My local Morrison’s had a load of strawberries reduced to £2.50 per kg, so I bought the lot. Apart from strawberries for breakfast, snacks and desserts I also had to preserve them, right?
Version 1 – Strawberry Jam with Black Dessert wine
I used the basic jam recipe here (halved as I didn’t have as much fruit) but instead of leaving the strawberries to infuse with sugar and lemon, I left them to infuse with a large glass of black dessert wine and some sugar. I used Elysium, which I had found in the recent Eat Cambridge Festival. I’d never seen black dessert wine before, only white and rose (both of which I love). It’s much deeper, very fruity and was perfect with this. I then cooked it as normal – the result was a darker jam with a deeper richer flavour. Delicious
Version 2 – Strwberry Vodka Jam
2 years ago I tried to make strawberry vodka by using the excess liquid from jam making. The result was delicious, but too gloopy to use as a drink though it was quite a nice base for cocktails. So I took 300ml of that and left it to steep with 1kg of strawberries and 500g sugar for a few hours and then made the recipe as before. The result was a brighter, sharper jam, more bite to it than the other two. I want it on scones!
Version 3 – Strawberry Dessert sauce (aka failed strawberry butter)
I love fruit butters – thick, rich, strongly flavoured they are the best thing to put on sourdough toast. I’d never made strawberry so used my usual method – 1kg strawberries, pureed with 250g jam sugar and left in the slow cooker overnight on a low heat. I used a pair of chopsticks under the lid to allow the water to evaporate but it was just too liquid. In the morning it had turned a beautiful dark red (I have totally failed to photograph the final product – sorry!) and had been cooked for as long as it could be (overcooked strawberries taste horrible) but was still very definitely a sauce and not a butter.
Oh well, I now have a lovely rich strawberry sauce to eat with ice cream, yoghurt, pierogi and so on. I am keeping it in the fridge and using it up within a month – if anyone has some great ideas of what I could use it for in cakes for example, I would love to hear it!
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