In season | Strawberries

By
Hannah Koelmeyer
Added
21 November, 2013

There is nothing quite like the extraordinary sweetness of a ripe, in-season strawberry, with its scarlet red, aromatic flesh. We share 10 of our favourite strawberry recipes.

It’s impossible to have too many strawberries: in the unlikely situation you find yourself with some left over after scoffing them by the punnet, you can preserve them, purée them, turn them into cordial or a cocktail, transform them into a frozen treat or bake them into cakes and tarts – the possibilities are endless (and delicious).

It’s important to note that strawberries that have been picked while unripe will not ripen, so choose wisely when buying. Ripe strawberries will be plump and firm, with deep red skin and no sign of mould, and the very best will have the kind of intoxicating aroma you wish you could bottle.

Strawberries are highly perishable, require refrigeration and are best consumed within a couple of days of buying (or picking). If you’ve been overly enthusiastic at the grocer’s and standing over a hot stove in the middle of summer isn’t your style, strawberries also freeze very well. Simply hull the strawberries, place them in a ziplock bag, squeeze the air out and toss them in the freezer for later.

Classic pairings for strawberries include vanilla, chocolate, balsamic vinegar, citrus (and citrus liqueurs: try adding a splash of Cointreau to a homemade strawberry jam), mint and, of course, cream. If you’re feeling experimental, try coupling strawberries with rose, goat’s cheese, coriander, black pepper, basil or avocado.

For a simple dessert, you need not look further than good old strawberries and cream, which is easily fancified by macerating the fruit in sugar and balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or liqueur. Top with a good quality cream of your choosing, and garnish with young mint leaves.

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