Lemony almond biscuits with ricotta and roasted strawberries

Strawberries and cream. It’s the quintessential association with summer for many. For a long time it wasn’t mine. Strawberries have never been my go to fruit in summer. Weirdly, it has to do with strawberry jam when I was growing up. It was just too sweet and the texture too mushy. But stalls in the farmers market have been laden with strawberries for a couple of weeks now and last weekend, they looked ripe and juicy. And they were.

It seems a shame to then start to mess with them, but I wanted a jam like topping for the almond biscuits I wanted to make. It’s not often I feel like making a sweet treat, but this weekend biscuits, strawberries and cream in some form were taking shape in my mind.

Roasting strawberries is a good way to bring out the intensity of their flavour. The balsamic provides a hint of sour with an earthy depth and the olive oil gives a lustre and syrupy glaze. I’ve kept the sugar content low. A hint of honey in the roasted strawberries and a light sprinkling of coconut sugar in the biscuits. You can adjust the sweetness to suit your palate. I’ve also used ricotta here, but a spoonful of coconut yoghurt would be a fresh, light alternative.

INGREDIENTS

  • 100g ground almonds
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 20g coconut sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 punnet strawberries, halved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamc vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Ricotta, a couple of tablespoons

To make the biscuits, place the ground almonds, lemon zest, egg and sugar into a bowl and mix together to form a dough. Take a spoonful of the mixture and shape into a ball, then flatten to create a biscuit shape. Place on a baking tray and bake in a preheated oven (180 degrees) for 15 minutes.

For the strawberry jam, mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey in a bowl. Add the strawberries and mix. Place a sheet of greaseproof paper on a roasting dish or a baking sheet and place the strawberries in a single layer. Roast at 180 degrees for about 30 – 40 minutes until they start to soften and the dressing creates a shiny glaze.

When the biscuits are cool, layer up with a spoonful of ricotta, topped with the strawberry jam.