1/20/11

Strawberry Fields (Well, not quite)

I had been staring (and frankly, lusting) after some really good strawberry preserves for quite a while now. But most of them available in the shops were too expensive - the one made “locally”, the High Range Strawberry Preserves from Munnar, had shot up in price from Rs. 90 last year to a whopping Rs. 135 this year. So those didn’t fit in the budget and then there were the Nilgiris’ own brand which were Rs. 90 for such a small jar that it didn’t make any economic sense.

So instead, I decided to buy half a kilo of strawberries for Rs. 100 and set about making my own preserves. I could decide what was to go in it and how much sugar and given that I’d be eating them almost the minute they’d been made, the flavour, I thought, would be unimaginably intense. I rooted around the interwebs for a recipe and found the perfect one here. Plus, I watched Trish Deseine make Apricot and Vanilla Jam on Trish’s French Country Kitchen and get tips on sterilising jars and the wrinkle test for judging the preserves’ doneness.

I got out all the heavy saucepans, boiled the jars, boiled the fruit and sugar and lemon juice, and after almost an hour, everything was ready and waiting to go into the bottles. I’d taken my oven back home, and didn’t trust the microwave to dry the jars, so used a high powered hair dryer instead. It seems to have all worked out so far - though I doubt the preserves are going to last long enough for me to judge whether I did a good job of sterilising the jars.

Plus, it seems to have turned out infinitely more economical - I got two full jars out of that Rs. 100 box of berries. With the costs of sugar added plus fuel etc, it still works out more economical than the shop bought or imported preserves. Plus, no added colour or chemicals have been imbibed into my system. A good job all around I should say. And just look at that colour - makes it all worth it:

3 comments:

  1. And as an impartial tester I can say that this is truly yummmmmmmmm..and the photograph doesn't do justice to the colour!

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