This starts with strawberries bought too early, too optimistically, in a long, late, cold Spring. Some years Summer doesn’t start until the second week of Wimbledon. Some years Summer doesn’t get going at all. We’ve had a few good ones in a row so we’re all feeling pretty cocky about it. At this point we still think that we somehow deserve sun on our faces instead of the icy wind we’re getting. The beautiful 40ft tree opposite my flat came into leaf six or more weeks later than it did last year and I have a feeling it’s going to be one of those years when we don’t put our sweaters away.
So I bought a big punnet of almost red strawberries. My greengrocer assured me they were sweet and tasty. All Summer fruit needs sun to bring out the sugar. I tasted one and it was dull, bland and disappointing. The second was the same. I bought some rhubarb. I hulled the strawberries, sliced the rhubarb diagonally and added it, with some sugar and vanilla to the strawberries. I covered this with a crumbly mixture of flour, sugar, ground walnuts and butter that I’d quickly processed into rubble. I can’t tell you quantities, this was commando cooking. I scattered some flaked almonds on top for another texture then let a 175° oven do its work for twenty-five minutes.
It also makes a stonking breakfast. Stonking.