In his first Evening News column, top chef Mark Greenaway has a tip for a quick and tasty dessert.
In a heavy-based frying pan pour in your sugar and heat over a medium heat on the cooker top.
Roll out your puff pastry until half a centimetre thick. Take all the tops off or “hull” your strawberries. As your sugar starts turning into caramel give it a stir with a wooden spoon. Once a nice dark walnut colour is achieved add in the butter, being careful as the sugar is very hot.
Leave the caramel to cool for about five minutes in the pan. Arrange all the strawberries in the pan with the cut side up. Adding the cold strawberries to the caramel will allow them to stand up straight. Lay over your rolled out puff pastry and tuck all the edges down the side of your pan.
Make three or four small holes in the puff pastry with a fork to allow steam to escape whilst cooking. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Allow to cool for five minutes before turning out, being very careful as this will still be piping hot. Serve with a scoop of ice cream on top and maybe some double cream on the side. Lay over the vanilla pods to garnish.
Serving this dessert whole allows your guests to help themselves – just make sure you take your portion first!
• Mark Greenaway runs both Restaurant Mark Greenaway and Bistro Moderne.
Strawberry Tarte Tatin
Tarte Tatin was created by accident at the Hotel Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron, France, in the 1880s.
The hotel was run by two sisters, Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin.
It is said that Stéphanie Tatin, who did most of
the cooking, was overworked one day and had started to make a traditional apple pie but left the apples cooking in butter and sugar for too long.
Smelling the burning, she tried to rescue the dish by putting the pastry base on top of the pan of apples, quickly finishing the cooking by putting the whole pan in the oven.
For this version we have used what must be one of my favourite soft fruits of all time, strawberries. I feel the dark caramel and crisp puff pastry just works so well with the soft texture of the berry. All of our strawberries come from Perthshire as I feel the slow growing conditions of the berry lends itself to be much plumper and full of flavour.
As a quick dessert this is ideal as it only takes around ten minutes to pull together and 20 minutes to cook.
I have paired it with some amazing homemade vanilla ice cream as I love the hot and cold combination, but as a wee cheat you could just buy your favourite brand as no-one will ever know. I won’t tell, I promise.
250g caster sugar
125g all butter puff pastry
Your favourite vanilla ice cream
Vanilla pods to garnish
1 ovenproof non-stick flying pan
Preheat your oven to 200C