Strawberry season this year was epic…. Gigantic ripe strawberries, ravishingly red, sweet and succulent. There was an abundance of their glory all over the country, and it was very difficult not to buy batches on the way home every day. The downside was that if they stayed in the fridge too long, they’d go bad. And given that my little kitchen also has a little fridge and freezer, there was only so much I could freeze. The solution came like an epiphany – why not rescue my mountain of strawberries and sizzle them down into syrup? It was the best idea in the world!
Within minutes, my kitchen turned into a hub of sweetness. The addition of granulated sugar and vanilla into this syrup as it bubbles away releases the most glorious of smells, and needless to say, the strawberries break down into the thickest most reddest of liquids. As I stirred away, I imagined waffles, pancakes, cheesecake, and ice-cream, slathered in my bright red strawberry syrup, oozing down the sides, staining everyone’s lips red.
When my syrup was finished (a mere 15 to 20 minutes) I poured it into glass jars while still pretty hot. When it cooled, it resembled jam but without the jelly-like consistency. It wasn’t hard or sour or overly sweet as store-bought jams tend to be… just syrupy and sweet and absolutely perfect. Give this a try. You’ll probably never want buy strawberry jam again.
3 1/2 to 4 cups fresh strawberries, diced
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/ teaspoon salt
2 cups water
Combine strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt in a deep saucepan with water, and bring to a boil.
Lower the heat and bring strawberries to a slow simmer, stirring occasionally until strawberries are soft, froth has disappeared, and the water has reduced into a thickened syrup (about 15-20 minutes).
Syrup will thicken more once cooled.
Store in air-tight jars in the fridge.