Think of this Warm Strawberry Puff as an family-sized egg-y pancake, holding up a pool of juicy strawberries just waiting to dribble down your chin. Since there are no leavenings used and you don't want to end up with a heavy puff, this dish can be considered a little fussy because you need to separate the eggs and beat the whites separately, whipping plenty of air into them with a touch of granulated sugar. You don't need to take them to a firm peak though - a soft, weeping peak is what you are after. If you've never had to beat egg whites before, just remember you'll want to use a bowl and whisk that are free of any grease - also, if you can have your whites at room temperature, they'll beat up quicker and allow for more volume.
The golden yolks, separated from the above whites, are then used in the batter, along with a bit of cream, vanilla, melted butter and just enough flour for structure. Gently folding in the whites, the batter then goes into a heated skillet to begin cooking. As this is fairly thick, it won't cook as well on top of the stove - to make sure it can cook through without the bottom burning, the skillet goes into the oven after a few minutes and is allowed to finish with the even heat circulating around.
While waiting on the puff to, well, puff, the topping was thrown together by melting together butter, Golden Syrup (you could use Brown Rice Syrup or even Corn Syrup if you don't have this) and a bit of granulated sugar. Heated just until it comes to a boil, melting the grainy sugar, halved fresh strawberries were stirred into the syrup with lemon juice and a heavy pinch of cinnamon for its sweet fragrance. You are not trying to cook the strawberries down here at all, just warming them through and coating them in the sticky topping.
Just as that was ready, I heard a ding for the pancake puff in the oven - you could serve this right out of the skillet if you wanted, but we turned it out so we could spoon that strawberry concoction over the top. With a dusting of confectioners' sugar around the edge, this dish would surely stand out with its appealing presentation on your table! While we made this with strawberries, you can be sure this is on my list to make again, with apples, after we have done our traditional trip to our favorite orchards in the fall, picking them right off the trees ourselves!
Warm Strawberry Puff