Grab your sunnies and Panama hat because it's tennis season! Wimbledon is here, and this year we've been treated to beautiful weather in the capital, providing lots of opportunities for alfresco dining.
Whether you're on Henman Hill, in your garden or relaxing in one of London's luscious parks we have a delicious round up of classic tennis inspired goodies with a little Create twist; for you to enjoy whilst your watching the tennis this year.
Pimms Eton Mess Cheesecake
Eton Mess is widely known to have been 'invented' around the 1930s during the annual cricket match at Eton College, people say that an excited Labrador sat on a picnic basket containing Strawberry Pavlova. But history actually shows that this summer treat was invented back in the late 18th Century which has been proven from printed records.
Our Pimms Eton Mess Cheese is a delicious combination of many classic Wimbledon treats all rolled into one!
Fun Wimbledon fact: 166,055 portions of Strawberries & Cream were served at 2018s Wimbledon Championship.
FOR THE CRUST:
6 whole Digestive biscuits (90 grams)
⅓ cup packed (66 grams) dark brown sugar
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (71 grams) all-purpose flour, (preferably weighed for accurate results)*
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter plus an extra 1/2 tablespoon (7 grams) for brushing the bottom of the pan, melted
FOR THE CRUST CHEESECAKE FILLING:
2 pounds (907 grams) cream cheese, softened to room temperature*
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (130 grams) sour cream
1 tablespoon (15ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon imitation vanilla flavoring
4 large eggs
Boiling water, for the water bath
FOR THE MERINGUE KISSES:
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cream of tartar, optional
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1/2 imitation vanilla flavoring
Red gel food coloring, optional
FOR THE CRUST STRAWBERRY SAUCE:
1 pound (454 grams) hulled fresh or frozen strawberries (mentioned weight is AFTER being hulled, so buy more than 1 pound), thaw completely if using frozen
6 tablespoons (75 grams) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/4 cups Pimms
FOR THE STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM:
2 tablespoons (14 grams) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 cup (237ml) cold heavy whipping cream, divided
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1.6 pounds (750 grams) fresh strawberries, hulled and halved or quartered if too large, leaving a few whole with the stems for garnish
Fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)
Fresh mint leaves, for garnish (optional)
TO MAKE THE CRUST
1. Adjust oven to rack lower-middle position and heat oven to 325F/163C degrees.
2. Brush the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with 1/2 tablespoon of melted butter.
3. In a food processor, combine the digestive biscuits and sugar, process until finely ground, about 30 seconds.
4. Add the flour and salt and pulse to combine. Add the 6 tablespoons of melted butter and pulse until crumbs are evenly moistened.
5. Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared pan and spread to evenly cover the bottom. Using the flat bottom of measuring cup or ramekin, firmly press to pack the crust into the pan.
6. Bake until the mixture fragrant and beginning to brown around edges, about 13 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and set aside to cool completely. Maintain oven temperature. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
TO MAKE THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl and using a hand electric mixer) beat cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and free of lumps.
2. Add in the sugar and beat until well combined. Add in the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla, and mix until incorporated.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then beat the mixture for a few more seconds until the batter is smooth. Be careful not to overmix. If the batter has lots of cream cheese lumps, pour it through a fine mesh strainer to smooth it out.
TO BAKE THE CHEESECAKE:
1. Prepare the pan (with the cooled crust) for the water bath, by placing it in a turkey roasting bag; do not close the top. Then secure it by wrapping a triple layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan. This helps seal the pan well so the water from the water bath doesn't seep into the pan and soak the crust. (The roasting bag step is optional but recommended, as it really does the trick at keeping all the water out. Foil wrap only, does not guarantee leak-free baking).
2. Pour the batter over the cooled crust, then place in a large roasting pan. Taking care not to splash water into the cheesecake pan, pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan, to reach halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan.
3. Transfer the roasting pan to the oven, and bake the cheesecake at 325F/163C degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until the cheesecake's outer three inches look slightly puffed and set, but the inner circle still jiggles slightly when you gently shake the pan and the internal temperature of the cheesecake's center registers 165F/74C.
