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We've been waiting for three years to take our son for strawberry picking. Well he was just too young, he would have just uprooted the whole strawberry farm. Now that he's a "big boy" as he calls himself, he had such a wonderful time, picking, eating and eating and some picking. We came home with about 30 pounds of juicy, sweet strawberries.
We've enjoyed them in a sauce with lamb, as jam, in many smoothies, with freshly whipped vanilla cream, mousse and our favorite orange blossom strawberry lemonade.
If I get a chance, I'll post a few more recipes with strawberries. The season is a few short weeks. We try to go picking as much as possible, the taste just doesn't compare to the store, no matter what they claim. I'll say it again. Freshly picked strawberries are just sweeter, juicier and overall just better. For the mousse, I used fresh coconut milk, by blending the meat and water of a young coconut. I use them regularly in smoothies, much more flavorful than the processed kind in milk cartons.
Strawberry Coconut Pistachio Mousse
makes 4 to 6 servings based on size of container
1 cup coconut milk + 4 tbsps, fresh or store bought (your choice)
1/2 cup pistachios
1 cup strawberry purée
1/2 cup sucanat (adjust to sweetness of strawberries)
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 envelopes gelatin
2 tbsp sucanat
10 drops lemon extract
3/4 tsp vanilla paste
Pinch of sea salt
In a heavy duty blender, emulsify coconut water, meat to make coconut milk, you'll need one fresh young coconut which will most likely yield a bit more than that. Cut open the top horizontally with a chef's knife, empty water, then scoop out flesh with a rubber spatula. Take out 4 tablespoons of the milk for blooming the gelatin. Measure out one cup and save the rest for other uses. To the blender, add the pistachios and run on high until all liquified. Place in a pot and heat gently until simmer, turn off. Meanwhile bloom the gelatin in the milk set aside. Add to the hot milk and whisk to dissolve. Pour in a large bowl, add sucanat, salt, lemon extract, vanilla and strawberry purée. Whisk well to blend all ingredients. Place bowl in the fridge until cooled about 2 hours. In a chilled bowl, whisk heavy cream and 2 tbsp sucanat vigorously to soft peak. Remove strawberry coconut jello from fridge and fold in the whipped cream. Fill containers of choice, cover with plastic wrap and chill until needed.
Orange Blossom Strawberry Lemonade
makes approx. 6 cups
12 oz strawberries, washed and destemmed
2 lemons, zest removed
2 cups water
1 cup ice cubes
1/4 cup agave (adjust to sweetness of strawberries)
1 tbsp orange blossom water
In a blender, place all ingredients and blend until all liquified. You can add Rum or Vodka for a nice kick, that's after the kids have gone to bed. Enjoy under the stars on a nice warm evening.