Recipe: Black Pepper & Sumac Strawberries with Honey Crème Fraiche

Take fresh strawberries to new heights with a homemade syrup and honeyed crème fraîche.

Recipe: Lucy Corry  Photo and styling: Carolyn Robertson

Enliven early-season strawberries (or small ones from your garden that might not be as juicy as you’d like) with this delicious syrup, which can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.

Serves: 4 to 6


1 cup caster sugar
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons sumac
5 good grinds (about 1 teaspoon freshly ground) black pepper
250-350g strawberries, hulled

For the crème fraîche:
1 cup crème fraîche
2 tablespoons honey


Put the sugar and water in a small pot set over medium heat. Stir until dissolved, then add the sumac and black pepper. Simmer gently for five minutes, then remove from the heat. Cool, then strain through a fine sieve.

If the strawberries are large, halve or quarter them and add to the syrup. If you’re using smaller berries, prick them with a skewer or fork before adding them to the syrup. Cover and let steep for at least two hours at room temperature or in the fridge overnight.

Just before serving, stir the crème fraîche and honey together. Divide the berries between four plates or bowls. Dollop on some crème fraiche and pour over a generous slosh of syrup.

Lucy Corry is an award-winning New Zealand writer and has been NZ Life & Leisure’s Taste editor since 2018. Her latest book, Homecooked: Seasonal Recipes for Every Day, published by Penguin, is out now, RRP$55.

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Nadia This article first appeared in Nadia: A Seasonal Journal Magazine.
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