Sunday, 26 August 2012

Strawberry Conserve

The first thing that you'll notice about this preserve (before you even eat it!) is that it actually smells of strawberries! It smells delicious which is always a good start!

This one is a conserve rather than a jam and the difference is that a conserve keeps the colour and flavour of the fruit better and you also get pieces of fruit in the preserve, which I quite like.

The method of leaving the fruit to stand in the sugar for a day, draws the juices out of the fruit and this firms up the fruit which helps it to keep its shape during cooking. This method doesn't work for all types of fruit, but it does work well for strawberries.

This preserve is slightly less sweet than strawberry jam and lovely used to flavour a natural yogurt as well as on toast!
1000 g strawberries
800 g preserving sugar
Juice of 1 small lemon

Strawberry Conserve
Wash & dry the strawberries and then hull them.  Use small ones if possible, otherwise halve or quarter so that all of the pieces are about the size of a small strawberry.  To get a good set, ideally some of them at least would be a little under ripe.

Put the strawberries in a preserving pan and cover with the sugar.  Cover with cling film and leave overnight.  Don't stir as this will break up the fruit and the aim is to try to keep it whole.  After a few hours when there is a some liquid in the pan, you can gently shake the pan to move the fruit around a bit.

The next day, heat gently until all of the sugar is fully dissolved and then simmer for about 2/3 minutes.  Cool and cover with clingfilm again and leave for another day.

The next day, add the lemon juice and heat gently until boiling point is reached.  Then boil for about 10 minutes until setting point is reached.

Rest for about 15 minutes so that the fruit pieces disperse evenly throughout the mixture and then fill your sterilised jars.

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