Strawberry Delight

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!

Strawberry Curd

  • 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.