Balsamico Strawberries with Chantilly Cream

Last week I was invited onto R4 The World at One to talk about what to do with strawberries, an item prompted by no Wimbledon this year and the cancellation of most of the UK’s summer events. Wimbledon fortnight alone, accounts for an estimated 2 million strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream and I’ve just read that the fate of 28,000kg British strawberries hangs in the balance. So what to do with them? One of the simplest and most surprising alternatives to strawberries and cream is flavouring them with peppery, fruity balsamic vinegar. The quick and simple way of completely changing the flavours of our favourite summer fruit is worth discovering. Try it on its own, or with sweet Chantilly cream, panna cotta or rice pudding. When my sons were growing up pudding was always an issue. I became adept at conjuring something out of nothing and one of my ruses was faux rice pudding. Leftover rice (usually basmati) would be mixed with caster sugar and Greek yoghurt. It would be a lovely base for these juicy strawberries. Just a thought.

Serves 4

Prep: 20 min plus 30 min resting

450g British strawberries

2 tbsp caster sugar

2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar

300ml double cream

2 tbsp icing sugar

     Leave small strawberries whole, halve medium fruit and quarter large ones. Place in a bowl. Toss with the caster sugar. When the sugar has melted, the strawbs noticeably juicy add the balsamic vinegar. Toss and leave for at least 30 minutes. Toss again. Pour the cream into a second bowl. Dust with sieved icing sugar and whisk until holding soft peaks. Serve the strawberries and their juices over the cream.