Messing about with a horde of strawbs!

Messing about with a horde of strawbs!

Seeing as it’s the start of Wimbledon (and I’ve gained quite a few new followers recently, thank you!) I thought I’d re-share the recipe that still makes me feel the most accomplished for this week’s Monday Munchies: As an added bonus, you get to see me with a strawberry for a nose!

I’m terrible for having sudden whims and fancies that I like to put into immediate action, usually much to the annoyance of S. Friday saw such an event as we were on a drive to a sporting final out in the country and I suddenly spotted a ‘Pick Your Own‘ strawberry patch.

‘Ooh, can we go there?’

‘Where, that field? Now?’

A big grin signalled that yes, I would like to detour into said field right this minute! Despite the audible sigh, S obliged and abruptly turned into the parking area. Of course, it couldn’t be that simple could it? We had no change on us (I’m also awful for only ever carrying plastic) and this field was clearly living in the Dark Ages and had no power supply for a cash machine πŸ˜‰ However, after a bit of back and forth to a local garage, we had money and a basket and off we went.

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I was loving it! Just the smell alone was wonderful, but there’s something very calming about pottering around a field and foraging. After about 40 minutes, we had around a kilo of strawberries (some right hefty specimens too!) of differing varieties for a bargain price.

I do like strawberries but they’re not something I buy generally as they usually get wasted. So having a kilo to use up because of my impromptu madness meant I needed to find some suitable recipes. I’ve been seeing a lot of Eton Mess recipes recently (they always seem to be rolled out as a summer staple) and a few for a cheesecake variation were looking enticing! Cheesecake at one point was my ‘go to’ dessert when out for a meal, though I think I over did the consumption and my appetite for it was lost. However, I’ve recently become reacquainted with its creamy loveliness, so announced to S that this is what he could expect as dessert when he got home…

‘Oohhh, hmmmm…I’m not sure your culinary skills are up to making cheesecake yet.’

Oh really?! Right then, challenge accepted mister! That said, I did opt for a no bake version – I’ll tackle one in the oven next time perhaps!

I amalgamated a couple of recipes I found and even impressed myself by making strawberry coulis to pour over the top! I was on a roll but I still had a shed load of strawberries to find a use for. So what did I do? Decided I’d make jam. Naturally, I wanted to make it quickly and was pleased to find some 30-minute recipes, that didn’t require pectin (I didn’t have it, didn’t actually know what it was and wasn’t about to go down to the shops to hunt it!)

The end result of around an hour in the kitchen (not counting the cheesecake chilling time) was one dessert, one pot of jam and enough coulis left over to drizzle on some pancakes at breakfast! In fact, I even had some strawberries left to make a large jug of Pimms to wash it all down with! πŸ˜€

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Goodness, I felt so quintessentially British, I was ready run down to my nearest Women’s Institute whilst singing a verse of Jerusalem and bust out a calendar (no pun intended!). Too much with the stereotype? Okay, sorry…

Full disclosure on the jam…it looks and tastes the part but is incredibly difficult to spread. Perhaps this was something I did wrong or the lack of pectin…I’m sure some seasoned jam makers will put me straight! However, if you’d like to try making some in 30 minutes (it works for most fruit apparently) you can find the recipe here on pinchofcinnamon.com. I just reduced the quantities to fit my needs.

The cheesecake on the other hand was amazing! *Stops blowing own trumpet* Plus it was super simple for something that looks fairly elaborate. Achievement unlocked… πŸ˜‰

What you’ll need:

  • 20cm loose bottomed tin.
  • 150g Digestive biscuits
  • 50g Ginger Nut biscuits
  • 80g butter, softened.
  • 150g full fat, soft cheese (I used Philadelphia).
  • 150g mascarpone cheese.
  • 60g icing sugar
  • 150ml double cream
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon.

For the strawberry coulis:

  • 125ml water.
  • 125g caster sugar.
  • 300g strawberries (hulled and halved).

For the topping:

  • Large handful of strawberries (hulled and halved).
  • 2-3 meringue nests, crushed. (Or you can be clever and make your own!)

Method:
Grease and line your tin. Crush all the biscuits into a fine breadcrumb consistency. (Most recipes say use a food processor but where’s the fun in that?! Get the rolling pin out!) Mix well with the softened butter and flatten as evenly as possible into base of tin. Pop in the fridge whilst preparing the filling.

Whisk together both cheeses, the icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whip the double cream until it creates peaks. Fold it into the cheese mixture, along with the lemon zest. Add this to the biscuit base, spreading evenly. Chill again for 4-6 hours.

To make the coulis, bring the sugar and water to the boil, then add the strawberries and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until soft. Next, blitz it all in a blender (any remaining coulis will keep for 2-3 days in the fridge). Allow it to cool before pouring it over the cheesecake (that you’ve removed from the fridge and stripped of its tin and lining!), finally adding the crushed meringue and strawberries to decorate.

Enjoy with a glass of Pimms, a cup of tea or whatever you fancy. Just be warned, you wont be enjoying it for long because everyone will want a piece! Although, if you have better willpower than we do, it should keep in the fridge for 3 days. πŸ™‚


Image Credits: All my own.

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23 thoughts on “Messing about with a horde of strawbs!

      1. Sorry! It IS in tongue-in-cheek inverted commas… And I have written a past post about my hatred. But everyone slips from time to time. So don’t worry, it’s not a developing habit, you can step back from the ledge πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I am the cheesecake queen!! Well, at least up there with some nobility, I reckon.
      But… For real? A whole patch? It sounds delightfully like something out of a Beatrix Potter story! I’ve managed to grow two in my life. Strawberries, not whole plants. πŸ˜”

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      1. You know, there’s something called a Cheesecake Factory in Pittsburgh. Southside. They’ve got every cheesecake imaginable. Flavor, that is.

        *laughs* It was a whole patch! Lots of strawberries. But they must’ve mated too much or something. They just died out on me. It was somewhat vexing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve heard of that place! If I ever come back to the US, I’ll seek one out and make myself sick!
        Shame about your strawberries but it’s still impressive by my standards. I can grow any plant… Unless they’re edible.

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  1. I finally have time to start reading your blogs again, and oh, what a treat this one was (in both meanings of the word)!! My mother died May 5, and on May 7, my daughter needed me to fly down to Southern California where she was on vacation to help with her children (ages 1,4,6) as her husband had to leave. Well, first I said no, how could I do that? Then I realized I could, and I did, and it was an incredible 2 days that helped assuage my deep grief. On the long drive back to San Francisco, we stopped at a cherry orchard, the kids running around picking and eating cherries right off the tree, us doing the same!!! I brought home bags of the best cherries I have ever eaten in my life and it is a memory that will stay with me forever. Your blog always stimulates me in a positive way!! Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Carol, so nice to hear from you! I’m very sorry to hear about your mother but I’m pleased you were able to find comfort in spending time with your daughter and grandchildren – I always think children have the best ways to take your mind off the worst things.
      Cherry picking sounds wonderful, there’s something so pleasing about being able to eat straight from the source. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the lovely comment, as always.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There is something so wonderful about strawberry picking, isn’t there? My mum used to take my brother and I when we were ickle. The recipe sounds wonderful – can’t beat a great cheesecake! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – it’s definitely one of my favourite things I’ve made, ever! And yes, PYO is great fun, we used to go adventuring when we were ‘ickle’ (love that word) in search of brambles. This strawberry patch was fairly near a main road but once I was lost amongst the bushes, in my head I’d gone into full-on Bear Grylls foraging mode!

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