There are certain foods that I always associate with Summer. While we had a row of strawberries in the garden, I loved going to u-pick farms and eating as I worked.
As a kid the Country Time Lemonade commercials got my attention but the powdered mix just never held a candle to the real thing. A cold glass of lemonade on a hot day just hits the spot.
You can understand how mixing the two is just natural for me. I canned the concentrate but it can also be frozen or used immediately.
6 cups Strawberries
4 cups Lemon Juice
5 cups Sugar
Rinse and hull the berries and remove any bruised parts. Purée the berries to desired consistency. The more you purée it the more it blends with the juice, but some people may like to leave a few chunks.
Place the berries and sugar in a pot with the lemon juice. While you can certainly use fresh squeezed, bottled works as well.
Heat the mix until it reaches 190 degrees. If it boils you will have a foamy mess all over the stove. Ask me how I know?
The original recipe from Ball calls for 6 cups of sugar but we found that to be too sweet for our tastes. Another option is to use raspberries instead of strawberries.
i used quarts but pints work as well. Fill to 1/4 inch headspace and process in a water bath for 15 minutes.
When freezing be sure to allow 2 Inches of headspace.
If making for immediate use, it can be made the day before.
To use the concentrate mix it 50/50 with cold water. If you want punch I suggest adjusting it to 25% water and 25% Sprite. You can also top with strawberry ice cream to make it really fun.
Chocolate. Now that I have your attention, what if I said chocolate lava cake, are you drooling yet? I have a recipe that you are going to love because not only does it taste good, it is super easy. Here is what you need.
Ingredients Chocolate Cake mix Eggs Oil Water Can of Chocolate Frosting
Make the cake per the directions on the box. We have all done that, right? I am working on finding the right cake from scratch to vary the recipe, but for now a cake mix will do.
Pour the batter into a greased, 2 quart casserole dish suitable for the microwave. Plop the frosting by dollops into the batter. So far, a really simple recipe, right? So easy that the kids would have fun doing this one.
Now here is the tough part, put the lid on and microwave it for exactly 10 minutes on high.
While the cake is baking you can have one of the kids clean up the kitchen. Now it needs to cool for 10 minutes so this is a good time to pull out the ice cream to get soft. Here you go, an ooey, gooey lava cake!
For a little variety, break up some walnuts or pecans and sprinkle on the batter under the frosting, it will appear in the lava later on.
Isn’t it a thing of beauty? And since you likely have all the ingredients in your pantry you can make this as a last-minute dessert if guests show up this holiday season. Enjoy and let me know what you think. 🙂