14 June 2009

Strawberry Lemonade

I had a request to post summer recipes and strawberry lemonade, for me, epitomizes summertime. Tart, refreshing, ice cold...nothing tastes better on a hot summer afternoon. Especially when paired with a hot dog, burger, or a big plate of barbecue.

You will need:

a large pitcher
6 cups water
6-12 lemons (enough to make 1 1/2 cups juice)
10 oz. frozen strawberries, thawed and pureed
sugar to taste

I started with 12 lemons, but ended up only using 6. The number of lemons depends entirely on how juicy they are. Your lemons should be room temperature then give them a roll between your hands or on the counter. I used a juicer, but you can juice the lemons by hand--it will just take longer.

The juicer does a great job of getting every last bit of lemon and strains the bigger pieces of lemon meat and all the seeds. I don't strain all of it, though, because I love pulpy lemonade. (With orange juice I like the pulp so heavy you can practically chew the juice.)

Six lemons gave me just shy of 1 3/4 cups of juice.

While I was juicing the lemons I added 1/2 cup of sugar to the water to let it dissolve. Add your lemon juice to the sugar water.

I thought the plate full of juiced lemons made such a pretty picture...I couldn't
resist. :)

I used a mini food processor to puree the strawberries.

I used half of a 16oz bag of frozen strawberries and got just a little more than 9oz of puree. This recipe is not an exact science.

Mix into your lemonade and stir. If you don't like bits of strawberry and strawberry seeds you can strain your puree before adding. But I love all of the bits of fruit. Keep tasting and adding sugar until it's as sweet as you like. I ended up adding maybe another 1/4 of a cup or so, for a total of 3/4 of a cup of sugar. I like tart lemonade and the strawberries added quite a bit of sweet flavor. (If you like artificial sweeteners, like Splenda, then you will need to add a lot less than 3/4 cup. Just keep tasting and adding in small amounts.)

The flavors ripen the longer it sits, so if you can wait put the lemonade in the fridge and let leave it alone for a few hours. Stir and enjoy!!

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