Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Adventures with Strawberries

On the way back from Todd NC we stopped off at a farm and picked up a gallon of strawberries. That's a whole lot of strawberries. I've been trying to figure out what to do with them. Two things I've tried and really liked.

1) Strawberry-Balsamic Salad Dressing
     Whizz up 8-10 big strawberries in a food processor with 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and the juice from half a lemon. A healthy and tasty alternative to oily dressings.

2) Strawberry Jam
Even though it seems like it should only take an prepared to invest more time.

Wash, dry and heat jam jars (I heated mine at a low temp in the oven) 

Put a plate in the fridge to cool

4lbs of strawberries washed and deleaved---Mash/blend for 30 seconds in a food processor

Add the strawberries and the juice of 2 lemons to a large pot and simmer for 15 mins.

Meanwhile heat 4lbs of sugar, in a pan or pot, at a low temp in the oven (250F), if it smells or looks like it's browning take it out.

Add the heated sugar to the strawberry mix and boil for approx 20 minutes

To test if it'll set add a tsp of the hot jam to the cold plate, if it sets after 30 secs it's ready, if not continue to boil and test every few minutes.

Add to the jars (which have been snug in the oven the whole time)

I got jars that can be used for canning. So I cleaned the jar rims and added the tops keeping the rings loosely tight.

I put a plate (upside down) in the bottom of a large pot and filled with boiling water..high enough to cover the standing jars. There are fancy canners for this process but I don't have one. Boil for ten minutes and then allow to stand in the water for a further 5 minutes after the heat is switched off. This creates a good seal for long term storage. Allow to cool and hope it sets.

If you've managed not to burn yourself declare the whole jam making process a victory and Enjoy!!!

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