Pimm’s jelly – or what to do when you’ve only grown five strawberries

When your entire strawberry crop amounts to five, an effortlessly bountiful bowl of fruit and cream isn’t going to work. The general rule is the fewer of something you have, the harder you have to try – unless you’re talking about kidneys, in which case just be very relieved.

The five fruits I’ve managed to grow are pretty good ones. I could have put them in a jug of Pimm’s, but that didn’t seem ceremonial enough for the Grand Harvest.

Trapping them in Pimm’s jelly felt more in keeping with their status as precious treasure. The psychology of this had something to do with locking them in a figurative bank vault I think.

I was also in the mood to drag out my jelly moulds. My mum’s great friend Sally – the person who encouraged me to throw eggs over the roof when I was little – gave the moulds to me when I went to university, along with the complete works of Percy Bysshe Shelley. Jelly and poetry cater for a lot of things in life I think.

Pimm’s Jelly

Makes enough for about six

4 sheets gelatine

570 ml of Pimm’s and lemonade, mixed one part Pimm’s with three parts lemonade

5 strawberries, sliced

Snip the gelatine into small pieces and add to a bowl with about 50 mls of the Pimm’s mix. Leave for ten minutes and then warm the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Once the gelatine is thoroughly melted, pour the mixture into the moulds, with a few pieces of strawberry in each.

Cool in the fridge for a couple of hours and then tip the jelly out into bowls that will show off the glory of the precious fruit. I made a pure lemonade version for my children, using the same technique.

Eat the jelly looking at a beautiful view and exclaiming in amazement about the deliciousness of the berries. Make a mental note to do better next year.

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