Finish your Waterloo menu with quintessential British strawberries poached in French Napoleon brandy.


Strawberries poached in Napoleon brandy are indulgent without being cloying. A fresh and slightly exotic take on our standard summer time fruit. For something rather more time consuming try Andrew Pern’s Elderflower Jelly with Strawberries, Lemon Balm Custard and Sponge Fingers. Or of course eat straight from the bowl unadulterated.


Serves 4

For the lime posset
■ 400ml (14fl oz) double cream
■ 3 tbsp caster sugar
■ 2 tbsp lime juice and the zest from 1 lime

For the poached strawberries
■ 200ml (7fl oz) brandy (Napoleon if you have it) plus 100ml (31⁄2fl oz)
■ 1 vanilla pod
■ 200g (7oz) demerara sugar
■ 10 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
■ 250g (9oz) ripe strawberries hulled and chopped in quarters

To make the strawberries poached in Napoleon brandy follow the method below…

As you lift the lid on this dessert it’s impossible not to surrender to the pleasant wafts of spice and booze. You will need four Kilner jars or jam pots with lids.

To make the posset, bring the cream and sugar to a boil, simmer for one minute, take off the heat and add lime juice and zest.

Divide the mix into the Kilner jars and leave to set for at least three hours (this can be made up to 24 hours in advance).

To prepare the strawberries poached in Napoleon brandy, bring 200ml (7fl oz) of the brandy plus the vanilla, sugar and crushed cardamom pods (easily done with a pestle and mortar) to a boil with 50ml (2fl oz) of cold water. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. Add the strawberries and 100ml (31⁄2fl oz) more of neat brandy. Leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes.

When you are ready to serve it, add a spoonful of strawberries and a little of the juice to the top of each posset.

Close the lid and leave for 20 minutes at room temperature. Allow each guest to open their own jar to appreciate the sensational waft of the cardamom, strawberries and that kick of brandy.