Every year, there are a couple of days were I just long for summer.
Shorts, iced tea, lunch on the benches by the fountain, hazy afternoons, beer gardens, lemon sorbet, seeing the cottage in daylight during the week (this doesn't happen in winter...), sundresses, pretty sandals, Birkenstocks, beach hair. Maxi dresses. Huge salads, mint lemondade, rose wine with the besty, rearranging the garden furniture for maximum sun tanning experience, giving the cats ice cubes to play with, not wearing a coat, or a scarf, jaunts to the seaside.
Strawberries, barbeques, ice cream vans, running for the ice cream van with no shoes on, watermelon, Pimms o'clock, driving with the windows open and playing The Beach Boys, the smell of tomatoes growing in the garden, sunglasses, festivals (although sadly no Glastonbury this year), garden parties, holidaying, sun tan strap lines, al fresco dining, pear cider.
The day I made these scones - it rained. All day. It was cold and windy. The next day was gloriously sunny, still a bit nippy, but getting there. This has brought me to the conclusion that these scones will chase away bad weather. They scream of summer. If they aren't reasons to make them, then I don't know what is...
1 egg white
1/4tsp white wine vinegar
100gr caster sugar
2tbsp double cream (from a 300ml carton - reserve the rest for serving)
1 large egg
50gr ground almonds
200gr strawberries, hulled and chopped
For the meringue
1, Beat the egg whites until they are foamy and add in the vinegar.
2, Carry on beating the egg whites until they reach soft peaks.
3, Turn the speed up and slowly start adding in the caster sugar.
4, Carry on beating the mixture until you can rub a tiny bit between your fingers and it doesn’t feel grainy and you've reached a thick glossy mixture that holds its shape when you lift the whisk.
5, Preheat your oven to 100 degrees C, line a baking sheet with baking paper and pipe small rosettes onto it. Bake for 1 hour, turn off the oven and leave the oven to go cold. Keep them in an airtight container.
1, Preheat your oven to 220 degrees C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
2, In a bowl or large jug beat together with milk, buttermilk, double cream and egg together until well combined.
3, In a separate bowl rub the butter into the flour and then gently fold the liquid ingredients. You will have quite a soft dough at this point. Gently stir in the strawberries so not to break them up to much.
4, Scoop out the dough and form a round of dough about 15cm across and about 2-3 cm thick. Slice into 8 pieces and carefully transfer them onto the baking sheet.
5, Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until golden brown.
6, Leave to cool through on a wire rack.
7, To serve, whip the remaining cream to medium soft peaks, stir through some of the meringue (as much or as little as you fancy) and then spoon into the split scones.