Strawberries poached in their own juices have intense flavour, and need little more than a dollop of crème fraîche and a scattering of crumble to top them off.
- 1 kg strawberries (about 4 punnets), hulled
- 3 thyme sprigs, plus extra leaves to serve
- Zested rind and juice of ½ orange and ½ lemon
- 75 gm caster sugar
- 375 gm crème fraîche
- 25 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
- ½ lemon, finely grated rind only
Almond shortcake crumble
- 75 gm (½ cup) self-raising flour
- 30 gm pure icing sugar, sieved
- 1 lemon, finely grated rind only
- 70 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 50 gm natural almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1Coarsely chop 750gm strawberries and place in a large heatproof bowl with thyme, citrus rind and juice, then cover tightly with several layers of plastic wrap to seal. Place over a large saucepan of simmering water and cook until strawberries become pulpy and juices leach (45 minutes-1 hour). Strain through a fine sieve (don't press solids), transfer juices to a large deep-sided frying pan with caster sugar and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Thickly slice remaining strawberries lengthways, add to pan, bring just to the simmer, remove from heat and cool completely.
- 2Meanwhile, for almond shortcake crumble, preheat oven to 180C. Sieve flour and icing sugar into a bowl, then add lemon rind and a pinch of salt and stir to combine. Add butter, rub in with your fingertips until mixture clumps together, then stir in almonds. Spread onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake until golden brown and crisp (20-25 minutes). Cool completely, then coarsely crumble and set aside. Crumble will keep, stored in an airtight container, for 1 week.
- 3Whisk crème fraîche, icing sugar and lemon rind in a bowl to combine (if the crème fraîche is very thick, add a little milk to the mixture). Serve poached strawberries and syrup scattered with a topping of almond shortcake crumble.