Look for small ripe berries, then preserve them whole for this delicious conserve.
- 4 cups small ripe strawberries, about 1 lb., washed and hulled
- Peel (with white pith) of 1/2 lemon
- 3/4 cup superfine sugar
Put the strawberries and lemon peel in a wide heavy pot. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the superfine sugar. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally with the spatula, for 2 hours. (The berries will release their juices and the sugar will dissolve.)
Set the pot over medium heat and bring the strawberry mixture to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring gently a few times, until the berries are just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the berries to a hot sterilized pint canning jar. Return the pot with the berry juices and lemon peel to medium-high heat and boil until the syrup thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and let the syrup settle. Using a mesh skimmer, skim off any foam. Discard the lemon peel. Pour the hot syrup into the jar over the strawberries. Using a paper towel dipped in hot water, wipe the rim clean, then screw on the lid. Let cool. Refrigerate the preserves for up to 3 months. Makes 1 pint.
Recipe by Canal House Cooking