4. Turn off the oven heat and crack the oven door open just by 1-inch. Let the cheesecake cool inside the oven for 1 hour. This gentle cooling process prevents the cheesecake from collapsing and helps avoid cracks from happening, ensuring a very creamy filling.
5. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and from the water bath, unwrap the foil and roasting bag. Let cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin-bladed knife between the cheesecake and the side of springform pan to loosen. This helps avoid cracking as the cheesecake cools. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely; about 2 hours.
6. Lay a triple layer of thick paper towels over the springform pan, without touching the surface of the cheesecake. This soaks up any condensation that may occur during chilling. Then wrap the pan with the paper towels still intact, tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold and firmly set, at least 6 hours or up to 3 days. Meanwhile, prepare the other cake components , if using.
TO MAKE THE MERINGUE KISSES:
1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 200F/93C degrees.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat an inch or so of water until barely simmering over medium-low heat.
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or any heatproof bowl), whisk together egg whites and sugar until combined.
3. Place the bowl over the pot of barely simmering water, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.
4. Stir gently but continuously until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is warm, for around 3 minutes.
5. Add salt and cream of tartar.
6. Transfer the bowl to a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment (or use a handheld mixer) and beat on medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form and meringue is mostly cooled, about 7 minutes.
7. For white meringues, skip the colouring step. For stripped coloured meringues, using a small paintbrush, paint 3 vertical stripes of food colouring inside a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip for round kisses or 1/2-inch French star for rosette kisses.
8. Fill the piping bag with meringue, and pipe 1-inch kiss-shaped drops, 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. As you finish piping each shape, apply less pressure to the pastry bag, and pull the tip off in a quick motion.
9. Bake for 2 to 3 hours, until the meringues are firm to the touch but still have a soft centre, and lift off the parchment paper easily. If you prefer them crisp all the way through, bake for 3 hours. The meringues shouldn't change colour or brown as they bake.
10. Allow the meringue to cool completely (around 5 minutes) on the baking sheets then store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.
TO MAKE THE STRAWBERRY SAUCE:
1. Using a food processor or blender, purée the strawberries until completely smooth.
2. Pour the strawberry purée through a fine mesh sieve set over a medium saucepan. Press against the strainer with rubber spatula or back of a spoon to help as much juice and pulp to pass through the strainer. You should end up with 1 1/2 cups. Discard seeds. Stir in sugar and lemon juice.
3. Bring pulp, juices and pimms to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook, frequently stirring with a rubber spatula, for 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to skim foam from the sides and surface of the saucepan.
4. Continue to cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a rubber spatula to prevent scorching and burning, until mixture has thickened and reduced by half (3/4 cup; 225 grams); about 8 to 10 more minutes.
5. Transfer to a glass jar or container and refrigerate uncovered until no longer hot. Cover tightly and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.
TO MAKE THE STABILIZED WHIPPED CREAM:
1. In a very small saucepan, combine the powdered sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in 1/4 cup of the cream.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil, continually stirring until just thickened but pourable. Do not let it get too thick.
3. Scrape the mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool to just room temperature. Stir in vanilla.
4. In a chilled mixing bowl, beat the remaining 3/4 cup cream just until traces of the beater marks start to appear. Add the cooled cornstarch mixture in a steady stream, whipping as you go. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over mix so the cream doesn't curdle. 5. Keep chilled in the fridge until ready to use.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CHEESECAKE
1. Remove the plastic wrap and paper towels off of the springform pan. To unmold cheesecake, remove sides of pan.
2. Slide a thin metal spatula between the crust and the pan bottom to loosen, then slide cheesecake onto a serving plate.
