Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Strawberry Conserve (Fragole allo sciroppo)

I went with my kids to "Swanton Farm" in Santa Cruz to pick organic strawberries, and we bought way more than we could eat in a week. I was looking for a way to preserve them, and found a terrific strawberry conserve recipe from the "Canal House Cooks Every Day" cookbook. You only need three ingredients to make it: strawberry, sugar and lemons. The syrup gets thicken up by the natural pectin from the fruit and the lemon (specially from the pith). After the conserve is ready you can served it on toast, as a garnish with cakes and ice cream, or as the author suggested with jamon serrano (Spanish version of prosciutto) on toast. In my opinion, it is also great with any cheese.

Strawberry Conserve
Adapted from Canal House Cooks Every Day
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
  • 1 pound sugar
  • peel (including the white pith) of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon (this wasn't in the original recipe)
Fold half of the sugar into the strawberries in a large, wide pot. I also added the juice of one lemon to add some liquid at the beginning of the cooking process as it was hard to fold all the sugar into the fruit.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, and then continue to boil for 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
Fold in the remaining sugar, return the pot to the heat and return to a boil. Boil for two minutes and remove from the heat. With a slotted spoon, remove the strawberries and spread them on a plate to cool (I placed then in a pan lined with parchment paper). 
Return the pot with the syrup to the heat and add the lemon peel. Bring to a boil over medium high for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the syrup settle, and skim off any foam on the surface. 
Once the syrup has cooled, return the berries to the pot. Cover and set aside until set, about 6 hours or overnight. Remove the lemon peel and place the conserve into clean jars and refrigerate