IInstead of meandering to Portugal in our camper this summer, we’ll be home. However, I intend to make it an unforgettable summer. I see the beauty of our gardens and countryside with new eyes, and thanks to the recent influx of exclusion weather, we have been eating most of our meals outside. This pavlova has been on our table a few times – it brings so much joy – and the leek and mustard rolls have been packed for low-key family picnics. It will be a British summer in every sense of the word, and I embrace it.
Brown Sugar Pavlova with Roasted Strawberry Bem
Vegetarians can make meringue using aquafaba (water from a can of chickpeas). Here’s a quick recipe: Whisk 150g of chickpea water with a pinch of salt until stiff, add 150g of caster sugar and 1½1 teaspoons of cream of tartar, and beat over high heat until sugar granules dissolve. Use coconut yogurt instead of dairy products. You will need a mixer or electric hand mixer for this.
to equip 20 minutes
cook 1 hour 20 minutes
To prepare the meringue
4 eggs (See above for a vegan alternative)
100gm light brown sugar
100gm fine sugar
pinch of salt
for pem fruit
500 gm strawberrythe largest of them in half
50 ml pims
peel 1 unwaxed lemon
1 small bunch mint
200 ml double cream
1 tablespoon vanilla paste OR 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
Preheat oven to 140°C (130 fan)/gas 2. Separate eggs and set yolks to one side for another use. (You can use it for mayonnaise or custard or add it to scrambled eggs, which makes it extra rich.)
Make sure the bowl you use for the egg whites is very clean, then whisk them until stiff peaks form. Add sugar and salt, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking between additions. Once all the sugar has been added, beat on high for about five minutes, until all of the sugar granules are gone. Rub the meringue with your fingertips: If you still feel grainy, keep going.
Cover a baking tray with greaseproof paper, and drip a little of the mixture onto each corner of the tray to stick the paper down. Put the mixture in the middle of the tray: use the back of the spoon to make a circle about the size of a large dinner plate (about 24-26 cm in diameter), then use the spoon to make it lower in the middle and slightly higher around the sides. Once you get the shape you like, use the spoon to make waves and peaks into the meringue, which will look great when cooked. Bake for an hour, until golden on the outside and pressed inside.
Remove the meringue from the oven and turn the oven up to 190°C/(fan 180°C)/gas 6. Mix the strawberries in Pimm’s, lemon zest and mint, spread on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes, until everything is caramelized. You’re looking for strawberries to smoothen them out but they keep their shape. Set aside to cool.
Beat the vanilla cream with 2 tablespoons of the liquid from the roasting pan. Once everything is cool and you’re ready to eat, drizzle the cream over the meringue, then top it as brilliantly as you like with the fruit.
Picnic rolls with sweet leeks and mustard
Use whatever root vegetables you need to use here; It included carrots and squash, but parsnips, celery, and sweet potatoes would all work—stay away from potatoes, even though they are very starchy. If you’re vegan, use store-bought puffs (most supermarkets are vegan), vegan cheese instead of cheddar, and nondairy milk instead of egg wash.
to equip 25 minutes
cook 35 minutes
Make 12 medium roll
2 leekswashed, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 red onion, Peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlicPeeled and cut into thin slices
200 gm root vegetablespeeled and grated (see Introduction)
Half a teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 small bunch of parsleycoarsely chopped,
peel 1 unwaxed lemon
1 teaspoon English mustard
100 grams cheddargrated
Salt and black pepper
1 x 320 grams of ready-made butter dough
1 medium eggto be beaten
seedsTo top (I use a mixture of black and white sesame, flaxseed, fennel and caraway mixed with a pinch of salt)
In a large skillet, heat a little olive oil and add shallots and onions. Cook for 10 minutes until tender and sweet.
Add garlic, grated greens, and fennel seeds and cook for another five minutes, until the roots lose their texture and the mixture is firm. Put it in a bowl to cool. Heat the oven to 220°C (200°C)/gas 7.
Once cool, add the parsley, lemon zest, mustard, cheddar cheese, and some black pepper, and taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Roll out the pie dough on a floured surface, then cut it in half lengthwise so you have two long, thin rectangles. Have eggs and a pastry brush on hand.
With the long side of the rectangle facing you, place half of the mixture along the middle of the rectangle and press it with your hands into a long sausage. Brush the edges of the pastry away with the egg. Pull the near side of the pastry over the vegetable mixture, then pull the egg-washed edge on top to seal.
Carefully flip everything over so it sits where the pastry meets, then cut it into six equal pieces. Repeat with the other rectangle.
Place the small rolls on a tray lined with baking paper, brush with beaten eggs, and generously sprinkle with seeds. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbling.