Tiny strawberries are so enchanting, I can’t even resist them. I always go a little crazy for perfect summer berries at the farmer’s market…I just want to buy them all. They are perfect for snacking on out of hand, but since I do tend to go crazy, we can’t always get to them all.
I’m a big fan of berry pies and crumbles, jams and frozen treats, but since these particular berries were petite gems, I really wanted to preserve their shape. I came across this conserve–whole berries suspended in syrup. This conserve has a bit of balsamic in the syrup–making it not only an appropriate topper for yogurt or ice cream, but equally as welcome on a cheese plate. Think about it, cracker + goat cheese + syrupy strawberry gems. I imagine it’s a perfect bite and one that is definitely in my future. It’s a preserve that goes sweet or savory, it’s ready to party…no discrimination here.
Strawberry Balsamic Conserve
adapted from Orangette
I adapted the recipe a bit, allowing one to make this stellar, fruity condiment in a little less time.
4 cups strawberries–stemmed, rinsed and halved if large
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons balsamic, divided
Fashion a double boiler, using a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. In the bowl, gently toss the berries with the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the balsamic. Set the bowl over the pan of water and cook for 20-30 minutes (check the pan and make sure there is still water about halfway through, add more water as needed), the berries will release all of their juices, become just soft, and combine with the sugar to create a syrup. Using a slotted spoon, spoon the berries into a jar. Pour the water out of the saucepan and pour in the syrup. Set the syrup pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, about 1-2 minutes to thicken slightly, stir in remaining vinegar and pour the syrup over the berries. Cool to room temperature, seal, and refrigerate for up to 1 month. You can also process the jars according to proper canning guidelines for longer shelf life.