The perfect cream tea, afternoon tea or garden party trio, Strawberry and Champagne Jelly, Scones with Strawberry Jam and Fresh Strawberries, Miniature Strawberry Tart.
For the Strawberry and Champagne Jelly
- 500g AVA Strawberries
- 150g caster sugar
- 100ml water
- 150ml champagne or any sparkling wine
- 2 gelatine leaves (or Vegeset or equivalent if you are vegetarian)
Place the strawberries in a pan with the sugar and water. Heat gently until all of the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and allow to summer for 2 minutes. Add the sparkling wine. Remove from the heat and pass through a fine sieve or muslin. Allow to cool in the fridge for half an hour.
Once cool, soak the gelatine in cold water. Heat half of the strawberry liquid in a pan until nearly boiling. Squeeze the gelatine and add to the pan until dissolved. Mix with the remaining strawberry liquid.
Using a jug, pour the jelly into cup or moulds. I used a glass cup and put some cut strawberries around the outside of the glass before pouring in the mixture. Return to the fridge and allow to set for around 3 hours or longer.
For the Strawberry Tarts
This will make a good batch of pastry (enough to make several small tarts, a large tart or maybe 2. You can use what you need and then freeze the rest for use in the future)
- 250g plain flour
- 125g butter, cubed and at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 pinch salt
If you have a food processor, place all of the ingredients in and pulse until you get wet breadcrumb consistency. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and bring together into a dough. Be careful not to overwork the pastry. Now wrap in cling film and place in the fridge to chill.
If you do not have a food processor, mix the butter, salt and flour by using your fingertips to reach breadcrumbs texture. Create a well and then bring together with the egg and tip out to form together as a dough. Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge to chill.
Tip: if the dough is too dry – add a little cold water to help.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and take two sheets of cling film. Use half of the dough to make 12 mini tarts. Now roll the pastry in between the two sheets of cling film. This is a good trick to stop it sticking and make sure you can roll it quite thin 2-3mm. Now take a cutter and cut out pieces of dough to place in your tart baking tray. Lightly press the pastry into your tart case – use a fork to prick the bottom. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Set oven to 200C.
Remove the pastry from the fridge and place a sheet of cling film over the tart case and place some baking beans in each tart. Blind bake for 8 minutes, then remove the beans and return to bake for a further 5 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the tin and place on a cooling rack.
For the Crème Patisserie
- 2 free range egg yolks
- 30g caster sugar
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 15g plain flour
- 140ml milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until light and fluffy. Heat the milk in a pan until nearly boiling point. Fold the cornflour and flour into the egg mixture. Pour the milk in and whisk to combine. Wash your pan and return the mixture and heat gently until thickened. Continue to stir and heat for a further two minutes. Add the vanilla to the custard mixture and then place in a bowl and cover and chill until ready to use.
For the Scones
- 250g self raising flour
- Pinch of salt
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g butter, chilled and diced
- 1 medium egg
- 100ml buttermilk (or 2 tbsp yoghurt and milk to make it up to 100ml)
Set your oven to 200C
Place the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl. Use your fingertips to mix until fine breadcrumbs. Beat the egg and the buttermilk together then combine with the flour mixture. Bring together using a knife and then use your hands to form a dough (try not to overwork it). Now tip out onto a lightly floured surface and create a flat dough of around 3cm depth. Take a baking sheet and line with baking paper. Place the rounds on the baking sheet leaving a bit of space between them. Brush the tops with a little egg yolk or milk and place in the oven for around 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Set on a baking rack.
For the Strawberry Jam
500g strawberries (cut in half or quarters depending on the size of the fruit)
250g sugar (jam sugar if possible)
½ juice of a lemon
Sterilise 2 jam jars (place in boiling water or in the oven without lid at 140C for 20 minutes)
Place in a pan and bring to the boil. Continue to boil for around 5-10 minutes or until it wrinkles when cool when you place on a cold plate.
To Assemble the Cream Tea
For the Strawberry Tarts
Put the crème patisserie in a piping bag. Pipe into the 12 small tart cases. Take your strawberries and cut into any design you like. If it is a big strawberry you could cut thinly to ¾ way down and fan out the whole the berry, or you could cut into quarters lengthways and have them standing up in the case. Now take a little strawberry jam and heat until liquid (add a little water if too thick. Use a pastry brush to glaze the tarts.
For the Scones
Whip 150ml of double or whipping cream to soft peaks. (or use clotted cream instead if you are feeling especially naughty!.
Cut the scones in half and fill with your jam and cream. Add a few fresh slices of strawberry too.
For the Jelly
Keep a little of the whipped cream aside and add some rose water or elderflower essence (optional) and place in a piping bag. Pipe little dots of the cream on the top of the jelly and then decorate with some dried flowers or mini basil or mint.