It’s July. It’s Wimbledon and time to eat the best British strawberries. I’m lucky enough to have access to strawberries from Claremont Farm on the Wirral, as they supply my local shop – The Liverpool Cheese Company. Now, I’m a big fan of just eating strawberries, or sometimes with spritz of lemon & sugar, Italian style or going the whole hog with double cream and meringues in the classic Eton Mess, but I also love making preserves and chutneys. My friend Emma has recently experimented with strawberry jam, adding lime zest and juice – which created a beautifully tart contrast to the super sweet berries. Following that path, I wondered about making a strawberry curd. Last Christmas I made cranberry curd, which proved most popular on the market stall so I think strawberry curd will also appeal. I trawled for recipes but ended up adapting the one I use for lemon curd – from the WI’s great book Jams, Pickles & Chutneys by Midge Thomas. I’m really pleased with the result – a gorgeous pale pink curd with a little tartness from the lemon & orange. Can’t wait to try it on fresh scones!
- 400g of ripe, British, SEASONAL strawberries – it won’t be the same with imported out of season ones – they’ll have too much water in them
- 500g caster or granulated sugar ( You can adjust up or down to suit your taste & sweetness of your strawberries)
- 200g unsalted butter
- 300 ml /1/2 pint of beaten free range eggs (about 5)
- zest of 1 orange
- zest and juice of 1 lemon
First give strawberries a quick wash, then pat dry and remove stalks. Blitz into a puree in a food processor, then sieve to remove pips into a large microwavable bowl. Add butter, sugar, fruit zests and lemon juice. Stir and then put in the microwave at full power for 2 minutes. Stir well and repeat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved.
Add the beaten eggs and stir well. Continue cooking in 1 minute bursts on full power, stirring each time, and reducing the time to 30 seconds as the mixture thickens. Once it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon – you should be able to draw your finger through it and leave a clear line, remove.
Strain through a sieve – to remove the zest and any cooked egg. Put into sterilized jars, seal and allow to cool before storing in the fridge.
I made 5 and 3/4 of 190 ml jars – it might have made it to 6 if I hadn’t snaffled a few strawberries at the start…. Shelf life is about 8 weeks, but once opened, use within a week.