Strawberries for shortcake

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by annc3333, May 16, 2018.

  1. annc3333

    annc3333

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    Now that our strawberries are shipped from CA (WA used to have tons of strawberry fields but they are mostly gone) they are all hard and decidedly lacking in juice when I try to squish them or slice them for shortcake. Is there a fix for this? If not, I'll probably just make blackberry shortcakes for an upcoming dinner (using left over scones from another event).
     
  2. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    Are the berries that bad or are they a bit underripe and sour?

    I'm sure you know this but, you can liven up underripe berries by simply cutting them up and putting them in a bowl with some sugar, cover and refrigerate for a few hours. It doesn't take a lot of sugar, maybe 1/4 cup of sugar or less for every quart of strawberries. Start with less sugar and adjust accordingly.

    Other than that, maybe a new source or supplier is in order?

    Good luck. :)
     
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  3. annc3333

    annc3333

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    Thanks, they are rather hard, tasty but not soft or juicy really.
     
  4. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    I live within walking distance (OK, it's a long walk... but a very short car ride) of some of the best commercial strawberry fields in California. When in season we don't have this problem. But out of season, when the berries come from who-knows-where, we do. We tend to get hard and not too tasty. With maceration they become softer, juicier, and slightly tastier.

    I suspect they are sending the barely ripe berry out of the area... like up North. I'm sure they handle better and last longer given the transportation required. :)

    p.s. always wash your berries... I've seen what constitutes sanitation facilities for the field workers. It's there but it's minimal.
     
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  5. QuailMaster

    QuailMaster

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    Brian is right, in that strawberries from Watsonville tend to be shipped under-ripe out of state. Strawberries (berries in general) are particularly fragile as they get riper. The only way to get decent ripe berries is to find a local source. Even here in California, I tend to get my strawberries from local growers, ripe straight from the field.
     
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  6. sgmchef

    sgmchef

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    Hi annc3333,

    I'm with sgsvirgil, with a slight twist. I take about a third of the berries and all of the sugar (same 1/4C per Qt) and pulse in food processor, leaving it more chunky, like salsa, not make a puree. Allow to sit for a couple hours and just before service, combine with remaining 2/3 of sliced strawberries. Adding the sugar will indeed draw juice from berries, but they also make the berries translucent. So I just use a two step process to keep the majority of berries looking fresher. Just a visual thing really...

    If they are actually crunchy, I would go with the one step version. I might add a tiny amount of vanilla at that point, more out of desperation than desire!
     
  7. harpua

    harpua

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    Slice them, sprinkle with sugar and just a little lemon juice.

    To get the essence, I toss them with sugar and put them in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave on top a pot of low simmering water for about 45 mins. Strain out the juice. You could toss this juice with slices and a little more sugar.
     
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