How to make it: Nathan Outlaw's strawberries, elderflower custard and strawberry champagne sorbet

This dish is everything you want from a dessert, with classic flavours and great textures.

By Nathan Outlaw
Published 29 Aug 2019, 11:08 BST
 Strawberries, elderflower custard and strawberry champagne sorbet.
Strawberries, elderflower custard and strawberry champagne sorbet.
Photograph by David Loftus

Serves: 6   
Takes: 2 hrs 30 mins 

For the pastry
500g plain flour, plus extra to dust
10g fine sea salt
500g ice-cold butter, cut into 1cm cubes
flour, to dust
200g icing sugar, to dust

For the custard 
300ml double cream
100ml elderflower cordial
4 large eggs
100g caster sugar
50ml lemon juice

For the sorbet 
500g strawberries, hulled and halved
500ml champagne
100g liquid glucose
100g caster sugar

For the syrup
100g strawberries, hulled
100ml elderflower cordial
200g liquid glucose

To serve 
20 strawberries, hulled and halved


1. To make the pastry, put the flour, salt and butter in a bowl. Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the pieces have roughly halved in size. Add 250ml ice-cold water and mix to form a dough. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to a neat rectangle, about 50 x 20cm. Starting with the one of the short edges, fold the top third down, then fold the bottom third up over the top. Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 30 mins. 

2. Give the dough a quarter-turn, then roll out and fold as before; repeat this step twice more. Dust your work surface with some of the icing sugar and roll out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin. Dust the pastry heavily with more icing sugar, then roll up like a sausage. Wrap in cling film and chill in the freezer until firm. 

3. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat or silicone paper. Unwrap the pastry roll and cut off six slices, each one the thickness of a £1 coin; freeze the rest of the pastry for another day. Arrange the discs on the baking sheet and bake for 8-10 mins until crisp and golden. Carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool. Keep in an airtight container until ready to serve.

4. To make the custard, pour the cream and elderflower cordial into a pan set over a medium heat and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the egg mix to the hot cream mix, whisking as you do so, then add the lemon juice. Pour into a Thermomix set at 90C and cook on full speed for 5 mins, or cook over a low heat, stirring, until the custard reaches 90C. Pour into six bowls and leave to cool slightly, then put in the fridge to set, around 2 hrs.

5. To make the sorbet, put all the ingredients in a pan set over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 mins. Remove from the heat and blitz with a hand blender, then pass  the mixture through a sieve into a jug. Leave to cool, then churn in an ice-cream machine until firm. Transfer to a suitable container and freeze until ready to serve.

6. To make the syrup, put the strawberries, cordial and glucose in a pan set over a low heat, then bring to a simmer and cook for 10 mins. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then pass the syrup through a sieve into a jug. Set aside for serving. 

7. To serve, toss the strawberries with the syrup. Take the bowls of elderflower custard out of the fridge and divide the dressed strawberries between them. Top with a scoop of sorbet and finish with a pastry disc.

Published in the September 2019 issue of National Geographic Traveller Food

Follow us on social media 


Explore Nat Geo

  • Animals
  • Environment
  • History & Culture
  • Science
  • Travel
  • Photography
  • Space
  • Adventure
  • Video

About us


  • Magazines
  • Disney+

Follow us

Copyright © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society. Copyright © 2015-2023 National Geographic Partners, LLC. All rights reserved