Sunday, July 24, 2022

Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

  When I recently went to a dear friend's house for a lovely summer hang, I was asked if I would mind bringing a dessert. Um, have you met me?? OF COURSE  I wouldn't mind! Obviously, you know I had already planned to bring something, and I decided to make something summery and strawberry. I made some fabulous strawberry cupcakes with homemade strawberry jam in the center, swirls of strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream, and a fresh whole strawberry on top. They turned out BEAUTIFULLY and everyone loved them. Full disclosure, I was actually extremely proud of them, thank you very much!
 Then I woke up the next morning, thinking... I want more strawberries!! So I went back to my local farmers' market, and bought several more pounds! They were just so gorgeous and inexpensive and sweet and perfect, I just couldn't help myself. 
 But, what shall I make? Well, we're in the middle of a brutally scathing heatwave with heat indexes over 100ºF. I think some refreshing strawberry lemonade would be just the thing!!
  So here we are! A very simple recipe that is a snap to throw together. It's perfectly sweet and tart and thirst-quenching and I don't know of a single person who doesn't absolutely LOVE it. 
Btw, the recipe is so easy, you don't even have to write it down. It's just two cups of each ingredient. As Miss Ina would say, how easy is that???
  So, go out and support your local farmers, buy a ton of strawberries, and make a few batches of lemonade. I KNOW you'll absolutely love it!!! 

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 cups fresh strawberries, stemmed and hulled
2 cups fresh lemon juice
2 cups ice water

First, make a simple syrup. 
In a medium sauce pot, stir together sugar and water over medium heat, until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and place in the fridge to cool/chill. 
Place strawberries in a food processor or blender. Process until completely pureed. This will take several minutes longer than you think it will. You don't want ANY small bits of strawberry. Add your strawberry puree to your now chilled simple syrup. Stir in lemon juice and ice water. 
 Pour into a pitcher through a fine mesh strainer to catch any seeds or errant bits of strawberry. 
Serve in a tall glass over ice and enjoy!

I believe this recipe to be the perfect blend of tart and sweet. However, you can absolutely tweak it to suit your own taste. Tweak the tartness by the amount of lemon juice you add, and tweak the sweetness by the amount of ice water you add. Start out with 1 1/2 cups of each, and then adjust as you go. Add more lemon juice for more tartness. Add more ice water for less sweetness. And if you'd like a stronger hit of strawberry flavor, just add more pureed strawberries!
When I say to puree your strawberries, I mean REALLY let them go for a while in the food processor until they are completely smooth. This will mean more strawberries making it into the lemonade instead of being strained out at the end.

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