I don’t think I will ever tire of the sight of those first strawberries of the year. If I’m lucky enough to still be growing and baking in my eighties, I’d wager that I will still feel my stomach flip when those first glossy red jewels come to bloom.
The first strawberries of the season hail from southern France in early Spring, with the larger, heavier British variety coming into season in mid-May. When a plant gets established it can yield ripe pickings – although as the birds enjoy them just as much as we do, netting will greatly improve your chances of a good harvest.
At this time of year – with Wimbledon and the longest days of the year approaching – there are few tipples more inviting that fruit-ladder jugs of icy smooth Pimms. A splash of liquor takes this sorbet to new levels of flavour, and also helps achieve a smooth freeze.
100g caster sugar
4 sprigs of fresh mint
400g British strawberries
2 lemons, juiced
6 tbsp Pimms No. 1
Measure the sugar and water into a small saucepan. Bring to the boil until all the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat. Remove the mint leaves from their stalks and bruise slightly, then add to the sugar syrup and leave to infuse. Once cooled completely, remove the mint leaves and discard.
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