Use leftover strawberry purée in smoothies or muffins. Leftover meringues will keep in an airtight container for up to 1 week. To prevent meringues from cracking, leave in the oven overnight to dry. At Arras restaurant, this dish is served with crystallised rose petals. Start this recipe a day ahead to macerate strawberries.
freeze-dried strawberries (see Note), crushed, to serve (optional)
Strawberry and rose sorbet
750 g strawberries, hulled, roughly chopped
110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
2 tsp rosewater (see Note)
1 (2 g) gold-strength gelatine leaf
1 tbs glucose syrup (see Note)
900 g frozen strawberries, defrosted, halved
1 lemon, juiced
110 g (½ cup) caster sugar
Strawberry 'foie gras’ custard
8 (16 g) gold-strength gelatine leaves (see Note)
600 ml thickened cream
14 egg yolks
125 g caster sugar
250 g unsalted butter, chopped
250 g ripe strawberries, hulled, quartered
2 tsp rosewater (see Note)
55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
2 egg whites
90 g caster sugar
1 tsp strawberry juice
40 g (¼ cup) pure icing sugar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To start sorbet, place berries, sugar and rosewater in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight to macerate.
Meanwhile, to make strawberry juice, combine strawberries, lemon juice and sugar in
a bowl. Cover and set aside in a warm area for 2 hours to macerate. Strain mixture through a fine sieve and chill until needed. Makes 325 ml.
Preheat oven to 140C. To make custard, soak gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes or until soft. Drain and lightly squeeze. Place cream in a pan and bring to the boil. Stir in gelatine until dissolved, then stir in 250 ml strawberry juice. Remove from heat.
Meanwhile, whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until sugar dissolves. Gradually whisk in strawberry cream. Strain through a fine sieve and return to pan over medium heat. Add butter and whisk continuously until combined and mixture is thick, glossy and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat.
Line a lamington pan with enough baking paper to extend over sides. Pour in custard mixture, then place pan in a large baking dish lined with a tea towel. Fill dish with enough warm water to come halfway up sides of lamington pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until edges are starting to set; the centre will still be wobbly. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight to set.
The next day, to finish the sorbet, blend macerated berries in a blender until smooth. Soften gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes. Drain and lightly squeeze. Warm glucose and 2 tbs water in a small pan over low heat. Stir in gelatine until dissolved. Add to strawberry mixture and combine. Strain through a fine sieve, then transfer to an ice-cream machine. Churn for 15 minutes or until firm. Freeze until needed. Sorbet can be frozen for up to 3 months. Makes 850ml. (See note below to make sorbet without an ice-cream machine.)
To make marinated strawberries, combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
To make meringues, preheat oven to 120C. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add sugar and whisk until thick and glossy. Stir in 250 ml strawberry juice, then fold in icing sugar. Spoon tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto 2 lined oven trays, leaving 3cm between each. (Alternatively, use a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm nozzle). Bake for 45 minutes, then open door and bake for a further 45 minutes or until firm. Turn off oven and leave meringues in oven to cool.
Using a 7cm pastry cutter, cut custard into 8 rounds. Serve strawberry 'foie gras' with sorbet, marinated strawberries, meringues, remaining 75 ml strawberry juice and crushed freeze-dried strawberries, if using.
Rosewater is from Middle Eastern food shops and delis.
The final texture of confectionery depends on its concentration of sugar. Sugar concentration increases as the temperature of the syrup rises. High temperatures result in hard sweets and low temperatures result in softer ones. The temperatures of syrup are classified by stages, which describe what happens when you drop a little syrup into iced water. (Use this method if you don't have a sugar thermometer.) These stages vary from 'soft ball' (118C - 120C), 'firm ball' (123C - 125C), 'hard ball' (125C- 133C), 'soft crack' (135C - 145C) and 'hard crack' (150C- 155C). Syrup that reaches the hard-crack stage has the highest concentration of sugar.
Titanium-strength gelatine weighs 5 g per leaf. You can substitute bronze (1.5 g per leaf) or gold (2 g per leaf) gelatine leaves as long as the final weight matches the recipe. Gelatine is available from specialist food shops and delis.
Freeze-dried strawberries are available from delis and selected supermarkets.
Making sorbet without an ice-cream machine - Strain mixture into a shallow metal tray for 2 hours or until frozen at the edges. Scrape with a fork to break up ice crystals, then freeze for a further 2 hours. Repeat twice or until completely frozen and smooth.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 15, pg102.
Photography by Alan Benson