There can be few foods more quintessentially English than strawberries and cream in the summertime. Those fat, luscious cheery red fruits, accompanied with a generous serving of cool cream, seem ever seared on our consciousness as the perfect accompaniment to a long, hazy day.
And then there’s that other traditional English summer institution, Wimbledon – at which the price of a serving of strawberries each year is as keenly discussed as is the form of the top players. The All English Lawn Tennis Club procures its supply of the red berries from a farm near Maidstone in Kent, and has been doing so for many years.
This season, I’ve been buying mine from the same farm, and I can vouch for their superlative quality and flavour. Rather than serve them simply with cream, or – as a ubiquitous trend would have it, with balsamic vinegar and black pepper – I’ve macerated the strawberries with icing sugar and homemade elderflower vinegar, and then spooned a big, billowy pillow of whipped double cream over them. The final touch is a scattering of cracked pink peppercorns and baby mint leaves. Divine.