After I made this crazy hot pink Valentine's confection, one of the comments on the strawberry milk required for the cake was, "Why not make your own?" Now that was a great idea! Creamy, smooth and straight from the diner of my dreams, a glass of chilled, pink, and homemade strawberry milk will make your after-school snack gee whiz terrific! While preparing that cake I mentioned, I thought I fell in love with the bottled (eek, super artificially flavored!) strawberry milk, probably due to the novel taste, after a childhood bereft of processed foods and full of wholesome granola. It was like overly sweet, Pepto-Bismol pink, illicit moonshine. I lapped it up any time I passed the fridge.
Now I know better.
This homemade strawberry milk is full of fresh fruit flavor and velvety smoothness. It's what that cloying artificial stuff wants to be, and falls so short of. This recipe is simple to make, and could be adapted to whatever your favorite fruit might be (blueberry, peach and mango are all great substitutions). Essentially, you are making a fruit-infused simple syrup, then swirling it into a glass of cold milk. I tried this recipe with almond and soy milk, which were both pleasant, but the classic full fat dairy charm of whole milk is pretty unbelievable.
This recipe would be great treat to serve at a kid's birthday party, but it is just as wonderful as a surprise dessert for a bunch of adults. Re-inventing kiddie classics takes everyone down memory lane. You never know what 30-somethings will do when imbibing homemade strawberry milk until you try it!
1 cup strawberries, chopped (I used organic frozen with great results)
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup whole milk
In a small pot, heat strawberries, sugar and water until boiling (it's a bit like making jam). Let boil for about 10 minutes; mixture will reduce and thicken slightly. Using a fine sieve or mesh strainer, strain the mixture into a small bowl. You can save the cooked strawberries to add to yogurt or put on pancakes. Set the strawberry syrup aside.
Chill two small glasses in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Add 3/4 cup milk to each glass. Swirl in 3 tablespoons of the strawberry syrup into each glass of milk (more or less, depending on desired sweetness). You will have a little strawberry syrup left over, perfect for pancakes or adding to soda water.
(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)