Wimbledon begins today, and other than the Tennis, nothing screams Wimbledon more than a bowl of sweet fresh Strawberries.
Very easy to grow, it is a fruit that seems to capture the essence of Summer more than any other, and no fruit seems to find it’s way into more sweets and preserves. Prolific even in small pots or hanging planters, no garden seems to be complete without strawberries painting daubs of red in amongst the green.
Ice creams, jams and preserves, or fresh atop a pavlova or cheese cake, everyone has a favourite use for the strawberry. I find it’s combination of sweetness and tartness pairs beautifully with salted pork, and like cranberries with turkey, strawberry jam and ham are a match made in heaven. But for the freshest fruit picked at the peak of the season, nothing beats strawberries with lightly whipped or clotted cream…except maybe the following.
- 1 kg strawberries (you can use frozen if fresh are unavailable)
- 750g white sugar
- 400g water (a splash over 1.5 cups)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1.2l cheap Vodka (or everclear diluted to 40% abv/80 proof)
Remove the greenery from the strawberries, and halve them before adding them to a large pot.
Add the sugar, lemon juice, and water.
Bring to a slow boil and then simmer for about 40 mins, or until the fruit has broken down into a pulp. Do not let the mix boil too rapidly, and make sure the pot you’ve used is large enough. It can and will boil over the rim of the pot and make a horrible jelly mess all over your stove.
Strain through a fine sieve.
Discard the leftover pulp. You can use it in a smoothie or on ice cream if you like, but it will be quite seedy.
Allow the mix to cool, then add the vodka. Decant the liqueur into bottles.
This will make about 2.5 litres of roughly 20% abv liqueur, which makes it superb for cocktails, or a sweet shot all by itself.
Of course, a twist on a Wimbledon tradition doesn’t hurt anyone. Pour a 3/4 shot into a shot glass and top with cream.