I’m going to break the fourth wall here a little bit. You clicked for the strawberry recipes, but you need to know the backstory. The why of it all. And it’s not just because strawberry farmers are experiencing a lockdown-induced crisis right now, in some cases being forced to destroy entire crops in order to save money.

The backstory is: Pedestrian Group – the company that owns PEDESTRIAN.TV, but also publishes the Australian arms of Refinery29, Vice, Business Insider, Kotaku, Gizmodo and Lifehacker – runs a little weekly recipe competition. A theme is selected, a few people put their hand up, and on Friday we all vote on whose culinary treatie wins the sweetie (cash prize).

This week, the theme was “strawberries” in solidarity with the strawberry crisis. If you’re not across WHY strawberries are so damn cheap right now, it’s because lockdowns have created a glut of produce. All the restaurants and cafes that would usually buy heaps of strawberries are obviously not doing so right now. Demand has dropped by up to 50% in some areas, and because it costs about $1.30 to produce 250 grams of fruit, heaps of farmers in NSW and QLD are destroying their crops rather than continuing to lose money. It sucks – but you can help out, by literally grabbing a couple punnets.

In both the spirit of encouraging everyone to buy a few strawberries, as well as providing some inspo for the PICNICS we’re all planning this weekend, I asked my colleagues to share their strawberry recipes. And, tbh, it’s some top tier picnic shit. Impress the friends you haven’t seen in three months etc etc.

(For the record, I did not enter this comp, but I *did* discover how piss-easy it is to make a strawberry daiquiri with a NutriBullet, a shit-load of strawberries, some lime juice, and Barcadi rum. Consider this my tip to you: make one, you won’t regret it.)

Let’s go!

Strawberry and Peach Tart with crème patisserie filling and homepage orange marmalade glaze

From Amy Ryan, Campaign & Yield Manager: “Strawberries and peaches are my absolute faves, and I LOVE all kinds of French desserts so wanted to create something that bought them all together in the best way. One thing I’d do differently is follow the recipe and use half milk, half cream as it didn’t set as nicely as I would have liked. Otherwise super delicious, easy to make and sure to impress!”

Ingredients:

  • Approx 1 1/2 sheets Frozen shortcrust pastry (could make your own if you can be bothered)
  • Pastry Cream/Creme Patissiere for filling (I went by this recipe, but used 500ml of cream & no milk)
  • Strawberries
  • Peaches
  • 1 tbsp Orange Marmalade (optional)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Line 24cm tart pan with pastry sheet, trim of excess and used the extra half to fill around the edges.
  2. Using a fork, poke some holes in the bottom to prevent bubbling. Place baking paper over pastry and fill with baking beads (rice is also a good substitute to use as a weight)
  3. Bake for 10-13 mins, then remove baking paper and baking weight. Return to oven for another 15-20 mins, or until pastry is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool
  4. Make pastry cream as per recipe and cool in fridge
  5. Once ready to assemble, prepare fruit toppings. I found a few YouTube tutorials for making fruit flowers to make it that little bit ~ extra ~
  6. Fill pastry with pastry cream, then assemble fruit on top as desired
  7. For the optional marmalade glaze to add shine, just heat the marmalade n a small spot with a splash of water until it’s more of a runny consistency. Once cooled brush glaze over fruit (carefully) using a pastry brush
  8. Devour!

Strawberry Tart

From Marli Blanche, junior designer: “I kinda invented my tart! I really like creating recipes in my head and then seeing if it all comes together. I know strawberries, rosewater and pistachios all go together really well so I had those as my starting point. The reason why I added hazelnuts is because pistachios are INSANELY expensive. Also cooking at the moment, is a really nice and calming creative outlet that doesn’t involve anything to do with work/designing so I try and make my creations pretty and take some v cute pics with them.”

Ingredients:

  • 340 grams pistachios
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees.
  2. Spray tart pan
  3. Pistachio and ??? until the nuts are a fine ???
  4. Add sugar and salt
  5. Add egg and butter until it forms a ball
  6. Press dough into pan and bake for 10-12 minutes

For the filling (just guesstimate your amounts, fam):

  • Cream cheese
  • Sugar
  • vanilla bean
  • thyme
  • whipping cream

Method:

  1. Mix together until everything is blended and smooth
  2. And choice of milk if needed

For the strawberries…. chuck them together with some lemon juice, sugar, thyme and brandy, and mix it around so everything’s coated.

Pop your filling INTO the tart, then your strawberries on top, and you’re done!

Strawberry Mess

From Isabella Rigg, Strategy & Response Manager: “Here’s my take on an Eton Mess, with sumac roasted strawbs, homemade ice cream, meringue and lots of good toppings. I used the excess juices from the strawberries to make a DELISH summer spritz, shown here with soda but gooooood help me it would have been GREAT with a bit of bubbly.”

