Strawberry curd sponge drops
- July 2010
- Makes about 24
- Hands-on time 30 min; oven time 45-50 min; plus cooling
This afternoon tea treat sees sponge discs filled with fresh strawberries, homemade strawberry curd and billowing chantilly cream.
Or, how about these strawberry shortcakes – a mouthwatering mash-up of shortbread and scone? Serve in summer for afternoon tea with a Pimm’s alongside.
- 9.3g fat (5g saturated)
- 3.6g protein
- 22.9g carbs (17.4g sugar)
- 0.1g salt
- 4 medium free-range eggs
- 100g caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 150g self-raising flour
- 350g fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced, to serve
- Icing sugar for dusting
For the strawberry curd
- 200g bright red, fresh ripe strawberries, hulled
- 4 large free-range eggs
- Finely grated zest of 2 large lemons and juice of 1
- 250g caster sugar
- 100g unsalted butter
- Few drops of red food colouring (optional)
For the chantilly cream
- 150ml double cream
- 1 tbsp (or to taste) icing sugar, sifted
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- To make the strawberry curd, purée the strawberries in a food processor, then push them through a sieve into a large heatproof bowl to remove the seeds. Beat the eggs and strain them into the bowl, then add the lemon juice and zest, sugar and butter. Place the bowl over a pan containing about 5cm of simmering water, making sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Cook, stirring gently, for 30-35 minutes until the mixture thickens and your spoon leaves a trail for a couple of seconds when moved through it. Make sure it doesn’t get too hot or it may curdle.
- Pour the strawberry curd into warm, sterilised jars (see tip), cover with a tea towel and set aside to cool. Once completely cool, press a waxed disc onto the surface of each jar of curd, seal with the lids and store the jars of curd in the fridge for up to 2 months.
- To make the sponge drops, preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 and line 3 large baking sheets with baking paper. Put the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract into a large bowl and whisk with an electric hand whisk for 7 minutes until the mixture has tripled in volume and is very pale and thick. When you lift the whisk out, it should leave a trail over the surface. Sift in the flour and gently fold it into the mixture with a metal spoon.
- Drop exact tablespoons of the mixture onto the baking sheets, leaving a 3cm gap between each one. Bake for 8-10 minutes until puffed up, lightly crisp and richly golden. Leave to cool on the sheets, then peel away from the paper.
- Make the chantilly cream. Whip the cream with the icing sugar and vanilla extract into soft peaks. Spread a sponge drop with curd and top with a few strawberry slices. Spread another drop with cream, sandwich together, dust with icing sugar and serve straightaway, before the sponge drops go too soft.
The redder your strawberries, the better the colour of the strawberry curd will be. If you really need to, stir in a few drops of red food colouring.
You can make the curd well in advance, if you like.
To sterilise jam jars preheat the oven to 150°C/fan130°C/gas 2. Wash your jars and lids in hot soapy water, rinse well, then leave to drain briefly. Put the jars upside down into the warm oven and leave for at least 15 minutes before using.
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