Black pepper and sumac strawberries with honey crème fraîche

Lucy Corry
The Kitchenmaid

Homecooked seasonal recipes for every day

Random House
RRP $55


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

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tbsp sumac
  • 5 good grinds (about 1 tsp freshly ground) black pepper
  • 250-350g strawberries, hulled
  • 1 cup crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp honey

Put the sugar and water in a small pot set over a medium heat. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then add the sumac and black pepper. Simmer gently for 5 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 2 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 fraîche and pour over a generous slosh of the syrup.


Lucy Corry is an award-winning New Zealand writer who loves to cook, eat, read and think about food. Her work has featured in Canvas, Sunday, Your Weekend, Frankie, Cuisine, NZ Life & Leisure, Nadia Journal and Gourmet Traveller,, and

In 2019 she was named Food Communicator of the Year and Best Opinion Writer at the inaugural New Zealand Food Media Awards. She is the current President of Food Writers NZ and in recent years has co-authored the Ockham award winning Hiakai: Modern Māori Cuisine and written the much-loved Burger Wellington cookbook. Lucy lives in central Wellington with her husband and daughter and Cosmo the dog, who destroys all her vegetable-growing efforts on a regular basis.