with the remaining 3tbsp elderflower cordial. Fold the yoghurt into the cream, then pile onto the cooled meringue. Top with the strawberry mixture, spooning over any extra juices, and decorate with a few whole mint leaves.
Cook’s tip: using half cream and half yoghurt in the filling makes this summery dessert a little lighter.
Panna cotta with Pimm’s and strawberries
Prep: 15 minutes plus infusing and setting
Cooke: 5 minutes
Vegetable oil, for greasing
500ml double cream
½ vanilla pod, split
200ml whole milk
1tbsp lemon juice
125g clear honey
3 sheets leaf gelatine
400g pack strawberries, hulled, any large ones halved or quartered
2tbsp icing sugar
Zest of ½ orange
Grease six small 150-200ml ramekins sparingly with vegetable oil. Place the cream and vanilla pod in a medium saucepan and heat until almost boiling. Remove from the heat and leave to infuse for eight to 10 minutes, until room temperature.
Mix the milk and lemon juice together and leave to stand for five minutes. Add this to the cream along with the honey. Stir over a low heat for one to two minutes, until the honey has melted.
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water for five minutes until soft, then wring out and add to the cream mixture. Stir briefly, until the gelatine has dissolved, then strain the mixture into a jug and discard the vanilla pod. Pour the cream into the prepared ramekins. Leave to cool to room temperature then cover and chill for three hours, or until set.
Put the strawberries into a bowl with the icing sugar and orange zest. Stir and leave until the sugar has dissolved. Add the Pimm’s. Cover and leave to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. To serve, dip the ramekins into just boiled water and turn out onto plates. Serve with the strawberries and their juice spooned around.