Fennel Strawberries, Strawberry Granita and Sour Cream

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    6–8

Appears in

Bistronomy

By Katrina Meynink

Published 2014

  • About

You will need to begin this recipe one day ahead.

Ingredients

  • 30 g (1 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
  • tablespoons fennel seeds, toasted
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) strawberries, hulled
  • 100 g ( oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • fennel fronds and flowers, to garnish

Strawberry Granita

  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) strawberries, hulled
  • 100 g ( oz) icing (confectioners’) sugar

Sour Cream

  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) thin (pouring) cream
  • 30 ml (1 fl oz) buttermilk

Method

To make the granita, marinate the strawberries in the icing sugar for 3 hours. Purée the strawberry mixture in a blender then strain and pour the juice into a sealable freezerproof container and freeze until solid, stirring and scraping occasionally with a fork until crystals form and granita is frozen (preferably overnight).

Prepare the sour cream by bringing the cream to 82°C (180°F) in a Thermomix and holding that temperature for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 21°C (70°F), add the buttermilk then pour into a large jar. Stand in a cool dry spot for 18 hours with the lid slightly loosened. Refrigerate for 6 hours before use.

Prepare the fennel strawberries by making a simple sugar syrup: combine 90 ml (3 fl oz) of water with the caster sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring the syrup to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the toasted fennel seeds and set aside for 1 hour for the flavour to infuse. Strain the syrup and reserve, discarding the seeds.

Combine the strawberries and icing sugar in a heatproof bowl. Place over a saucepan of boiling water and cook until the strawberries have released all their juices. Strain the strawberry liquid into a bowl and add the fennel syrup to taste. You want to achieve a slight anise flavour.

To serve, lightly whip a small amount of the sour cream and place a heaped tablespoon in each bowl, then add a tablespoon of the fennel and strawberry syrup before covering completely with the granita. Garnish with fennel fronds and flowers.