Sunday, June 24, 2012
Pat Crocker's Strawberry Sauce Is My New Jam
Pat Crocker's Strawberry Sauce is now my new jam. It uses very little sugar compared to conventional jams, allowing the taste of the strawberry to stand forward. She also provided depth in flavour to this creation by incorporating molasses and sweet raspberry vinegar. I think a twist of the pepper grinder would have made a good seasoning as well.
I wanted a thickness closer to jam. Sugar plays a big role in the thickening process. Where a batch of jam typically takes 6 1/2 to 7 cups of sugar, this recipe only takes 1 cup. Although she suggests that the mixture cook for 15 minutes, I kept it on the cook-top bubbling away for closer to 30 minutes. The sauce was no longer runny but a bit less viscosity than a lemon curd. It could still pour off the spoon. Not something typical of jam. This batch would have yielded 4 250 ml jars but because of the extra reduction, my sauce produced a little less than 3 1/2 jars.
Pat is also a big proponent of food safety and she is thorough in her reinforcement of proper sterilization of the jars and also the scalding of the snap lids and rings. Always use new snaps and rings when preserving.
Although my jars of sauce are going in the freezer, and I could forgo the water batch method, sterilized jars are still a critical step in making this sauce.
Pat suggests this sauce is a wonderful accompaniment for dishes like pancakes, waffles and ice cream. I think it would also work well along side duck or poultry. I am even considering it as my secret ingredient in my killer strawberry margaritas. My first taste of the sauce was a smear on top of punchy fresh Gouda cheese on a piece of Crazy Grain bread from Art-is-in Boulangerie.
Pat Crocker's book, Preserving, has been by my side since the day I bought it in late winter. Not only are there recipes laid out by the seasons, there is a wealth of information about many of the fruits and vegetables we are going to encounter throughout our growing seasons. As a very active CSA member, I can't imagine being without this book to help me to maximize the gifts in my food baskets - weather it is ensuring proper care or just using every bit of it in the most delicious way.
Thanks to Pat, her Strawberry Sauce is now my new jam.
Pat Crocker's Strawberry Sauce
[includes my small changes]
4 cups mashed or blendered strawberries that are well-ripe-to-overripe
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 packed brown sugar
grated rind and juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon fancy molasses
1 tablespoon raspberry wine vinegar (can use balsamic vinegar)