After Abby and I had picked those two boxes of strawberries, I was dying to get to work making stuff with them! I decided to do some super easy things this go round, but I might try something new the next time we head out to pick again. This time, I made a batch of the Strawberry Lemonade Bars from Baking Bites, Freezer Jam, and good old Strawberry Shortcake.
Since I have never canned before, I thought I’d try out the freezer jam first. It seemed simple enough. (seriously, I think Jocelyn could do it herself.)
- A Envelope of Freezer Jam fruit pectin. (there are various brands available.)
- 2 cups of sugar
- 4 cups of crushed fruit
- 5 8oz Ball jars with lids
You start out by smashing all your strawberries (or whatever fruit you’re using)
In a separate bowl, mix the envelope of fruit pectin together with the sugar thoroughly. Add this to the fruit and stir for 3 minutes. (you will want to make sure that all the sugar dissolves before you ladle into the jars)
Then, ladle equal amounts into your jars and seal them.
Let it set for at least 30 minutes before using. If you’re not planning on using the jars of jelly within a couple weeks, throw them in the freezer. (hence, freezer jam) They will last up to 6 months in there. Enjoy!
The girls have been having PB&J every day since I’ve made this, and every single day they come home and say something like “My sandwich was SO good today, mom! I ate it all!” That’s the kind of thing I like to hear.
The next thing I made were the Strawberry Lemonade Bars. I’ve always been a huge fan of lemon bars, so I was so excited to come across these!
They were super tart, and the shortbread crust was great, but I have to admit, I think I like my mom’s recipe better! She’s been experimenting with her basic lemon bar recipe, and finding what works when adding other fruit, so I think I’m going to do the same and find the perfect strawberry/lemon combo. One of the things I liked most about my mom’s lemon bars is that they have a little crunchy crust on the top of the custard. It’s a little chewy too. When I was little that was my favorite part. These ones, there aren’t as many eggs, so I think that prevented it from getting that little crust. (which probably isn’t standard on most lemon bars, but I still prefer it)
So then tonight, I made super quick Strawberry Shortcake. I have to admit, I was planning on making the shortcake from scratch, but to be honest, I just couldn’t be bothered, so I cheated and made Bisquick shortbread. And guess what… it was AWESOME. We don’t ALWAYS have to work hard to make delicious things, right??
I cut up the rest of the strawberries in the box and sprinkled a couple heaping tablespoons of sugar on top and gave them a stir. I left them on the counter with a plate on top for a couple of hours at room temperature to maserate. Is it just me, or do they seem to be more flavorful when you leave them on the counter this way as opposed to putting them in the fridge??
In a couple hours, your strawberries should have released some juice and melted the sugar, and you should have a nice strawberry syrup in there. Yum!
Then, like I said, I baked up some of Bisquick biscuits. I added about a quarter cup more mix to the bowl than what they called for. It seemed their recipe was more runny than I would have liked, and I wanted a bit fluffier shortcake, so I made that improvosation. I must say, they were awesome.
Then, to top it off, I made some whipped cream. I don’t have exact measurements, because that’s just the way I roll, but I poured in about 3/4 of a pint of heavy whipping cream, a tsp. of vanilla, and about 2 tsp. of sugar (if I had to guess) and whipped it with the beaters.
If you’ve never made homemade whipped cream, just be sure not to over beat the cream or else it will break down and you will end up with a bowl of butter. You want it light and fluffy.
I must say, this was probably the highlight of them all. I’ve always been a huge fan of strawberry shortcake, and this just hit the spot.
Plop down a biscuit, cover it with your strawberries and juice, and add a dollop of your creamy whipped cream. Heaven.
After I made these, I realized that the Bisquick sizes were huge. Next time I’d probably make more, smaller shortcakes. lol Not that the girls were complaining! Their eyes lit up when this hit the table.
I can’t wait to get back to the strawberry fields and pick some more! With the next batch I’d like to attempt ACTUAL canning (which would be a first for me!). I’d also like to get a bunch put away in the seal-a-meal bags and put in the freezer so we can pull them out anytime we want strawberry shortcake again. lol
Do you have a favorite way to enjoy your strawberries? If you’ve got a great recipe, please share!