October 03, 2013

Strawberry Syrup

So. I brought home a pound of strawberries and then did nothing with them. For a week. At least. I kept looking at them thinking, "I'll get to you in just a minute." The plan was to make A Small Batch Recipe and snap a pic for the blog. But September is a crazy month for me at work and, to be honest, I really have no idea how long the berries have been in the fridge.

Overripe fruit tends to make runny jam and strawberries lack natural pectin in the first place, so I had to use a different recipe entirely. And here it is.

The now very sweet strawberries are destined for drop scones.
An Even Smaller Small-Batch Recipe: Strawberry Syrup
1 pound of overripe strawberries
1 lb. jar of honey
1/2 lemon, quartered

Clean and quarter the berries, discarding any brown bits of fruit. Place the good fruit and lemon pieces in a nonreactive bowl and pour the honey over. Don't mash the berries or squeeze the lemons. The honey will draw the juices out. Let macerate for several hours or overnight.

Transfer everything to an 8x8 Pyrex, making sure to scrape the honey that has sunk to the bottom into the dish. Put into a cold oven. Set the oven to 400°F and come back in 30 minutes; the entire dish should be simmering. It's okay to swirl the pan, but don't stir the mixture if you want a clear, ruby-toned syrup. Reduce the heat to 200°F and cook another 30" to thicken the syrup and intensify the flavor. Let cool completely then strain. Again, for a jewel-toned syrup, don't mash the solids. The candied lemon pieces make a great addition to hot tea if cold weather has arrived, or to lemonade if it's Indian Summer. In Colorado, lemonade and hot tea are both likely on any given day in October.

The syrup itself is best served cold poured over ice cream or oatmeal/pancakes/waffles if you like. I like to pour some into a glass then fill with soda... it's refreshing and delicious.

Makes 1 syrup jug. Keeps refrigerated, three+ months.

To preserve the syrup, ladle the syrup, fruit and all for long-term infusion, into a pint jar while still oven-hot. Leave a 1/4-inch headspace and process in a hot-water bath for 25 minutes. Use within a year.

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