So I’m scanning Jeni’s Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream recipe and I see it calls for a pint of strawberries. What does a pint of strawberries even mean? I used to drink a pint of milk as a growing teenage boy. I’ve traded that practice for a pint of beer these days. Either way it’s hard to imagine that a pint (or a quart or a gallon) is a good measurement for fruit. A bushel, sure. I can get behind the idea of a bushel. But a pint? Isn’t a pint a measurement of liquid volume?
A lot recipes call for strawberries by the pint or quart. The trouble is strawberries aren’t always sold that way. Say you need a pint of strawberries, but your market sells them by the pound. How much do you buy? Or what if your recipe calls for 2 cups sliced strawberries. How many of those green plastic boxes do you need?
How Do I Measure a Pint of Strawberries?
A pint of strawberries (or more accurately) a “dry pint” is an antiquated measurement for fruit. It’s a throwback to canning practices (or so I’ve read) and had a direct correlation in making preserves, jams, and jellies – which often require very precise calculations. The pint basket grew from the need to standardize fruit measurements in a day when scales were less common at the point of purchase.
Today the pint-sized green plastic basket is practically a useless measurement. There seem to be no standards in its weight or volume anymore. It’s especially irrelevant to berries like raspberries and blueberries that are commonly sold in plastic clamshell boxes that don’t even come close to being a pint. I’ve measured and weighed and seen for myself.
So I’ve done a little research into what the original intent of a pint of strawberries was intended to mean and cobbled together an infographic from some clip-art I found at Fine Cooking. Presumably the chart works with other fruit, though I haven’t done the leg work to confirm that.
A Pint of Strawberries
Jeni Britton Bauer’s recipe for Roasted Strawberry and Buttermilk Ice Cream calls for a pint of strawberries. Which sort of put me off the recipe. After all I’ve come to trust Jeni for almost all my ice cream making needs. Her recipes are so precise and so well explained that I’ve generally adopted her method. So I was peeved by the seemingly imprecise recommendation of a pint of strawberries. As I said I’ve weighed several pint baskets from several local sources and noticed significant differences both in volume and weight.
Which got me thinking. If Jeni relied on a pint as a reliable source of measurement there must be some standard somewhere for a pint of strawberries. Hence the research. Hence the infographic. GREG