Strawberries ripen on top of straw, hence the name. You will probably already know they are not actually berries, but the fleshy part, the visible “seed” (achene) on the outside of the fruit is actually one of the ovaries of the flower, with a seed inside it.” (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry) . This year most of my woodland strawberries (Fragaria vesca) were hit by the cold period and the regular ones Fragaria × ananassa did not blossom unless they were tucked in by other plants. Plus, my rhubarb plant from way back simply did not last more than the first five years, it simply wanted much more sun and room and better soil than the clay soil in my corner of the world. Luckily we have (super)markets nowadays, so that worry is taken care of.
My favorite for a hot day is the cake variation (no baking!) :
1 biscuit or cake bottom with a plastic ring or a cake pan (for the filling while setting)
1 packet of gelatine dissolved into 6 Tbsp. of orange juice and left to set for 10 min.
3 – 4 stalks of rhubarb, peeled and cut into chunks
4 – 5 Tbsp. sugar
1 juicy lemon
Put all three ingredients into a pot and simmer on very low heat for about 10 min. till tender. Before switching off your stove, add in
500 g (one basket) strawberries, washed, cleaned and cut in half
Let the fruit mixture simmer for another minute. You will have soft chunks of strawberry, I don’t like to see them reduced to nothing.
Once cooled down a few minutes, add in the softened gelatine and stir thoroughly. Leave to cool down further while whipping
400 ml / 2 pots of heavy cream with a tsp. of sugar and vanilla sugar for taste
Once your fruit mixture is sufficiently cold but not yet set – use a timer – gently fold in the whipped cream and leave to set in the fridge. Ice cold chills guaranteed!
For the evening sunset hour, you might prefer Strawberry Limes:
1 basket of strawberries, washed and cleaned
4 – 5 Tbsp sugar
lemon juice to taste
Blend all ingredients in a blender and fill in a clean bottle with a screw or selters cap. Serve ice cold!