Sunday Kitchen: Seasons eatings
The Dunbrody House’s star chef, Kevin Dundon, shares his favourite recipes
This week we are celebrating wexford strawberries and raspberries. The season for the strawberries started in may but it is now in June July that they are at their best sweetness and prefect flavour.
Growing berries at home, the yield of the crops can vary depending on how much care we give them and sometimes how much the birds are willing to leave us!
luckily, for us, we are leaving very close to a few specialised farms such as Danecastle where we can go , chat and leave with perfect strawberries and raspberries. The farm is open for everyone to stop and buy direct.
So if you drive on the famously long and straight Duncannon road, take a short side trip. It is well worth it!
I have mentioned a few Sundays ago about a delicious pavlova, with its perfect chewiness. Today I am using meringues which are usually dried and bristler than pavlova. They are ideal to serve as individual nest on a Sunday lunch or afternoon treat! The strawberries are flambeed with some alcohol but if you prefer to avoid alcohol, deglaze the pan with the squeeze of half an orange. It will be perfect and delicious too. It is important not to cook the strawberries more than a minute or so. they keep a better texture yet render enough flavoursome strawberry juice. You can either serve the strawberries in the meringue nests or crack the meringues over the strawberries, add the cream and enjoy it as a mess!
My next recipes are for non bakers! If you fear baking, this is so easy you will have fantastic results! It is called a galette which means it doesn’t have to be neat like a tart! you will need for a tasty flaky base some ready rolled puff pastry.
Then, all is needed is to toss some berries with some brown sugar and corn flour to create a topping and scatter on the pastry! Fold the edges slightly over the berries to ensure the cooking juices don’t run while baking and that’s it! It is that simple!
You all have to try it, either for an afternoon tea, summer work baking competition or just as a treat for yourself!
CARAMELISED STRAWBERRY MERINGUE NESTS
Ingredients (makes 12-14): For the mini meringues ■ 100g egg whites (about 3 egg whites) ■ 200g caster sugar ■ ½ tsp vanilla extract For the caramelised strawberries ■ 400g strawberries, halved if large ■ 1 orange zest
■ 40g caster sugar ■ 25 ml wexbury vodka (optional) ■ 150ml cream, whipped
Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 100C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. 2. Place the egg whites into a spotlessly clean bowl and whisk on full speed until they form stiff peaks. 3. Reduce the mixer speed and add the sugar a little at a time, until the mixture is glossy and stays put when the bowl is turned upside down. 4. Fold in the vanilla extract, then spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm nozzle. 5. Making sure they don’t touch, pipe 6 x 5cm diameter meringue nests, and pipe the leftover on a second tray into walnut-sized blobs of meringue. These mini meringues will be used to decorate. 6. Bake the nests for 60 minutes and the mini meringues for 30-40 minutes, until firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the oven with the door ajar, to help dry the meringue fully. 7. Once the meringues are cooled, prepare the strawberries. 8. Place the strawberries in a bowl with the orange zest. 9. In a large dry sauté pan, over high heat, melt the sugar. Once it starts to colour and caramelise, add the strawberries at once. Toss once or twice to coat the strawberry in the caramel if possible. 10. Add the alcohol and carefully ignite the berries. Once the flames have died down, continue to cook for a further minute or so. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. 11. Once ready to serve, top a meringue nest with some cream and spoon over the warm strawberries and the delicious juices. 12. Decorate with extra mini meringues and enjoy immediately.
EASIEST BERRY TART GALETTE
INGREDIENTS SERVES 4 ■ 200g fresh berries, strawberries cut into slices ■ 2 tbsp brown sugar ■ 1 tbsp cornflour ■ 200g puff pastry ■ Egg wash, made with 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp milk ■ 1 tbsp pistachio, chopped (optional) ■ 1 tbsp icing sugar, to serve Method: 1. Preheat the oven to 180C. 2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 3. In a bowl, place the berries pieces with the sugar and cornflour. Toss to coat the fruits once or twice. 4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the pastry into an approximate circle or square about 20cm in diameter and 2mm thick. 5. Pour the fruit mixture over the pastry. 6. Tidy the pastry edges over the fruits if needed to stop juices leaking, and brush the edges with egg wash. 7. Sprinkle the pistachios over the tart. Place in the oven for 25 - 35 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and the fruits are bubbling. 8. Remove from the oven, serve warm or at room temperature with a dusting of icing sugar.
TOP TIP: HARNESS THE SPIRIT OF WEXFORD WITH THIS FRUITY LOCAL DISTILLERY
INSTEAD of using Grand Marnier to flambé the strawberries, I’ve used a Wexford-made alcohol called Wexbury (wexbury.com) which combines Wexford strawberries with locally-made Vodka. Distilled with malted barley harvested from the Hook Head Peninsula, Wexbury Spirits uses the best Wexford produce. Enjoyed responsibly, it’s a brilliant product not only for flambéed berries, but also for cocktails from strawberry margaritas to daiquiri.
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