I started writing this blog last Sunday morning and then a little person by the name of Amelie Mae Jackson Rolt decided to show up! So I’m rather late posting it and obviously I wrote it a week ago, so you’ll have to forgive my tardiness but I’ve been rather distracted with cuddles and snuggles this past week.
Monday saw the start of Wimbledon which is two weeks of the year I love. I love everything about it; from the total ‘British-ness’ of the event, the vibe in Wimbledon village and the fact that it’s stuck to its guns and kept that all white dress code. I love the interviews with people queuing each morning and seeing what the new towel design is each year (!), and seeing how quick the ball boys and girls can get the cover over the courts when it rains! Maybe it’s because I was born on Women’s Finals Day that it’s just in my blood.
I’ve been lucky enough to go a number of times over the years, once being with my Dad a long time ago to see Courier take on Sampras in the 1993 final. I was a massive Courier fan rather than Sampras as I loved his ridiculous ‘western grip’ forehand and how he just seemed to work so hard out there on every point, but much to my dismay, Sampras came out victorious.
Will and I have been a couple of times and the last time we went we really ‘got it right’. I’m all about having a picnic on Henman Hill / Murray Mound (depending on which generation you grew up in) and soaking up the atmosphere. We packed our cool bag with everything M&S could offer and of course a couple of bottles of Prosecco and some cans of Pimm’s to keep us going through the day. We had great seats on Number One Court and were lucky enough to get some decent matches whilst nipping out to ‘the hill’ to catch some of Murray. The sun shone on us and the day lived up to all expectations.
Of course when you think of Wimbledon you think of strawberries and cream, Pimm’s and maybe the odd game of tennis goes on in the background. Strawberries can’t get much better than they are right now in the UK and we’re going through packets and packets of them on a weekly basis – mainly consumed by just me and Seb. We’ve made strawberry overnight oats for breakfast, strawberry and banana smoothies for the afternoon and best of course just served as they come straight out the packet watching the boats go past on the River Thames.
It’s hard to mess around with a fruit when it’s so good just served fresh as it comes, but I think these little roasted balsamic strawberry and coconut tarts work beautifully as a summer dessert for a picnic or to finish off a BBQ in the sunshine whilst watching the tennis.
The base is a lovely raw combination of medjool dates, macadamia nuts and almonds. The whipped coconut cream is sweet and light and provides a gorgeous pillow for the roasted balsamic strawberries to sit up proud on. It’s really pretty simple but the combination of flavours provides the strawberries with their shining moment in an alternative way to being served up fresh from the packet.
Roasted balsamic strawberry and coconut tarts
3 medjool dates soaked and softened
30g macadamia nuts
30g almonds blanched
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla bean
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
Coconut cream filling
1 can of full fat coconut cream left to harden in the fridge overnight
1 tsp vanilla bean
2 tsp honey / agave nectar / maple syrup
300g strawberries hulled and cut in half or quartered if they are very large
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp coconut sugar
To make the base
Butter your tart tins really well.
Begin with your base by placing all your ingredients in a food processor and blend to your ingredients come together a little.
Spoon your ingredients into your tin and using the back of a spoon press into your tin to make an even layer all the way round.
Place your tarts in the fridge to harden.
To make the coconut filling
Open the cans of milk carefully so that you can scoop the cream off the top and place in a mixing bowl. You can use the left over water for smoothies or just drink away (once poured into a glass!)
Whip your coconut cream, honey and vanilla bean for a few minutes into you have soft light peaks, as you would with double cream.
This will be more than enough cream for the two tarts but you can use the rest with fresh fruit or in your porridge, or with some granola. Delicious!
To make the strawberry topping
Turn your oven to 180 degrees.
Mix your strawberries with the balsamic vinegar and coconut sugar and leave to marinate whilst your oven heats up.
Pour the strawberries along with the liquid into an oven proof dish and bake for about 10 minutes. You don’t want the strawberries to turn to mush and to keep some texture.
Once roasted, remove from the oven and place in a bowl to cool.
Remove your tarts from their tins. I think the easiest way to do this is to place the tin on top of a small glass and gently maneuver the outer tin downwards. If it’s sticking leave for a few minutes and the buttered tin should loosen. You can always serve them in the tin if you think your base might break!
Spoon in your coconut cream to form an even layer.
Top with your strawberries and some of the balsamic glaze.
You can keep these in the fridge to serve when you’re ready.