The legacy of the Wimbledon delicacy of strawberries and cream is as old as the legendary tennis tournament itself.
Legend has it that the now iconic strawberry and cream dessert was first introduced to courtside crowds when King George V himself was a spectator. According to Audrey Snell, a librarian at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, however, the traditional sweet dates back all the way to the inaugural Wimbledon tournament in 1877.
Annually, spectators consume an almost gluttonous amount of berries and cream over the course of the two-week tournament: 8,615 punnets or nearly 62,000 pounds of fresh strawberries, and more than 1,800 gallons of fresh cream.
In the spirit of Wimbledon, the U.S. Open, and the new inductees into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, Rhode Island chef Nick Rabar has crafted the perfect recipe for the iconic berry dessert.
With berries grown right down the road, Rabar creates the a fresh and most delicious berry dessert that is easy to make at home. And in the spirit of America, instead of eating just berries and cream, Rabar adds a biscuit to sop up the berry juice and cream. A little basil adds some perfume and bite to the dessert.
Stop by your own local farm stand or grocery store and pick up the freshest ingredients you can find and then celebrate international tennis achievement with a courtside or television-side treat.
Strawberries and Cream with a Biscuit
For the Berries and Cream:
2 cups farm-fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Sprigs of basil for garnish (optional)
For the Biscuits:
2 cups All Purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup heavy cream (for brushing)
For the Biscuits:
Preheat oven at 400 degrees.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together to aerate.
Add buttermilk to form a dough, slice in butter using your hands until it forms a dough.
Form into 3 ounce biscuits and brush the top with heavy cream.
Bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes.
For Berries and Cream:
Remove berry tops and cut fruit in half.
Toss cut fruit with sugar and allow to sit until liquid releases (about 10 minutes).
Serve with whipped cream and biscuits.
Garnish with basil if desired.
Recipe courtesy of chef Nick Rabar, nickrabar-chef2go.com, 2013.