Strawberry Preserves...or Strawberry Ice Cream Topping. A couple of weeks ago or so, Mihaela from De Prin Lume Adunate posted a recipe for strawberry preserves that looked absolutely stunning! I lingered a bit and admired her photos... I loved the simplicity of the recipe and appreciated the fact that it made a smaller quantity. At the time, I didn't have enough strawberries in my garden to make the preserves. I do love eating the strawberries fresh, and I had already used some of them to make gelato.
Yet when I posted the strawberry gelato, Mihaela mentioned that if I had some more strawberries in my garden, I should try making some preserves. That morning as I went to water my garden, I spotted a bit of red in my strawberry patch. Upon further inspection, I noticed a few ripened strawberries peeking through the green leaves. It was a pleasant surprise, as I thought I'd harvested them all:). Instantly I thought.... I could make a small jar of preserves.
I just love how the strawberry flavor intensifies a thousandfold when you simply add some sugar....and in this case, the preserves were so flavorful! Nothing like the store-bought version. Ok, I may be a bit biased as I used strawberries from my own garden:)....but I loved the preserves. And what I like even better, is that you can make a small batch and not have to deal with a large quantity....though you can certainly double, triple the quantity if you like. Because it's such a simple and delicious recipe, I thought to share it. LOVED it... and I don't regret using some of my fresh strawberries to make the preserves:)! The preserves doubled up as an ice cream topping as well....simply AMAZING with vanilla ice cream! Hope you enjoy...
Tip: You can use this method with other various fruits...I made a bigger batch of peach preserves and added 1/2 cup water along with the fresh peaches allowed them to cook down and soften. I then added sugar, let it cook for 30-40 minutes or so until it thickened... and at the end added a bit of lime juice to balance the sweetness. I used 5 fresh peaches, a scant cup of sugar and juice of half a lime.
If interested in making a smaller quantity of raspberry sauce(especially good on ice cream, or over pancakes, crepes, etc.), check out my quick version which I posted some time ago. Might be worth checking out especially since the raspberry season is almost here...RASPBERRY SAUCE
You will need: adapted from De Prin Lume Adunate.
Yields a small jar....so you probably don't need to worry about it sitting in the fridge for too long:)... extremely good with bread and butter. Even better used as an ice cream topping over some vanilla ice cream.
2/3-3/4 cup sugar*
* I used a scant 3/4 cup, and found it plenty sweet
1. In a medium pot, add strawberries and heat on low heat for about 10 minutes....or until the strawberries have released most of their liquid and their color has leached out of them. Stir occasionally... gently, as you want to keep the strawberries intact as much as possible.
2. When most of the liquid has accumulated, add the sugar and continue cooking on low for about 20-25 minutes...stir occasionally, more so towards the end when it thickens.
The timing is approximate... test the thickness of the preserves, by placing a drop or two on a plate to cool after the 15 minute mark... this step isn't necessarily important, but it does give you a main idea of how thick or thin you may want your preserves to be. Cook further if it is too thin. The syrup will intensify in color as it thickens. You can also see a trail at the bottom of the pot when you drag your rubber spatula through the preserves.
3. Place in a sterilized jar and allow to cool completely. Refrigerate.