3. Spread and swirl the whipped cream over the surface of the cheesecake.
4. Transfer the hulled and halved strawberries to a bowl and stir in the strawberry sauce to coat.
5. Place the sauce-coated strawberries over the whipped cream, squeezing in some meringue kisses between them.
6. Top with more meringues. (Add accents of crushed meringues, raspberries and mint leaves if desired).
Elderflower Pimms Cocktail
Pimms is a staple British summer drink that is often served during Wimbledon, summer racing shows and Chelsea Flower Show. In 1840 a man called James Pimm invented the very first 'Pimms' introducing it as a healthy tonic mixed with secret herbs, various peels and other liquids to aid digestion. It was only untill 1859 that this drink took off and began to sell commercially for pleasure opposed to health benefits.
Today, the Pimms cocktail is enjoyed throughout the summer by the jug full, with many people asking 'if it's Pimms o'clock yet'.
Fun Wimbledon fact: 303,277 glasses of Pimm's were drank at 2018s Wimbledon Championship.
Recipe to serve four people
250 ml/1 cup Pimm's No 1
750 ml/3 cups Lemonade or Sprite
75 ml/1/4 cup Elderflower liqueur or elderflower cordial
Sliced lemon or orange
2-3 mint sprigs
1. Fill a Jug with 2 cups of ice, then add the Pimm's, Lemonade, elderflower liqueur and fruit, fresh mint and cucumber slices.
Cream Tea with Prosecco Jam!
The cream team is the quintessential British treat, commonly eaten as part of an afternoon tea with finger sandwiches and other mini desserts. The scone is generously smothered in clotted cream and jam... cream first if you're from Devon or jam first if you're from Cornwall and enjoyed with a fresh pot of tea or bubbles.
Afternoon tea originated in the 1800s by Anna the seventh Duchess of Bedford who use to get peckish between lunch and dinner. Anna asked for a tray of tea with bread and butter (which soon developed into a sandwich thanks to the Earl of Sandwich). The duchess would invite her friends to join her, which started the afternoon ritual of afternoon tea.
The upper class and society women drove this trend using it as a means to sport fashionable frocks and talk about their affairs over fine china in the drawing room between four and five o'clock. This dining trend was then moved into their gardens during the summer which encouraged and caused the rise in men taking part.
Today the historic bite-sized treats served to keep the Lords and Ladies of Britain satisfied till dinner time has been replaced by various sweet and savoury finger sized bites, commonly served on a tiered cake platter from two o'clock.
Fun Wimbledon fact: 110,225 scones was purchased at 2018s Wimbledon Championship.
Recipe makes 9 large scones
- 3 Cups self raising flour
- Pinch salt
- 60 g Butter
- 1 1/4 Cups milk plus a little extra
- 150 ml Prosecco
- 1 kg Tate & Lyle Jam Sugar
- 1 kg Strawberries
1. Heat the oven to 230C.
Sift flour and salt into a bowl and rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
2. Stir in the milk with a flat bladed knife. Depending on the weather and your flour you may need a spoonful or two more of milk. The dough should be sticky.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead gently for a brief 30 seconds.
3. Cut with a floured cutter pressing straight down and not twisting. Place on baking paper lined tray close together.
Bake in the hottest part of the preheated oven. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.
Remove scones from the oven and wrap in a clean tea towel. This will keep them soft and tender.
1. Put the prosecco, Tate & Lyle Jam Sugar and strawberries into a large heavy-based saucepan and place over a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
2. Increase the heat and boil steadily for 10 minutes, taking care to keep an eye on the jam to ensure that it doesn’t boil too rapidly.
3. Meanwhile, sterilize 4 x 450g jars by washing them in hot soapy water, rinsing well, then placing them in a low oven at 150°C/Fan 130°C/Gas Mark 2 for 10 minutes.
3. Test the jam for setting point.
4. To check, remove the saucepan from the heat, spoon a little jam onto a cold plate and leave for 2 minutes – it should wrinkle softly when your finger is pushed over the surface. If this point has not been reached, return the saucepan to the heat and continue to boil for another 2 minutes. Test as before until setting point is reached.
5. Pour the hot jam into the warm sterilised jars. Leave to cool, then seal and label.