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"500g (1lb) strawberries, washed, hulled & halved"

blue room May 11, 2012 12:50 PM

500g (1lb) strawberries, washed, hulled & halved
Is there an accepted recipe-speak meaning of the above?
*Do I weigh the berries before or after the hulling?*
It's for strawberry curd, so I want the proportions to be right, I want it to be thick enough.

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  1. GretchenS RE: blue room May 11, 2012 01:04 PM

    Yes, according to accepted recipe-speak, it means you take 500g of strawberries, and then wash, hull and halve them. Otherwise it would say 500g of washed, hulled strawberries. Good luck with the srawberry curd!!!

    1. twyst RE: blue room May 11, 2012 01:06 PM

      It would generally mean after hulling in a professional recipe, but in a home cookbook its the other way around USUALLY.

      Also, strawberries have enough pectin in them to where getting your curd to set up shouldnt be an issue.

      1. blue room RE: blue room May 11, 2012 01:42 PM

        Hmm -- one vote for weigh now, one vote for weigh later --see what I mean?

        1. Caitlin McGrath RE: blue room May 11, 2012 01:52 PM

          I agree with GretchenS, weight before hulling. This is standard recipe-writing.

          500g (1lb) strawberries, washed, hulled & halved vs 500g (1lb) washed, hulled & halved strawberries

          is like:

          1 cup flour, sifted vs 1 cup sifted flour

          In the first instances, the measuring happens before the processing; in the second instances, the processing happens before the measuring.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Caitlin McGrath
            blue room RE: Caitlin McGrath May 11, 2012 02:16 PM

            Is there a written-down source for "standard recipe-writing" rules? (For American recipes?)
            I understand the difference, but it is oh so easy to think that "1 cup flour, sifted" and "1 cup sifted flour" are identical in meaning.

            1. re: blue room
              Caitlin McGrath RE: blue room May 11, 2012 05:32 PM

              I have Recipes Into Type: A handbook for cookbook writers and editors


              There's also The Recipe Writer's Handbook


              1. re: blue room
                greygarious RE: blue room May 11, 2012 10:49 PM

                That is a mistake that can be avoided by reading carefully. Part of learning to follow recipes is to pay attention to the way in which the measurement is written. 40-50 years ago, it was a given that unless otherwise specified, flour was sifted before measurement. This is what American teens learned in home ec class. As years went by, that changed. I have heard that a change in the method of flour milling was the reason. If you work from old cookbooks, you need to know this.

                In New England, berries are usually sold by volume, in pint or quart containers. Weights vary a lot. Two pints usually weigh more than a quart, which would not be the case with more compact ingredients. Your recipe absolutely means the weight before hulling. You need to allow for slight variations. Taste before you jar the final product. You may need to adjust sweetness, add lemon, etc. Slavish adherence to a recipe is not a guarantee of success.

              2. re: Caitlin McGrath
                FoodPopulist RE: Caitlin McGrath May 11, 2012 04:10 PM

                What is the difference between 500g flour, sifted and 500g sifted flour?

                1. re: FoodPopulist
                  maxie RE: FoodPopulist May 11, 2012 04:50 PM

                  Nothing, but there is a difference between 1 cup flour, sifted and 1 cup sifted flour. That is why weight is more accurate.

              3. f
                FoodPopulist RE: blue room May 11, 2012 04:09 PM

                Since how much material is removed in hulling strawberries is not exactly the same from strawberry to strawberry, a well-written recipe should have the weight be after hulling, if the goal is to make the proportions the same every time.

                Not every cookbook is well-written.

                2 Replies
                1. re: FoodPopulist
                  hotoynoodle RE: FoodPopulist May 11, 2012 09:27 PM

                  and 500 gms is 17.6 oz, not 16.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle
                    babette feasts RE: hotoynoodle May 11, 2012 10:25 PM

                    Yes, a pound is 454 grams, but hey, what's 10% more or less?

                2. f
                  FoodPopulist RE: blue room May 11, 2012 04:14 PM

                  Having thought about it a bit more, I would guess that if the recipe gives all measurements by weight, then it is more likely to be written by an author who desires precision and you should weight the berries after hulling. If the recipe gives measurements of ingredients such as flour and sugar by volume rather than weight, then possibly it means to weigh before hulling.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: FoodPopulist
                    paulj RE: FoodPopulist May 11, 2012 09:35 PM

                    I think the weight is specified because fruit like this is usually sold by weight. And because strawberries vary so much in size, a volume measure would be less reliable (what's the void space when you put 2 large berries in a cup measure?).

