Strawberry Summer Pavlovas by Roy Brett of Ondine

The summer weather feels like it is truly upon us. It seems like it was only yesterday we were celebrating spring’s vibrant produce and anticipating the changing colours, flavours and textures that the new season would bring. Now, we’re already seeing the first signs of summer with delicious fresh berries. We’re now in the wonderful crossover point of the season when spring meets summer.

At this time of year, we welcome to the stage the magnificent Scottish strawberry. The weather has forced this berry onto the menu a little ahead of when we would have expected it, but we’re delighted with its early arrival. We are proud to get our strawberries from Leven on the East Coast of Scotland. We use Blackety Farm Shop and they also provide us with incredible raspberries which we can’t wait to have on the menu in the coming weeks. The butchers counter at Blackety is also cracking - it’s well worth a visit!

For me, this recipe signifies the start of summer. It’s a perfectly balanced pudding. We add Pimms to the strawberries and also make a strawberry curd to add another flavour element and truly celebrate the ingredient. It would be perfectly agreeable to use strawberry jam as a replacement. For me, the layers of different textures in this dish really stand out and make it my go-to dessert at this time of year. The feather-light meringue with the rich, smooth pastry cream, paired with the Pimms infused berries make it irresistible!

June is going to be a very exciting month for Ondine. We will be attending The National Restaurant Awards at the prestigious Hurlingham Club in London. This is to celebrate the Top 100 UK Restaurants in the UK. Last year, Ondine came in at number 26 and we were also voted the best restaurant in Scotland. It’s a great opportunity to meet up with our peers and exchange ideas over a few beers. Then I’m off to cook at London Seafood Festival at Battersea Power Station. We will be taking over Wright Brothers restaurant and cooking alongside my lifelong friend, Richard Kirkwood.

Then on the 30th of June, we’re welcoming Shaun Searley and James Knappett to cook a very special Sunday lunch to celebrate our 10th year in business at Ondine. It’s going to be a fantastic time to welcome Shaun and James to cook with us and share ideas together. You can book your place at this one-off event by giving the restaurant a phone.

Ondine is located at 2 George IV Bridge in Edinburgh. For more information, visit or call 0131 226 1888.

Strawberry Pavlovas

Makes 10 portions


For the pavlovas:

150g egg whites

A few drops of lemon juice

250g sugar

For the Chantilly cream:

200ml double cream

¼ vanilla pod, seeds removed

30g icing sugar

For the strawberries:

200g strawberries, diced

100ml Pimms

For the strawberry curd:

80g egg yolk

120g caster sugar

100g strawberries, blended

60g unsalted butter

A squeeze of lemon juice

To serve:

Fresh basil leaves


1. First, make the pavlovas. Whisk the egg whites with the lemon juice at a medium speed in an electric stand mixer and gradually add the sugar. Continue to whisk until stiff peaks have formed, creating a glossy ribbon effect. Pour the mixture into a piping bag and pipe 10 equal mounds on a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Cook in a preheated oven at 90°C for 1 hour 40 minutes then remove the meringues from the oven and set aside to cool.

2. Next, make the Chantilly cream. In a mixing bowl, whip up the cream, icing sugar and vanilla until you have soft peaks. Cover the bowl with cling film then set aside.

3. Next, prepare the strawberries. Simply mix the Pimms with the strawberries in a bowl then set the mixture aside for 30 minutes to allow the fruit to infuse.

4. To make the strawberry curd, place a pan of water onto the heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Place a bowl on top of the pan, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Place all the ingredients into the bowl and whisk everything together. Cook out the mixture until it becomes a thick ribbon consistency then take it off the heat and allow to cool. Place cling film on top to avoid a skin forming. Once cooled, place the mixture into a piping bag.

5. To assemble the dish, pipe the cream on the bottom of the pavlova and place in the centre of the serving plate. Next, pipe the strawberry curd in the dip of the pavlova until it is full. Place the Pimms infused strawberries on top of the curd and delicately add a few of the basil leaves on top of the pavlova and serve.