Sweet Eve is a truly British strawberry, both bred and grown in this country. It thrives in our special weather conditions, meaning that it is sweeter and more flavourful when ripe. And the proof really is in the eating: around 15 million punnets of the berries will be grown and enjoyed between June and October this year alone.
Sweet Eve is the result of a 25-year breeding program developed by master berry breeder Peter Vinson. It is an everbearer variety, meaning each plant produces fruit again and again from June to October. Everbearers are not as dependent on daylight as other varieties, making them more suited to the UK climate than other varieties originally bred overseas.
Eating strawberries dates back to Henry VIII's royal court, and we Brits have always been fond of the sweet, aromatic fruit which signals the start of the summer. With such a historic and long established connection with strawberries, it's hardly surprising that so many of us have fallen into the trap of using the same staple recipes. Try something different from this collection of simple serving suggestions to truly make the most of that taste of summer.
Sweet Eve Strawberry Meringue Roulade with Mascarpone
Serves: 8 • Preparation: 20 minutes • Cooking: 16 minutes
Vegetable oil for brushing the tin • Whites of 6 eggs • 300g caster sugar • 80g flaked almonds • 400g mascarpone cream cheese • 1tbsp heaped icing sugar • 300g Sweet Eve strawberries
Preheat the oven to 200°C and place the oven rack quite near the top. Line a standard Swiss roll baking tin, or a shallow baking tray with baking parchment and brush with vegetable oil.
In a big, clean bowl, whisk the egg whites till they are quite stiff. Add the caster sugar slowly. Continue whisking until the meringue mixture is stiff and shiny, forming peaks. Spread the meringue mixture in the Swiss roll tin and sprinkle the flaked almonds on top, evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes lower the oven temperature to 160°C and bake until golden brown, approximately another 8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and turn it almond-side down on a big, clean sheet of baking parchment. Peel off the paper from the base and leave the meringue to cool completely.
Whisk the mascarpone cream cheese and the icing sugar until stiff. Spread the mascarpone cream and three quarters of the Sweet Eve strawberries, sliced in halves lengthways, evenly over the cold meringue. Use the sides of the parchment paper to roll the roulade onto a serving tray or platter. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. Decorate the top with the remaining Sweet Eve strawberries and serve.
Sophie Michell’s Gluten Free Chocolate Cake with Sweet Eve Strawberries and Raspberries
Serves: 8-10 • Preparation: 15 minutes • Cooking: 1 hour
250g unsalted butter diced • 250g dark chocolate broken into pieces • 5 medium eggs separated • 250g golden caster sugar • 200ml crème fraiche • Half a punnet of Sweet Eve strawberries (hulled and chopped) • A handful of BerryJewel raspberries • A sprig of mint • Icing sugar to decorate
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/Gas mark 4 and line a 20cm x 10cm-deep loose-bottom cake tin. Melt the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a pan containing a little simmering water, stirring occasionally. While the chocolate is melting, whisk the egg yolks with half the sugar in a large bowl, until pale, thickened and doubled in volume.
In a separate bowl, with clean whisks, whisk the egg whites until stiff, then gradually beat in the remaining sugar, 1 tbsp at a time, whisking for about 20 seconds each time. You should by the end have a stiff, glossy mix. Fold the melted chocolate and butter into the egg yolk and sugar mixture, followed by the egg white mix in two goes. Pour the complete mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 60-75 minutes or until a skewer inserted at the centre comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Leave to cool in the tin (it will sink in the middle, but this is completely normal).
Once the cake has cooled, remove from the tin and then spoon the crème fraiche in to fill the sunken centre of the cake. Finally pile on the Sweet Eve strawberries, BerryJewel raspberries and a few mint leaves. To finish, dust over a little icing sugar.
Tip: if you think the cake is getting too dark but isn’t yet cooked in the centre, cover the top with a double sheet of foil.
Sweet Eve Strawberry, Mint and Pineapple Iced Yoghurts
Serves: 4 • Preparation: 20 minutes • Cooking: 5 minutes
450g Sweet Eve strawberries • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 130g caster sugar • 250g whole milk, unset yoghurt • 2 tbsps of freshly chopped mint + 4 extra sprigs for decoration • 1 fresh pineapple
Slice the strawberries into small pieces and place them with the lemon juice and sugar in a saucepan and warm gently, mixing well with a wooden spoon. Mash the strawberries with the back of a wooden spoon as the sugar dissolves and the mixture warms.
Set the cooked strawberries aside to cool, covered.
Mix together the yoghurt and mint in a bowl and then add the strawberries.
Spoon the yoghurt mixture into four individual serving glasses, moulds or plastic ice-lolly moulds and freeze for at least three hours, or overnight.
When ready to serve, take the serving glasses or moulds out of the freezer. Dip into warm water to unmould on the yoghurt on a plate. Serve with finely chopped fresh pineapple and decorate with fresh mint.