With strawberries in abundance I cannot help but use them on the menu, and the customers will eat all we can serve them. This is a very simple dessert, but guaranteed to impress. Adding an orange flavour in the cream may seem unusual but strawberry and orange go well together and the Cointreau gives the dessert just the right lift.
1. First make the sable biscuits. Preheat the oven to 175 degC. Cream the butter and icing sugar, and beat in the egg white then flour to make the sable pastry. Chill in the fridge for an hour then roll out and cut into eight rounds. Place them on a non-stick baking tray and bake for about 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and reserve.
2. To make the coulis, place water, caster sugar and five or six strawberries in a saucepan and boil. Transfer heated strawberries to a blender and puree them, adding enough of the cooking liquid to make a coulis of about the consistency of double cream. Force through a sieve and add the lemon. Reserve in a cool place.
3. To make the chantilly cream, whip the double cream to soft peaks, add the icing sugar and Cointreau and whip until thick.
4. Place a sable biscuit in the middle of each of four dessert plates and top with chantilly cream. Stand the strawberries in the cream and place the second sable biscuit on top. Dust the top of this biscuit with a little icing sugar. Spoon the coulis around and serve at once.
For four people
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
70g icing sugar
One small egg white
250g plain flour
Six strawberries from a large punnet, hulled, larger ones halved.
Reserve rest for serving
50g caster sugar
Squeeze of fresh lemon
20g icing sugar
250ml double cream
One tablespoon Cointreau
AND FOR THE WINE
A dessert wine needs to be well balanced with good levels of acidity and refreshing citrus tones. Elegusto Wines selects the following:
Chateau Sainte Helene, Sauternes 1999 (£18.90): The second wine of the internationally known Chateau de Malle, Sainte Helene is often only very marginally inferior to its Grand Cru Classe sister. The Semillon and Sauvignon grapes are affected by Noble Rot and, after careful ageing in barrel, the wines are supremely perfumed, luscious and rich in the mouth, honeyed but with characteristic tangy acidity. A fine wine at an affordable price.
Jurancon Moelleux Selection des Terrasses, Domaine Larredya (£16.10): Made from Petit Manseng grapes and matured in wood, this is peachy and much more - citrus almost lemony, honeyed but with a firm acidity making the wine rich and long in the mouth.
For more details or to purchase these wines, please visit: www.elegusto.co.uk/gp