Strawberry Season’s Bounty

It’s Strawberry Season in South Caroline and I am taking advantage of the most beautiful Strawberries I have ever seen. We found a place called Strawberry Hill, USA, in Gaffney, South Carolina, where we thought we would be able to pick our own Strawberries. Thankfully they pick them for you. Whew, happy for that. I picked up 2 gallons of just picked Strawberries to make Strawberry Semi-Freddo and Strawberry Jam. It’s been a great week.

Here are the recipes for both. Enjoy!

Strawberry Semi-Freddo

Strawberry Semi-Freddo

Makes 2 Quarts

3          Cups Fresh Strawberries, Hulled and Sliced

¼         Cup Granulated Sugar

8          Large Egg Yolks

1          Cup Granulated Sugar

1          Cup of Reserved Strawberry Juice

½         Teaspoon Fine Sea Salt

4         Large Egg Whites, Room Temperature

¼        Cup Granulated Sugar

2         Cups Heavy Whipping Cream (36%)

¼        Cup Sugar

In a 2-quart saucepan cook the strawberries and ¼ cup sugar over medium heat, stirring often. Cook the strawberries until they soften and begin to break up, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Once cooled, strain the strawberries in a fine mess strained set over a bowl. Reserve one cup of the strawberry juice.

In a large heatproof bowl beat the yolks with the sugar, until combined, with a wire whisk. In a slow and steady stream add the 1 cup reserved strawberry juice to the eggs and sugar whisking the whole time.

Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, being careful to not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl, and whisk the egg mixture continuously until very thick and hot. It will be thick enough when you lift the whisk and the mixture lies down slowly in a ribbon shape and takes a moment to sink back into itself. Be patient, as this will take about 20 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk for a few more minutes to help cool it down. Place the bowl in an ice water bath to cool completely, gently whisking every few minutes. Once cooled, fold the drained strawberries into the cooked egg mixture (This is called the custard). Set aside.

Place the 4 large egg whites into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and slowly beat the whites to break them up, about 30 seconds. Gradually increase the speed to high and continue to beat the whites until very soft peaks form. With the mixer running on high, gradually add the ¼ cup sugar. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form and the sugar is completely dissolved. Fold thoroughly, but gently, into the cooled custard.

In a clean standing mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the cream on medium high for a minute. Add the ¼ cup sugar and beat until light and fluffy and peaks form when the whisk is lifted out of the cream.

Fold the whipped cream into the custard thoroughly, but gently.   Put the Semi-Freddo into an air-tight container, covered and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving. Semi-freddo will last in the freezer for up to one month.

Strawberry Jam

With this recipe you can do the whole sterilized jar thing if you are not going to refrigerate. I don’t bother because once the Jam is cooled and covered they will last for at least a month in the refrigerator. But, trust me when I tell you, they are so good they will be eaten before you know it. Adding blueberries gives the jam and richer, darker color.

Strawberry Jam

 

Makes 1 Quart

3 Cups Granulated Sugar
2/3 Cup Water
8 Cups Fresh Strawberries, Rinsed, Hulled and Cut into Half Length-Wise (OR Sliced into Quarters if  Strawberries are Large)                                                                                                    1/2 Cup Fresh Blueberries, Rinsed and Picked Over

Place sugar and water in a large heavy pan such as a Dutch oven. On high heat, bring the sugar and water to a boil and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved and slightly syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add the strawberries and blueberries, toss the berries in the sugar syrup until they are completely coated with the syrup and bring back to a full boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer the berries, stirring often, until they are cooked through and the syrup is thick and dark red, about 45 minutes. During the cooking, skim off as much of the foam as possible.

Transfer the preserves to a glass jar and cool completely before covering. Store in refrigerator. Preserves will last for at least a month refrigerated.

Tip: To dissolve the sugar crystals that form on the side of the pan, cover with a lid for about 5 minutes. This takes the place of brushing down the side of the pan with cold water. This is much easier and way more effective.

Skimming off the foam makes the preserves clear and not cloudy. The foam you are skimming off is a chemical re-action between the berries and the sugar and if not skimmed off the foam will crystallize and your preserves will become grainy and sugary.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment on the blog or e-mail me.  camille@camillecooksforyou.com

Strawberry Fields Forever 

This entry was posted in Accompaniments, Ahh Haa Moments, Food For Thought, Jam, Semi-Freddo, Strawberries and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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