The sun’s out, Wimbledon is on the television and so, of course, our thoughts turn to strawberries. Strawberry growers are predicting a £325 million record year of strawberry sales in 2015, beating a previous record of £275 million in 2014. Florence Knight is Head chef at Polpetto restaurant, culinary author and one of the most talked-about chefs in the UK. She is supporting UK berry growers by fronting their Taste of Summer campaign. Take a look at some of her tasty recipes.

  • 45 mins - 3 hrs
  • 6
  • Easy


  • Strawberries with elderflower granita
  • 500ml elderflower cordial
  • 500ml water
  • 450g or 1 large punnet of strawberries
  • 140g thick double cream
  • Strawberries with brown sugar meringue & cream
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 50g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 75g egg whites at room temperature (approximately 2½ eggs)
  • 1tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon
  • 600g of strawberries
  • 300ml double cream
  • Raspberry and hazelnut loaf
  • 125g hazelnuts
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 175g (unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • a few drops almond extract
  • 150g sifted self-raising flour
  • 200g raspberries
  • 2 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 heaped tbsp Demerara sugar


Strawberries with elderflower granita 

“Granita is at its best when eaten the moment it is ready. However, it will keep quite happily for several days in the freezer, if needed, although it will solidify considerably. In this eventuality, take it out of the freezer about an hour before you want to eat it, leave to defrost slightly, then beat again with a fork and pop it back in the freezer until needed.”

Mix the cordial with the water, pour it into a deep-sided dish and place it in the freezer.

After half-an-hour or so, break up any ice that has formed in the tray with the teeth of a fork – the crystals will form first on the outside, so scrape them into the center of the tray.

Repeat every half-hour or so, until the whole tray is full of rough ice crystals.

Angle a small sharp knife and cut, in a circular motion, around the green leafy top of the strawberry and into the pale flesh directly underneath, discard this part. Halve any larger strawberries but leave the smaller ones whole.

Lightly whip the cream.

To serve, fold the strawberries into the cream, spoon into six pretty glasses and top with a generous spoonful of granita.

Strawberries with brown sugar meringue & cream

“A simple elegant dessert that will not fail to please. Meringues are not difficult to make, just a little delicate. Most importantly, make sure everything is dry and free of grease. You can make the meringue a few days ahead and store the shards in an air-tight container to help retain their freshness.” 

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

Line a flat oven tray, preferably with a silicone mat but failing that greaseproof paper will do.

Combine the caster sugar and dark brown muscovado sugar in a bowl and press them through a sieve onto the silicone mat.

Spread the sugar over the mat evenly and cook it for about 8 minutes, until it has just begun to melt at the edges, but not to caramelize.

It is essential that everything you use when making the meringues is grease-free, otherwise the egg whites will not stiffen.

Wipe the inside of your mixing bowl and the whisk with the cut side of a lemon.

Now add the egg whites to the bowl. As soon as you spot the sugar beginning to melt at the edges, set the mixer to whisk at high speed while you take the sugar out of the oven.

Then turn the oven down to the lowest setting.

The eggs should be just foamy by the time you add the sugar. Using a cloth, very carefully pick up the corners of silicone mat and tip the hot sugar slowly into the still-whisking mixer.

Continue whisking until the mixture is cool, glossy and will hold its shape, then add the splash of cider vinegar. This helps to balance the sweetness.

Re-line the baking tray with greaseproof paper and spoon the meringue on. Use a palette knife to spread it over the tray to about 1cm thick.

Place the tray into the oven on the lowest heat and bake until they are crisp on the outside, and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom; depending on their size, this could take up to 3 hours.

Allow the meringue to cool in the oven, with the door opened.

Hull the strawberries, halving any large ones, and place them bowls.

Crumble a little meringue over each bowl and serve with a jug of cream. Should any meringue be left, it is best stored in an air-tight container.

Raspberry and hazelnut loaf

“The baked raspberries give moisture to this afternoon loaf, and the toasted hazelnuts lend greater depth of flavour. The perfect accompaniment to a cup of fragrant Earl Grey.”

Heat the oven to 160C and line a 1 kg loaf tin.

Tip hazelnuts onto a baking tray and place it in the hot oven for three minutes. Pour the hot hazelnuts into a clean tea towel, wrap them up and rub them vigorously on the work surface to shed their skins. Pick the nuts from their husks and whizz them in a food processor for a minute until they are finely ground.

Beat together light brown sugar, caster sugar and butter until it is very light. Slowly beat in eggs and a few drops of almond extract.

Gently fold through sifted self-raising flour, keeping in as much air as you can.

Finally fold in the carefully chosen, unblemished raspberries and the whole milk.

Pour the mixture into your prepared tin and bake for 50 minutes until a skewer comes out of the cake’s center clean.

Scatter over the Demerara sugar within the last five minutes of baking and cover with tin foil if the loaf looks like it’s taking on too much colour.

Eat a generous slice whilst it is still slightly warm to the touch.

You can find out more about the Taste of Summer campaign at their website:

Find the campaign on Twitter @britishberries.

About The Author

Yorkshire's only dedicated food and drink website from Yorkshire Post Newspapers and its sister titles in the region. Showcasing everything Yorkshire has to offer from the fruits of the sea to the fields of the moors and beyond. It includes unbiased restaurant reviews by renowned food critics, recipes and 'how to' videos from some of Yorkshire's finest chefs and latest food and drink news and blogs from around our amazing county. And you can have your say either on the site or via our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Let us know what you think