Thursday, 4 August 2011
Strawberry cinnamon toast
Those of you who follow this blog will know that you get short-changed when it comes to desserts and other sweet things. Every so often I feel I ought to remedy that so I've been thinking for a while about writing about strawberries which are still plentiful and cheap despite being past their peak season.
Prompted by Niki Segnit's brilliant The Flavour Thesaurus (a fantastic book about how to marry flavours in your cooking) I was thinking along the lines of strawberries and cinnamon. Initially a crumble, though I worried that it might make the strawberries unappealingly squishy then I hit on the notion of strawberry cinnamon toast.
Segnit is right, the combination is brilliant - not as obvious as cinnamon and apples or plums but it gives even the dullest strawberries that extra lift that makes them taste utterly delicious. Perfect for a weekend brunch - less soggy than French toast, easier than pancakes.
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/3-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, depending how strong it is
About 1 tbsp flavourless oil
About 300g strawberries
2 thick slices good quality sliced bread - I used a Co-op white farmhouse batch loaf. You don't want anything too dense for this
Some soft butter
Half fat crème fraiche, fromage frais or Greek yoghurt to serve
Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Mix the sugar and cinnamon. De-stalk the strawberries and cut in half. Put the strawberries in a lightly greased baking dish or tin and brush lightly with the oil. Bake for 5 minutes, sprinkle over 1 tsp of the sugar and return to the oven for another 5 minutes or so then remove from the oven. (They should be warmed through rather than cooked and smell gorgeously strawberryish.)
Meanwhile toast the bread on both sides and spread one side generously with butter. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the buttered sides. Put the slices on a baking tray under the grill and heat until the topping is bubbling. Spoon the strawberries and their juices onto the hot cinnamon toast and add a dollop of half-fat crème fraîche, fromage frais or Greek yoghurt. Eat and be happy.