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Strawberry Conserve

This recipe for Strawberry Conserve comes from Sue Brewer who is lucky enough to live in Brittany where she has her own gites to rent - have a look for yourself <click here>

I asked Sue to do her own introduction . . . . .

"Originally from London my better half and I have lived in a little hamlet called Le Millet near Ploeuc sur Lie in France for the past three years. Although life in the Cotes d'Armor region of Brittany is quite idyllic there are some downsides, notably the price and strength of tea bags, unavailability of sliced back bacon (who can live without bacon sarnies) and finally the lack of Indian cuisine.

The first two things we must stock up on during our infrequent visits to England, but curries and bhajis - pas du problem!

I realised that the only way I was ever going to have an 'Indian takeaway' in France was to make it myself. Now this isn't as silly as it sounds; I always make the curries or whatever in large quantities and then freeze them in meal-sized portions. So Saturday night is still takeaway night, either sharing the meal with friends or to eat whilst watching some rubbish on the television - you know the sort of thing that's on TV on a Saturday night.

OK I do bring back the spices from dear old blighty as here in France they are rare and, if found, expensive (except for that awful pale yellow curry powder) but the rest is down to moi."

"Forget strawberry jam. This recipe is fantastic! You get lovely whole strawberries throughout the preserve, the colour is great and it sets like a dream. OK, you do get less in quantity than with jam recipes but I think the above outweighs this. I happily found the recipe in The Sainsbury Book of Preserves and Pickles by Heather Lambert. The only adjustments I made was to increase the amount of lemon juice and the stage at which it was added, and I didn't transfer it to a bowl for the second stage but left it in the pan and just put it back on the hob the next day."

This was a recipe of the month on Sue's web site so be sure to pay regular visits
<click here>

Ingredients for Strawberry Conserve

2 lb 2 oz / 1 kg small strawberries
2 lb 2 oz / 1 kg preserving sugar
Juice of 2 lemons

How to make Strawberry Conserve

  • Put alternate layers of strawberries and sugar in a basin. Cover and leave to stand in the fridge for 24 hours.

  • Transfer the fruit and sugar to a pan, bring slowly to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Pour back into the basin (or if you are using a stainless steel pan just leave it in it) cover, and leave on the side for another 24 hours.

  • Transfer to a pan or if you didn't transfer to a bowl put the pan with the fruit and sugar mixture back on the hob and bring to the boil (not too fast in case of burning), and boil until setting point is reached. I boiled it for 8 minutes and it set first time.

  • Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little until the fruit begins to sink in the syrup.
  • Stir and pour into small, hot sterilized jars. Cover immediately.

Makes about 3 lb / 1.5 kg of Strawberry Conserve

Sue Brewer

If you would like to stay in one of Sue's cottages at Le Millet or learn more about Brittany visit her website - www.french-holiday-cottages.com or send her an email to sue@french-holiday-cottages.com

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