It was now the middle of June…Strawberries, and only strawberries,
could now be thought or spoken of.
~ The best fruit in England ~ every body’s favourite ~
~ always wholesome. ~ These the finest beds and finest sorts. ~
~ Delightful to gather for one’s self ~
~ the only way of really enjoying them. ~
Morning decidedly the best time ~ never tired ~ every sort good ~
~ Hautboy infinitely superior ~ no comparison ~
the others hardly eatable ~ hautboys very scarce ~
~ Chili preferred ~ White Wood finest flavour of all ~
price of strawberries in London ~ abundance about Bristol ~
~ Maple Grove ~ cultivation ~
~ beds when to be renewed ~ gardeners thinking exactly different ~
~ no general rule ~ gardeners never to be put out of their way ~
~ delicious fruit ~ only too rich to be eaten much of ~
inferior to cherries ~ currants more refreshing ~
~ only objection to gathering strawberries the stooping ~
~ glaring sun ~ tired to death ~ could bear it no longer ~
~ must go and sit in the shade. ~
The Strawberrying party at Donwell and the events surrounding it are surely some of the most comic scenes in all of Emma. Jane Austen must have spent time gathering her own berries in order to write such a precise account of what it is actually like to “gather for one’s self.” Once you have spent time picking, the next question is, what to do with the berries! Below you’ll find an historic recipe for a Strawberry Tart.
To Make Short Paest for Tarte
Take fyne floure and a curscy of fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and a lyttel saffron, and the yolkes of two egges and make it thynne and as tender as ye maye.
A Proper Newe Book
3/4 c flour
1 T + 1 t water
1/2 stick = 4 T butter
6 threads saffron
1 egg yolk
Cut butter into flour, then crush saffron into 1 t of water; mix that and the rest of the water with the egg yolk and stir it into the flour-butter mixture. Roll out or flatten into pan.
A Tarte of Strawberries
Take and strain them with the yolks of four eggs, and a little white bread grated, then season it up with sugar and sweet butter and so bake it.
A Proper Newe Book
2 c strawberries
4 egg yolks
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/3 c sugar
4 T butter
8″ pie shell (see recipe below)
Force strawberries through a strainer or run through a blender, then mix with everything else (the butter should be melted). Bake crust for 10 minutes, then put filling into the crust and bake at 375deg. for 20 minutes. Garnish with fresh berries if desired.
Enjoyed this article? Visit our giftshop and escape into the world of Jane Austen for more Regency recipes.