For the roasted strawbs (basically this recipe):
  • A heaped teaspoon of sumac
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 600g strawberries, halved
For the yoghurt cream:
  • 900g Greek yoghurt
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 200g double cream
Toppings:
  • meringues
  • Pomegranate
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Crushed pistachios

Method:

  1. Combine the yogurt and icing sugar in a bowl, transfer into a muslin (or cloth) lined sieve/colander and let it sit over a bowl in the fridge for 30 mins (the yoghurt mix should lose enough water to reduce by about half)
  2. Set the oven to 200degrees and add the strawberries, sumac, sugar, vanilla and mint in a baking dish and cook for 20mins or until bubbling
  3. Set the tray aside and let it cook to room temp
  4. Combine a couple of table spoons of the strawberries with the yoghurt mix and the double cream, stir this so it becomes rippled.
  5. Serve the yoghurt and strawberries with store bought (go on, live a little) meringues, pomegranate and crushed pistachios
  6. Bask in the sweetness of the dish and smugness of the compliments

Strawberry Ice Cream with Salted Butter Shortbread

From Cam Tyeson, Head of Editorial Operations: “The only way I fucked this up was that I had never used our ice cream maker before and did not realise you need to chuck the bucket in the freezer for at least 12 hours before using it. Hence having to get up at 4am to get the bastard done.”

You heard the man. Don’t make his mistakes.

STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups finely chopped strawberries (about 3 large punnet’s worth)
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup whole milk (full fat, not skim, I don’t have a non-dairy equivalent for this but I’m sure it exists)
  • 1/4 coconut oil (refined preferred, but unrefined also works)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 cup thickened/heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons vodka

Method:

  1. Place the strawberries and 3/4 cup of the sugar in a saucepan over high heat, and bring to a boil, stirring (the strawberries break down into liquid and the sugar melts, no need to add liquid in here). Reduce heat to a simmer and let it go for 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and let it cool for a hot few minutes. Pour half the liquid into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Recombine with the other half in a bowl and put it in the fridge to cool completely.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar.
  3. If using unrefined coconut oil, melt it down in a small saucepan until it’s a clear liquid. Re-measure if need be. 1/4 cup should produce a shade under 60ml.
  4. Heat the milk and the coconut oil in a pot over medium-high heat until emulsified and steaming. Add the vanilla and the sea salt.
  5. Pour some of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks and whisk to temper. Add the egg mixture into the pot over medium heat and whisk slowly, but constantly. You want the custard/anglaise to thicken slightly, to the point where it coats the back of a spoon. Don’t second guess once it gets to this point, otherwise you’ll end up with a pot of wet egg.
  6. Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve to remove any small specks of cooked egg. You will have some. It’s fine.
  7. Add the cooled strawberries, cream, and vodka to the bowl and whisk together. The vodka is optional, but it prevents the ice cream from over-freezing and getting icy.
  8. Place in a bowl and put it in the fridge for at least 4 hours.

SALTED BUTTER SHORTBREAD

This is basically just Alison Roman’s chocolate chunk cookie recipe but… y’know… without the chocolate.

Instead of rolling into a log once the mixture is complete, spread onto a lined baking tray around 3cm thick and flatten by pressing another baking tray down on top, with another layer of baking paper in between. Chill for at least two hours.

For bars: Cut a section of dough a little smaller than the bottom of a loaf pan and cook/eat discard offcuts, as a treat.

For cookies: Use an egg ring and cut out two circles of shortbread dough. Repeat above process with any offcuts.

Bake in a pre-heated 175 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until the edges just start to turn brown.

Allow to cool, then put the bar in the bottom of a loaf pan, and the cookies on any flat surface, and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

Assembly:

  1. Get your custard out of the fridge and churn in an ice cream maker/churner as per your individual unit’s instructions. It might look a little runnier than your average ice cream, but that’s the vodka doing work baby.
  2. For the bar, line the loaf pan with baking paper and place the chilled shortbread on the bottom. Pour the ice cream on top, around 3-4cm thick. Pour the remaining ice cream into a lined flat pan or baking tray, around 2-3cm thick. Lay cling wrap on the top of both, freeze for at least 4 hours.
  3. Once frozen, remove cling wrap and baking paper from the bar and take out of the pan. Using a sharpened knife, cut into bars approx 5cm wide.
  4. For cookies, take the same egg ring and run under hot water, then cut a circle of ice cream out of the other pan. Sandwich between the two round cookies. Return both bars and cookies to the freezer.
  5. Melt a handful of dark choc (can be a chopped up bar or some melts or whatever) over a double boiler/a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and stir until boiled. If it melts weird or is too thick, add a dash of milk and mix until smooth. Remove from heat and cool for 2 minutes max.
  6. Fetch bars/cookies out of the freezer and drizzle choc over until it looks good.
  7. Return to freezer for 5 minutes.
  8. Enjoy.