There's nothing better than the sight of British strawberries in summertime, so to celebrate our prized fruit and the Wimbledon final, Phil Vickery's got an impressive dessert - a strawberry mille feuille.
- 1 large sheet ready rolled puff pastry
- 3 tsp vanilla extract
- 560mls double cream, very lightly whipped
- 4-5 tbsp good quality strawberry jam (Tiptree Little Scarlet)
- 300gm ripe, fresh English strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 8-10 tbsp fondant sugar
- ½ tsp pink colour
- 6-8 tbsp lightly browned flaked almonds
- Strawberries, to serve
- For the Sauce
- 300g fresh ripe strawberries
- 100g castor sugar, this is an approximate as some berries are sweeter than others
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- a little cold water if needed
- 2-3 tbsp good quality strawberry jam, if strawberries are a little tasteless
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, Gas 6
- Unwrap the puff pastry carefully, and re-roll it so it’s gets nice and thin.
- Place on a baking sheet and dock really well with a fork.
- Pop the pastry in the hot oven and cook for 20-25 minutes or until nicely risen and golden brown.
- Take care with puff pastry it tends to burn very quickly once you take your eye off it, remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack and cool. It must be cooked right through, it’s very important.
- Next place the vanilla and cream into a bowl and whip, but do not over whip. Keep as cold as possible.
- Once cooked and cooled, cut the pastry into three equal pieces lengthways.
- Spread two of the layers with the jam, this is a novel idea not only does it sweeten the dessert, but it also brings out the flavour of the strawberries. Don’t skimp on the jam. Place the strawberries on top of the jam.
- Using a palette knife spread a thick layer of whipped double cream on top of the strawberries and jam. Then carefully using a palette knife lift one of the strips of pastry on to the top of the other and nestle down nicely.
- Mix the fondant icing sugar with a little water or lemon or lime juice and spread over the last pastry slice.
- Quickly mix the pink colouring with a little of the fondant sugar.
- Using a small paper piping bag, pipe lines about 1cm apart along the fondant.
- With a knife or skewer swipe through the icings leaving a 1-2 cm gap.
- Turn the board round and swipe the other way to get a zig zag effect.
- Put the final fondant iced piece of puff pastry on top.
- Take the palette knife again, and using any excess cream from the bowl and from the edge of the pastry, carefully fill in the gaps around the layers of pastry and strawberries. Once nice and tidy.
- Carefully stick the browned almonds to the outside of the pastry.
- Chill until the fondant is set, press lightly and slice.
- Place the washed then hulled berries in a liquidizer along with the sugar/jam and lemon juice.
- Blitz until smooth you may need to add a touch of cold water to let the sauce down if it’s too thick.
- Pass through a fine sieve and chill well.
Serve with the extra double cream and strawberry sauce.