One of the things I like best about living in the area I do are all of the fruit trees. In just our immediate vicinity, our neighbors’ yards have pear, plum, apple, apricot, and lemon trees and our next door neighbors’ kiwi vine grows over the fence into our driveway. Occasionally, we are the lucky beneficiaries of big, fresh, delicious bags of fruit and I’m thrilled every single time one comes our way. Last week we took home a bag of Meyer lemons that one of the parents at Wyatt’s preschool brought in to share.
I used a half cup of the juice to make Bakerella’s awesome, fantastic lemon bars, but that barely made a dent in our bounty, so Wyatt decided we should make some home made lemonade. Good idea, Buddy! Further discussion determined that the lemonade should be pink. It got me wondering what exactly pink lemonade is. A quick Google search told me that pink lemonade is pink from dye being added. There are lots of stories about the origins of pink lemonade, but this one says that the first batch was made using water a circus horse rider had been using to wash her red tights with. Um….disgusting.
We were fresh out of water infused with horse sweat and toxic 19th century dye, so I decided to use some strawberries from the freezer instead. Another Google search led me to a gazillion recipes for fresh lemonade, all with slightly different ratios of lemon juice, sugar and water, but in the end I settled on this one as a starting point: 3 parts lemon juice, 2 parts sugar and 4 parts water. I still needed to get the strawberries in there and I also found the lemonade was pretty sweet from the addition of the strawberries so ended up adding more water and ended up with this recipe:
2 1/2 cups lemon juice
1 big hand full of strawberries, fresh or frozen (this results in about a 1/2 cup of puree)
2 cups sugar
5 cups water
Juice the lemons, straining out the seeds and pulp.
Thaw the strawberries, if using frozen. Puree with a hand blender (or regular blender or food processor). Push the puree through a fine mesh strainer to get get out as much of the solids as you can. Some seeds will come through and that’s OK.
Mix together the lemon juice, strawberry juice, sugar and water. Stir until sugar is desolved.
Try not to guzzle it all immediately!
Next time I get a bag of lemons, I’m going to try making this with mangos or raspberries. Wouldn’t that be good?