I do love Wimbledon, it’s such a British affair. We are constantly worried about the weather and what stars have arrived to watch the players; I remember last year Tom Cruise arrived! One day I’ll go and watch the matches live, maybe bump into Tom Cruise! But for now, I’ll sit in front of the TV watching the ball go back and forth - or not so with those fast aces!
There will be lots of action on those grass courts, but also lots of munching action with those strawberries. In fact, around 30 tonnes of strawberries and 7,000 litres of cream will be devoured at Wimbledon this year!
Strawberries are delicious served plain with cream, I really do like them like that, but when I was younger, Grandma Bun would cut up the strawberries and spoon sugar all over them. I’m glad to say I’ve weaned myself off the sugar, but Mr Bun still pulls a face like he is sucking lemons when he eats them without sugar.
Did you know strawberries are the only fruit to wear their seeds on the outside! Over 200 of them. Which technically means it isn’t a berry, as berries have their seeds on the inside.
How can you make the most of strawberry season? What can you do if you have a glut or they’re getting overripe?
FOR THE CHILDREN...
Get the children involved in cutting up the strawberries up or squashing them with their hands. Take a strawberry, hold it between thumb and finger, and squeeze it into a bowl, do it’s all runny and squashed. Because the berries are soft and juicy this will be an easy, fun job for their little fingers.
Blend a handful of strawberries with 150ml of milk and drop of honey - instant milkshake! Add other fruits if you like such as a banana, mango, raspberries, or a kiwi.
Delicious refreshing at this time of year. Whizz up 200g of strawberries add 100ml lemonade and mix well. Pour into ice lolly moulds and freeze for 6-8 hours.
If you fancy a creamy lolly, whizz 200g strawberries and add 400g of Greek or natural yoghurt, or even a flavoured one. Pour into lolly moulds freeze for 6-8 hours.
A great one for using up bits in the fridge or cupboards. Chop up 8-10 strawberries and put them in a mixing bowl. Add 200g yoghurt, crème fraiche, custard or (dare I say it!) use Angel Delight. Crush 2-3 meringues or crumble up 2-3 cup-cakes or sponge fingers. Mix together. Divide the mixture between glass bowls/glasses, crumble a ginger biscuit over the top.
Like the mess above but mix the strawberries with yoghurt and some granola or muesli and you have breakfast!
The standard cupcake recipe Grandma Bun taught me was 4:2 or 100g of everything plus 2 eggs. That means 100g margarine, 100g caster sugar and 100g self-raising flour plus 2 eggs.
Put all these ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir until smooth. Add a flavouring of your choice - a tsp of vanilla or lemon essence, zest of an orange or a tablespoon of cocoa powder. Divide the mixture equally between 6 cupcake cases (so they cook evenly). Bake for 20-25 minutes at Gas 4, 160c fan, 180c. Leave them to cool then decorate with some icing and pop a strawberry on the top!
STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM…
This recipe is one of my favourites. It started off with just one flavour, but over the years I have experimented by adding different ones. It’s a summer zesty must.
You will need 15 strawberries, 200ml double cream, 200ml condensed milk, 2 tbsp icing sugar, 1tsp vanilla essence.
First squash the strawberries. Grab a whisk and pour the double cream in a jug. Holding the jug’s handle, whisk the cream until it’s gone from runny to sticking to the whisk like an ice cream! Add the condensed milk, vanilla essence and squashed strawberries and mix it all up. Pour the mixture into a 1-pint container and place in the freezer. You’ll need to leave it for a good 6 hours before you can eat the ice cream! If you take it out 10 minutes before you want it, it will be easier to scoop out.
An all-time favourite in the Bun household, and at many cooking classes, it appears each year in a different flavour!
You will need 150g digestive biscuits (or any biscuit you like, eg Hob Nobs, chocolate digestives), 75g margarine, 150g cream cheese, 100ml double cream, 2-4tbsp caster/icing sugar, 100g strawberries and some to decorate. You can use small glass dishes, glasses or an 6-18cm round tin.
Put the biscuits in a bag or bowl and crush until fine crumbs with a rolling pin. The children love doing this. Get them to snap the biscuits in half with their hands first, then crush them up. Melt the margarine in the microwave for 30 seconds and stir into the crushed biscuits. Mix well and press them down, evenly into a dish(es), place in the fridge to chill.
Pour the double cream into a bowl and whisk until thick. (You should be able to hold it over your head without it falling out of the bowl! The children always worry it will fall out.) Put the cream cheese in another bowl and stir with your spoon to make it smoother. Add the whipped cream a couple of spoonful’s at a time. (The children can add the spoons for you and count as they do it.)
Crush the 100g of strawberries - again get the children doing this. Add them to the cream mixture and stir. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar, then have a taste test and see if you need any more. Pour this mixture over the biscuit base and decorate with extra strawberries. Leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours.
3 spoons is all we use in the BUN house!!
I hope you enjoy all these strawberry recipes, if you have all the ingredients ready they don't take too long, within 30 minutes.
If you need any more ideas, try the strawberry shortbread from my book, it's available on Amazon, but if you use the code STRAWBERRY at the checkout on my website you will receive a Berrytastic 50% off for the rest of the Wimbledon championships!
Mrs Bun xx