Studio Pottery, Baguette and Fresh Strawberry Curd (Recipe)
Way before Studio Pottery became fashionable, and every Vegan café or restaurant decanted their carrot juice out of terracotta pitchers or served their bean salads on slipware plates, my mum was making fabulous studio pottery at Art School…….in the heart of the English potteries in Staffordshire; her pottery is unique and beautifully decorated in a style that might be called “Mediterranean” nowadays. I am lucky enough to have a couple of her hand-made pieces, a bowl and a delightful little plate, decorated with strawberries and strawberry leaves………with a serrated rim, this slightly “wonky” plate is one my most treasured possessions and I use it often for condiments, lemon wedges, sauces, butter, olives and light snacks. Underneath the plate are my mum’s initials, and the date she made it, 1949…….a sixty four year old plate that has family provenance and is much-loved, and used.
So, when I made a batch of Strawberry Curd recently, there was only one plate I had in mind to serve alongside my strawberry feast, and that was mum’s strawberry plate. Sliced baguette was buttered, and then large spoons of unctuous strawberry curd was dolloped on with gay abandon, as well as eating fresh strawberries straight from the punnet too. It seemed so right to be eating off mum’s strawberry plate, and an old silver teaspoon was also used for dolloping purposes. My vintage French jam jars were topped off with charming paper hats and the excess curd was decanted into a small glass yoghurt jar for immediate tasting purposes.
What could be more pleasurable than a rustic snack when served on a piece of pottery that resonates with my mum’s personality, as well as a small silver spoon that may have been “in my mouth” when I was little, in a culinary sense that is, and a large punnet of fresh, seasonal strawberries…..with fresh crusty bread. Snacks like this are organic in nature and pure (if simple) pleasures, and if you think for one minute that what you serve your food on is of little consequence, I am here to tell you that’s untrue – it matters, it’s the frame for your culinary canvas, it’s an integral part of the “serving ceremony”.
So, today I share not only a recipe, but a memory and an idea for simple serving pleasures……beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that much is true, but, I hope that you may also fall in love with my mum’s little strawberry plate, in all its simplicity with future hope etched in each and every strawberry leaf…….and the strawberry curd? It is divine, easy to make and packed full of plump seasonal strawberries, my hen’s free-range eggs and creamy local butter. I have now made this strawberry curd twice and both times it disappeared in a trice, gobbled up by friends and family alike – served on scones, toast, fresh baguette, crumpets as well as being mixed with freshly whipped cream for a seasonal “fool”.
I find that if the strawberries are puréed enough, than there is no need to “sieve” the seeds out, as there are none left! The curd that is shown in my photos were made with “unsieved” strawberries and as you can see, the strawberry curd is creamy and smooth with no seeds. This recipe was an experiment and based on several recipes for lemon, orange and raspberry curd….for more wonderful curd recipe ideas, I can recommend Vivien Lloyd’s new eBook Fruit Curds – Make and Bake, which, I reviewed last week here: Review & Giveaway: Fruit Curds: Make and Bake – Win a Preserves Workshop with Vivien Lloyd. You can also enter a very special Giveaway I am hosting to win a day’s workshop making preserves with Vivien.
I hope you have all had a wonderful weekend and DO try this Strawberry Curd recipe, it is delectable and packed full of the very essence of strawberries…….I am planning a strawberry and vanilla curd next week. See you later, with new recipes, photos from a day with Sarah Raven at Perch Hill, cakes from the first Scarborough Clandestine Cake Club as well as a spicy secret recipe tomorrow! Karen
What’s your favourite way to eat strawberries?
Au natural, with cream or in cakes or bakes?