Strawberry & Vanilla Bean Preserves
Last weekend should have been very outdoorsy – the skies were clear and blue and aside from a Wintery nip in the air it was just beautiful outside. Alas for us it was not the case, Elouise was sick and seeing as Mr Man was in China it meant that we were all housebound.
We made the most of it and caught up on a few movies (Bambi and Lady and the Tramp), cleared out a few cupboards and spent a little time tinkering in the kitchen.
With the abundance of strawberries we found in the fridge we made this wonderful jam, amongst many other things. It was simply superb on our toast for breakfast, perfect in our Queen of Puddings for dessert later on and the remainder will make a nice gift for Harris family – who we are visiting tomorrow. Who would have thought a few punnets of berries would go so far…
907 grams/2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
1 tablespoon water
1/2 vanilla bean, cut in half with the seeds scraped and removed
350 grams superfine sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Put the strawberries and water in a heavy based saucepan and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the vanilla bean, sugar, and lemon juice and stir slowly until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and bring it to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and let it sit at a rapid simmer for 50 – 60 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat when thickened (remember it will get thicker as it cools), skim off any foam, remove vanilla bean and store in sterilised jars.
Yield: 2 – 2 1/2 cups
Notes: Queen of Puddings is a delightful Wintery dessert containing a few basic ingredients that you are sure to find in your pantry – there is a recipe on my blog