Saturday, March 29, 2008

Quick Strawberry Preserves

This is a quick old fashioned recipe for strawberry preserves that uses no pectin. Making preserves is a great way to use up extra, less than perfect, or even frozen berries. These preserves really capture the strawberry flavor without being overly sweet. They bear little resemblance to the high fructose corn syrup variety found in the supermarket. Once you try these preserves, you'll never want the grocery store preserves again!

This recipe only makes about three cups of preserves, so I skip the canning and just use it fresh. However, it does freeze well if you wanted to make more at one time.

3 1-pint baskets (about 6 cups) fresh strawberries, hulled. Frozen strawberries will also work.
2 cups sugar
Lemon juice from one lemon


Place hulled strawberries in heavy large saucepan and mash coarsely. Cook strawberries over medium heat until beginning to thicken, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add 2 cups sugar and stir until dissolved. Increase heat to medium and boil gently until mixture thickens and mounds on spoon, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.

Skim any foam that rises to the top. You can skip this step, but your preserves will be much nicer looking without the foam.

Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in the lemon juice. Cool. (Preserves can be prepared 1 week ahead. Refrigerate in airtight container.)Makes about 3 cups.

Serve the preserves over ice cream, on pancakes or muffins, spread between the layers of a cake, mixed into yogurt...

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