The Apathetic Gourmet: Strawberry preserves, National Post

Posted on July 20th, 2010 by ANNA Magazine

The Apathetic Gourmet: Strawberry preserves
By Maryam Siddiqi, National Post Blogs, August 12, 2009


[Successful strawberry preserves. Photo by Maryam Siddiqi.]

I make a mean spinach and feta omelette. And, well, surely, there must be other things in my cooking repetoire, but nothing comes to mind at the moment. It’s not that I know my way around the kitchen; it’s just that I don’t really care to. But I’m going to change that, one recipe at a time. Scratch that. One easy recipe at a time.

We begin with strawberry preserves. Why? Four ingredients, three of which I already have in my kitchen.

The recipe I followed is from Issue 11 of Anna magazine.

  • 7 cups (1.75 L) fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 4 cups (1 L) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pouch liquid pectin
  1. In large, heavy bottom saucepan, gently mash strawberries. Add sugar and lemon juice. Stir in saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Add pectin and stir.
  3. Increase heat to high and bring mixture to rolling boil; boil 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
  5. Pour into clean canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Cool slightly. Cover with lids and place in refrigerator. Use within two weeks. Makes 6 cups.

Results: Easy and delicious! True, I used pre-sliced frozen strawberries (thawed, obviously), and was somewhat laissez-faire about the mashing, but I ended up with quality preserves.

Mari Loewen, editor in chief of Anna, was kind enough to answer my rookie questions about this concoction. My main concern was with the mashing — I still has sizeable chunks of berry in the finished product, but Loewen says this isn’t a bad thing. “My personal preference is for chunky, so if you can have pieces of fruit it’s a good thing. Plus, it proves you did it yourself.”

I was also unsure about the whole “remove the foam” thing as is evident above. Loewen reassured me: “Do your best, but it’s from the fruit, so it’s fine to be in there.”

As I’m cooking for one, my last question to Loewen: What am I supposed to do with all these preserves? “You can add it to a smoothie in the morning,” Loewen says, “or put gobs on toast. Have a strawberry sundae for dessert, or buy tart shells, put preserves in each tart and stick it in the oven.” The list goes on.

My arsenal is now one recipe richer.

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