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Dessert: Strawberries, Elderflower Custard and Strawberry Champagne Sorbet

Serves 6


For the rough puff pastry:

500g plain flour, plus extra to dust

10g fine sea salt

500g ice-cold butter, cut into 1cm dice

250ml ice-cold water

200g icing sugar, to dust

For the elderflower and lemon custard:

300ml double cream

100ml elderflower cordial

4 large eggs

100g caster sugar

50ml lemon juice

For the strawberry champagne sorbet:

500g strawberries, hulled and halved

500ml champagne

100g liquid glucose

100g caster sugar

For the elderflower and strawberry syrup:

100g strawberries, hulled

100ml elderflower cordial

200g liquid glucose

For the strawberries

20 strawberries, hulled and halved


To make the rough puff pastry:

Put the flour, salt and butter into a bowl and rub in the butter using your fingertips, until the pieces are roughly half the size. Add the water and mix to a dough. On a floured surface, roll the dough out to a neat rectangle, about 50 x 20cm. Fold the top third down, then the bottom third up over the top. Wrap in cling film and rest in the fridge for 30 minutes. Give the dough a quarter-turn, then roll out and fold as before, twice more. Now dust your work surface with icing sugar and roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin. Dust the pastry heavily with icing sugar and roll up, like a big sausage. Wrap in cling film and chill in the freezer.

To bake the pastry:

Preheat your oven to 200 °C/Fan 180 °C/Gas Mark 6. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat or silicone paper. Unwrap the pastry roll and cut into 6 slices, the thickness of a £1 coin. Lay these on the baking sheet. (Freeze the rest of the pastry roll for another day.) Bake the pastry discs for 8–10 minutes until crisp and golden. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool. Keep in an airtight container until ready to serve.

To make the custard:

Pour the cream and elderflower cordial into a pan and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Pour on the hot cream mix, whisking as you do so, then add the lemon juice. Pour into a thermomix set at 90 °C and cook on full speed for 5 minutes. Or cook, stirring over a low heat, until the custard reaches 90°C. Immediately pour into 6 serving dishes. Let cool slightly and then place in the fridge to set; this will take 2 hours.

For the strawberry champagne sorbet:

Put all the ingredients into a pan and bring to a simmer over a medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes. Take off the heat and blitz the mixture with a hand blender, then pass through a sieve into a jug and leave to cool. Once cooled, churn in an ice-cream machine until firm, then transfer the sorbet to a suitable container and freeze until ready to serve.

To make the syrup:

Put the strawberries, elderflower cordial and glucose into a pan, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then pass the syrup through a sieve into a jug. Set aside for serving.

To finish the dish:

Put the fresh strawberries into a bowl, add some of the syrup and toss carefully to dress. Remove the elderflower custards from the fridge and arrange the strawberries equally on top of them. Spoon a neat scoop of strawberry sorbet on top of each pile of strawberries and finish with a puff pastry disc. Serve immediately.

Extracted from Restaurant Nathan Outlaw by Nathan Outlaw (Bloomsbury Absolute, £40)


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