                    Also equating 1lb with 500g is not precise. It is a convenient equivalence that I often use, but a closer equivalence is 453.59237 g. So clearly the author means, buy a pound of berries (or half a killogram if that's how they are sold in your market), and use that.

                  2. m
                    maxie RE: blue room May 11, 2012 04:53 PM

                    I'm with Gretchen and Caitlin on this, both because of recipe language, and because strawberries frequently come in 8 oz or one pound containers.

                    1. JerryMe RE: blue room May 11, 2012 04:56 PM

                      Strawberry curd!?! I'm sorry that I can't give you a definitive answer on the weight, sequence, etc' however, it will be delicious!

                      1. ipsedixit RE: blue room May 11, 2012 08:39 PM

                        I agree with GretchenS and Caitlin McGrath that it's the weight before hulling.

                        But that said, how much of a difference in weight is lost from hulling a pound of strawberries? An ounce or two? Will that even make a difference in the final recipe?

                        1. paulj RE: blue room May 11, 2012 09:39 PM

                          Is this the recipe?

                          Besides the question of how much weight is lost in hulling, other variables are
                          how much water is lost to evaporation while cooking the berries?
                          exactly how much do 2 large eggs weigh?

                          Doesn't a curd depend more on the eggs for thickening than the pectin in the fruit?

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: paulj
                            babette feasts RE: paulj May 11, 2012 10:27 PM

                            A large egg is around 50 grams (excluding the shell).

                            1. re: babette feasts
                              paulj RE: babette feasts May 11, 2012 10:47 PM

                              If this recipe is Australian
                              "Large 50.0g – 58.2g"

                            2. re: paulj
                              blue room RE: paulj May 12, 2012 09:37 AM

                              Yes, that's the recipe. (Isn't it pretty?) I saw a recipe yesterday for cookie bars topped with rhubarb curd http://www.notderbypie.com/rhubarb-cu...
                              and now want to make both strawberry *and* rhubarb curd to see how they could be used for desserts.

                              1. re: blue room
                                pine time RE: blue room May 12, 2012 12:51 PM

                                will you please share the cookie base recipe? Gracias.

                                1. re: pine time
                                  blue room RE: pine time May 12, 2012 01:01 PM

                                  Here is the one I planned on:
                                  but there is a Julia Child recipe too that I want to study further!

                            3. paulj RE: blue room May 11, 2012 09:41 PM


                              is a UK recipe that equates 500g with 1 lb 2 oz.

                              1. paulj RE: blue room May 11, 2012 11:16 PM

                                Can anyone with experience with other fruit curds comment on how sensitive they are to ratios? Lemon curb is perhaps the most common one.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: paulj
                                  hotoynoodle RE: paulj May 12, 2012 07:45 AM

                                  i make lemon curd often and it does not depend on NASA-style exactitude.

                                  1. re: hotoynoodle
                                    blue room RE: hotoynoodle May 12, 2012 09:57 AM

                                    Haha, yes, -- it's pie not pi.

                                    1. re: blue room
                                      hotoynoodle RE: blue room May 12, 2012 11:09 AM

                                      typically, i make scottish-style, which uses honey instead of sugar.

                                      i've never thought to make strawberry! that sounds really good. i think i'd still add some orange or lemon zest to it though. acid counterpoint and all.

                                      (wheels turning...)

                                2. blue room RE: blue room May 12, 2012 09:56 AM

                                  I've never made curd, but I've done both lemon and grapefruit meringue pies from scratch -- I think those fillings are practically curd? So I know the thickening is affected by many things. My original question was mostly an annoyed reaction to ALL the instructions written like that -- berries, flour, whatever. Even if there are rules like the ones Caitlin McGrath mentioned, is the writer of your recipe following them? I would say "a pound of hulled strawberries" rather than "a pound of strawberries, hulled".
                                  Only the first phrase makes it clear that the berries are already hulled when they get weighed.
                                  I do understand that in this particular recipe I should weigh first, hull later. Probably.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: blue room
                                    twyst RE: blue room May 12, 2012 09:59 AM

                                    "I've never made curd, but I've done both lemon and grapefruit meringue pies from scratch -- I think those fillings are practically curd? "

                                    You have in fact made lemon curd then :P
                                    They are indeed the same thing.

                                  2. g
                                    gembellina RE: blue room May 12, 2012 10:55 AM

                                    I'd say buy a pound punnet of strawberries and use the whole lot. But really I want to know how it turns out and whether I should make some!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: gembellina
                                      GretchenS RE: gembellina May 12, 2012 04:10 PM

                                      Me too and especially the rhubarb which I adore and do not have enough uses for!

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