Your local guide to the best strawberry recipes
WITH recent reports of strawberry sales on the increase after the reports of needles being found in some batches, you may be wondering what to do with all those red balls of sweetness.
Sure, they're great in fruit salad, and smashing in a smoothie, but if you really want to impress your family and friends, we've got just the recipes fory ou.
We've brought in the big guns, and asked two of the Clarence Valley's best known foodies - Peter Nicholson from Nicholson's Fine Foods , and Antony Perring from Irons & Craig to submit their recipes to best use up those strawberries.
Both are easy to make, and will result in you getting satisfaction of helping farmers, as well as getting a yummy treat at the end.
Peter Nicholson - Nicholson's Fine Foods - Strawberry Tarts
Sweet Pastry Tart Shell (bought or baked)
Good quality dark chocolate
Nicholson Fine Foods Belgian White Chocolate Mousse
1/2 tablespoon sugar
Ok here we go. This is quite easy and has an impressive result.
Buy or bake a sweet pastry tart shell. When it is cool, brush with good quality melted dark chocolate, this helps protect the pastry from the moist filling.
Next, using a pack of Nicholson Fine Foods Belgian White Chocolate Mousse, make the mousse according to the directions on the pack.(very easy)
When you choose the strawberries, its important to smell the punnet. If they smell good, then they will taste good. Wash the strawberries in cold water and dry with a paper towel. Cut the leaves off and cut the berries in half.
Place in a large bowl with half a tablespoon of sugar per punnet. Shake and toss the berries in the bowl, for about 60 seconds. This helps the berries to bleed some juice, which mixes with the sugar to create a glaze.
Now to put the tart together, pipe or spoon some white chocolate mousse into the tart shell, be generous, create a hill in the middle of the tart to support the strawberries.
Now carefully place the strawberries on the mousse. You can alternate the outside and insides of the strawberries to add interesting textures. You can use some of the nice strawberry leaves to garnish the tarts or use Nicholson Fine Foods Garnishing Pearls to add a special luxurious look to your tart.
All you need now is a friend to share and you favourite cup of tea or coffee.
Antony Perring - Irons & Craig - Strawberry and Rose Geranium Jam
Rose geraniums are really old fashioned and have super fragrant rose-scented leaves. If you can't find some leaves in the garden, add a few teaspoons of rose water just before you bottle the jam.
1 kg washed, hulled and roughly chopped strawberries
500g white sugar
5-6 rose geranium leaves, washed and finely chopped
Cook strawberries in a large saucepan over medium heat with the rose geraniums until they are breaking down and giving up a lot of their juice. Stir frequently to prevent from sticking to the pot.
Slowly add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time stirring gently to incorporate and to melt into the strawberries.
Put a small plate or saucer in the freezer to cool down. You'll need this to help you check if the jam has set.
Once all the sugar is combined increase the temperature to medium-high and boil the jam until the bubbles are large and the jam reaches setting point. Pull your little plate out of the freezer and drop a teaspoonful of jam on the cold plate. Set aside for twenty or thirty seconds and check to see if the jam has set. Bubble away stirring all the time until the jam sets how you like it on the cold plate.
Store in sterilised jars.
We like this jam on toast, but it's also great dolloped on a fresh donut, spread inside your favourite cake, or shaken with some pink gin and served over ice for a cheeky sweet cocktail.