Strawberries at last .


It is the strawberry season at last , the weather has been so hot the last couple of months here in the south of England that the strawberries are at least a month early. They are huge possibly the best I have ever grown.Tomorrow is the first of the pickings for me. I just can’t wait …A tub of cream awaits in the fridge !I have been to the allotment every morning really early to water everything as we have had hardly any rain at all. We really need it but  there does not seem any sign at the moment.Tomorrow is the first of the pickings for me. I just can’t wait …A tub of cream awaits in the fridge !..So what else can we do with strawberries as there is certainly going to be a glut of them?

Strawberry and rose petal conserve

This is a strawberry conserve with a slight twist , ideal served with summer teas . Rose water compliments the strawberries beautifully but only add a few drops as it can become over powering.

Ingredients

1.300kg  / 3lb strawberries

2 dark pink rose buds petals only

juice of 2 lemons

1.3kg / 3lb granulated sugar warmed

a few drops of rose water.

 Method

1. Put all the strawberries in a non metallic bowl with the rose petals , lemon juice and warmed sugar. Cover and leave overnight.

2. The next day , tip the fruit into a preserving pan and heat gently , stirring , until all the sugar has dissolved. Boil for 10 – 15 minutes or to setting point (105c/220f)

3. Stir the rose water into the jam, then remove the pan from the heat.

4. Skim off any scum and leave to cool for 5 minutes , then stir and pour into sterilised jars.

5. Seal and label and store .

Strawberry rose ice cream

A very pretty pink ice cream using once again rose water ,again you can leave this out if you wish .

You can also make this ice cream with raspberries , blackberry and gooseberry.

Ingredients

serves 6

450/16 oz  strawberries rinsed and hulled.

2tbsp rose water (optional)

300ml /half a pint double cream

115g /4oz icing sugar

juice of 1 lemon

Method

1. Put the strawberries into a blender or food processor with the rose water if using and blend for a few seconds until smooth.Whip the cream until just peaking and sieve in the icing sugar.

2. Fold into the cream along with the strawberry mixture and lemon juice.

3. Taste and add more sugar if required.

4. Either churn the ice cream in a machine or transfer to a freezer container , cover and put in coldest part of the freezer for about 2 hours until slushy, then beat well.

5.Return to the freezer for a further hour before beating again,repeat this process twice more. Stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes to soften before serving.

Dried Strawberries.

Do you have a glut of strawberries? is this a great way of adding fruit to your muesli .

Ingredients

Strawberries halved

250g / 8oz honey

250g / 8oz sugar

250g / 8fl oz water.

Method

Preheat oven to 110c/225f/ gas qtr.

1. Halve the strawberries

 2.Dip in the honey and sugar mixture to retain the colour and stop from browning..

3. Spread out on wire racks on baking trays and dry in oven for about 12 – 18 hours or until dry and brittle.

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