Drinks with bubbles, good food and the fire pit ready to warm us all through when it got chilly.
I offered to make Vanessa Kimbell's gorgeous Star Anise and Orange Bread Pudding but realised too late that I had precisely one of the ingredients in the house. So, focussed on that ingredient and decided a pavlova was the only option.
But! Disaster! Apparently Penny was going to make a Pavlova and I instinctively knew that hers would be MUCH better than mine (she runs the flower festival, for goodness sake, it was going to be fabulous).
So, I decided to opt for form over function (generally like to follow both those principles but... needs must and all that). And Da! Da!
A delicious Union Jack with chewy meringue, fresh strawberries and a wonderful blueberry jam.
How I made it...
|And here's one I made earlier|
The basic meringue recipe came from The River Cottage Family Cookbook. They explain everything beautifully so it's best to read it there but, in brief, you'll need:
4 free range egg whites
200g caster sugar
Whisk the egg whites 'til you get soft peaks then add half the sugar and whisk 'til stiff. Fold in the remaining sugar. Next grab a piping bag (I always make them out of grease-proof paper) and pipe your shape onto baking parchment - it's ESSENTIAL you use this and NOT greaseproof paper or your meringue will stick and you will be sad.
The fresh English strawberries came from Waitrose and the blueberry jam came from my head...
Put a packet of frozen blueberries into a small pan, throw in some sugar and cook them on a high temperature until they reach a pleasing consistency. Let it cool and add some lemon juice to loosen it and give it some gloss. Really tasty and at least hinted at being the right colour for the flag!