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Sugared Strawberries

How to cook: Sugared Strawberries

Strawberries, when freshly picked and at the height of their summery sweetness, are a joy, they should be simply eaten on their own. At other times strawberries may need a little assistance to coax out their full potential as in this recipe.

Ingredients:

2 pints ripe, red strawberries, washed, dried, hulled and halved

250 g fresh ricotta cheese

1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur plus extra to serve

1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

SPICED SUGAR

1/2 stick of cinnamon, crushed

6 peppercorns, crushed

6 tablespoons sugar

8-cm strip of lemon zest

Directions:

To make the spiced sugar put the cinnamon, peppercorns, sugar and lemon zest in an electric coffee grinder or small spice grinder. Grind in continuous bursts to make a powdery spiced mixture.

Put the strawberries in a bowl and spoon half the mixture on top, gently stirring and mixing to encourage the juices to run. Leave for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, press the ricotta through a sieve into a bowl with the back of a spoon. Mix in the liqueur the remaining spiced sugar and the vinegar to form a cream.

To serve, put spoonfuls of the creamy mixture in small, stemmed glasses or glass or china dishes, then pile the berries on top and sprinkle them with a few extra drops of liqueur.

makes 4 servings

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