Strawberry Preserves -three ways

Back in India, I remember going to the farmers market with my dad when I was little. My grandad, being a farmer, my dad had the knowledge and flair at picking the best produce at the markets. It always amazed me how much time he spends to hand pick each of the produce we used to buy. I guess unknowingly I picked it up from him and enjoy picking my produce now at the farmer’s markets.

I’m a huge supporter of local businesses and farmers markets for three reasons- one it supports the local economy and two, the produce is at its freshest and most nutritious state and three it reduces the carbon footprint and decreases the pollution by reducing the transport of the produce. Seriously, some of the veggies are so easy to grow in your backyard or patio pots and if you aren’t doing so already- you should start the cultivation of tomato, cilantro, and mint at least if not more.

We went to the farmers market this weekend and found these delicious strawberries at one store. Having spent the last 2 months in New York I realized how much I missed the fresh produce of California. Seriously nowhere in the US, we get such fresh and amazing produce as we do in California and the advantage of year-round farmers markets.

Now coming back to the strawberries- I primarily eat seasonally and I wanted to save the last of strawberries for occasional use during the other seasons and what best way to preserve them than Jams or preserves? I didn’t want to make the same old strawberry jam so I decided to put a spin on them. I’m doing Strawberry preserves three ways-

1.Classic Strawberry preserves

2.Roasted Strawberry preserves- last night we visited an ice cream shop in San Francisco called Salt +straw where they served this deliciously roasted strawberry ice cream so I thought why not preserves

3.Flambeed Strawberry preserves- Flambeed strawberries are amazing with a sabayon or just plain sweetened whipped cream and this is my personal favorite among the three varieties.

Preparation time 30 minutes
Serves 8
Serving Size 1 serving
Calories Per Serving Approximately 52 per serving
Difficulty Easy

Classic:

Ingredients:

1 pint fresh strawberries washed, stems removed and cut in half

1/2 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons sugar depending on your taste

juice of 1 lemon

Procedure:

1.In a saucepan add the strawberries and sugar and cook until strawberries are soft, now mash the strawberries and add the lemon juice and cook until the mixture reaches 220F.

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2.Turn off the stove and transfer the mixture into canning jars that have been sitting in boiling water and close the lids to seal.

Flambeed:

Ingredients:

1 pint fresh strawberries washed, stems removed and cut in half

1/2 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons sugar depending on your taste

1/4 cup Pimms or Vsop Champagne Cognac

Procedure:

1.In a wide saute pan, add the sugar in a thin layer and make a light caramel.

2.Add the strawberries and let them release the juices, do not stir at this point or your caramel will seize.

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3.Add the Pimms and tilt the pan slightly to flambee the strawberries and continue to cook until strawberries are soft, now mash the strawberries and cook until the mixture reaches 220F.

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4.Turn off the stove and transfer the mixture into canning jars that have been sitting in boiling water and close the lids to seal.

Roasted Balsamic:

Ingredients:

1 pint fresh strawberries washed, stems removed and cut in half

1/2 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons sugar depending on your taste

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure:

1.Preheat oven to 350F, toss the strawberries in 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and roast for 30 minutes.

2.Transfer the roasted strawberries and the juices into a saucepan, add the remaining sugar and balsamic vinegar, mash the strawberries and cook until the mixture reaches 220F.

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3.Turn off the stove and transfer the mixture into canning jars that have been sitting in boiling water and close the lids to seal.

Tips:

If you are new to canning, you need to place the canning containers in boiling water and using tongs or forceps gently remove each can out, drain the water and transfer your preserves etc into them without contact with your hand.Seal with lids immediately and as it cools you will hear the lids pop which is a sound of sealing.This way the preserves will remain mold and bacteria free for 3 months and up to a year.

If you have a large batch of strawberries Id like sort and use the smaller ones for classic preserves, the medium size ones for the flambee and the largest size ones for roasting.

If you do not like the chunkiness of the preserves you can puree the strawberries and make jam using the same method.

I did not use pectin in this recipe because I make small batches and I don’t need them for a very long duration.IF we follow the canning procedures it will keep the preserves mold free.

You can top these preserves over vanilla or chocolate icecream.What do you like your preserves with?

What do you like your preserves with?

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