June brings a glut of Strawberries, and what can you do with them?

img_1066

Strawberry Jam, Strawberry Ice Cream and Strawberry Compote!

Just don’t freeze them, as they seriously deteriorate when frozen whole.

First, my incredibly simple Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe, this will make 4 litres for all the family to enjoy over the summer, or for one great big party.

No Ice Cream Maker required!

Simply take 2lbs of previously hulled strawberries, one large pot of double cream, 600ml or around 1 and1/4 pints, and roughly the same quantity of Sweetened Condensed Milk. here I used 2 x 397 tins of Nestle Condensed Milk, and 1 large lemon.

Process the strawberries in a food processor or liquidiser until very liquid. If you have no machines in your kitchen, then pound and mash them for ages to get a smooth, liquid result. Add the squeezed juice of one large lemon and half the condensed milk. process again to mix all well together.

Whip all the cream to soft peaks in a large bowl. then add the other half of the condensed milk and beat together until thick.

Then fold in the Strawberry mixture very thoroughly, but don’t beat out all the air!

Lastly, pour the mixture into a suitable Tupperware or other vessel, cover and freeze in your freezer!

Take it out at least 30 minutes at room temperature before eating, but don’t forget to put it back in immediately when you have finished serving.

STRAWBERRY JAM

By Far the best strawberry jam recipe I have used is that which I use from the Constance Spry Cookery Book by Constance Spry and Rosemary Hume first published in 1956 by J.M.Dent and Sons Ltd. I am fortunate enough to have my mother’s old copy in my kitchen. I like to think that they were using the same old Cambridge Favourite variety of strawberry as I have now, although now a  dramatically over-productive row on account of our recent Beast from the East Spring, and current dry warm sunshine approaching Midsummer’s Day.

Before I reproduce it here, I should add that it is supposed that you already know how to do the plate test for checking the set of jam, and have the required amount of clean, sterilised jam jars to hand. As a rough rule of thumb, 3lb of fruit will make around 4 to 5 normal sized pots of jam. My own comments are in brackets.

”Allow 3/4 lb of granulated sugar to every pound of fruit, and the strained juice of 1 lemon to every 3lb of fruit. ( ie for 3lb of Strawberries use 1 lemon and 2lb 4oz of sugar!)

Crush a small saucerful of the berries and put into the preserving pan with a large spoonful of the sugar. Put over low heat till the sugar has dissolved, then add the rest of the fruit ( I think it best to quarter any large berries) and bring slowly to the boil, stirring occasionally. Warm the sugar in the oven ( probably best to have already done this in advance), add to the pan with the lemon juice (previously squeezed and strained of pips!). Boil rapidly 10 to 12 minutes, or until, on testing, the jam will set”

I should say that the setting point of strawberries, which are not very high in natural pectin, is not an easy thing to achieve. That is why you must use lemon juice and only just ripe fruit. So often the jam which fails to set is then overboiled and turns to a dark, unappetising mahogany glue. Don’t be tempted to boil it more than around 12 minutes, and never add the dreaded unpleasant commercial pectin. This recipe makes for a slightly liquid jam, but which does wrinkle gently using the plate test. However, sometimes things don’t work out as intended, and if your efforts show no signs of setting, then just pot it anyway and keep it in the fridge, under the label Strawberry Compote! Delicious with Ice Cream, on Toast or whichever way. A lot depends, I think, on the variety of strawberry that you are using. Certainly my Cambridge Favourite is doing well on the jam -making front, especially when picked a tad under optimum eating sweetness.

 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s