Strawberry season comes early in Southern California and is just around the corner for the rest of the country! We wanted to post about this AMAZINGLY EASY Strawberry Conserve recipe, inspired by one of our go-to books, Canal House Cooks Everyday. A conserve is basically a chunky jam, usually made with dried fruit. In this recipe, though, the use of fresh strawberries compliments the fruit’s delicate texture. The Canal House authors put together this brilliant concoction for the world to see… and we saw, we ate, and we believed! A perfect accompaniment to your morning toast, on top of oats, or over a crostini with Serrano ham, this conserve will be a showstopper wherever you enjoy it. Take advantage of the season, scout out your favorite strawberry stand, and get in the canning mood with this great recipe! (Recipe and instructions are below the following photo gallery.)
Strawberry Conserves Recipe and Instructions
Strawberries are low in pectin, so while they’re delicious to eat they’re tricky to preserve. To help them set, add the pithy rind of a lemon, which is full natural pectin. This “au naturel” conserve is a perfect combination of very soft fruit in a barely set syrup.
Makes 4 half pints
4 cups perfect little strawberries, washed and hulled
3 cups superfine sugar
Peel of 1 lemon, including white pith
Put the strawberries in a heavy wide pot. Use a rubber spatula to fold in 1 ½ cups of the sugar then bring to a boil over medium-high heat, about 5 minutes. Continue to boil for 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.
Fold in the remaining 1 ½ cups sugar, return the pot to the heat, and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Use a slotted spoon to lift the berries from the syrup and spread them out on a plate. Return the pot with the syrup to the heat, add the lemon peel, bring to a boil over medium-high, and boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the syrup settle, then use a mesh skimmer to skim off ay foam. Allow the syrup to cool, then return the berries to the syrup. Cover and set aside until set, about 6 hours or overnight. Remove the lemon peel. Pack the preserves in sterilized jars (see our post on canning for info on sterilization) and refrigerate.