Strawberry Vanilla Marmelade

This weekend I gave in to my need to relax and to really do nothing. It resulted in a blissful schedule of sleeping, reading (this book), rummaging around on the internet (to find this really cool IKEA kitchen of the future for example), running, coloring (yes, really this is the best new thing) and simply enjoying getting a little bored.

Having said that, even though I stepped back, I did make something in our kitchen (who am I kidding, I can’t be stopped;)). But instead of making one hundred things at the same time, I simply focused on these strawberries. And to be honest, I couldn’t have been happier with both the process and the end result. Not only does our place smell like heaven (or a cookie dough factory), it also feels like saving a bit of summer for later (read: dark autumn days).
Considering that we are heading towards the end of strawberry season (!), I am making sure to get my hands on the last bits (and yes, this is just enough to trigger my hamster instincts), to make sure there is enough to take us through winter, even though it is really tempting to simply eat my way through this batch right away.I already mentioned this blog, and I will tell you again what a master piece it is. It made me yearn to make marmelade, even though I have never made jam before.

Considering the abundance of cherries, strawberries and even of Redcurrants and Goose Berries on the market, I am happy to figure out how to preserve at least some of it in time.

I was very happy to cook this marmelade with Marisa’s instructions on hand. I have found her descriptions very comforting, especially because I feel a little hesitative to make preserves (I can’t remember which novel it was, but I am sure I read a book where a guest of one of the main characters drops head-down after being served spoiled canned beans at her place).

Strawberry Vanilla Marmelade
Based on this recipe, makes around 1 kilogram of marmelade.

  • 750 grams of strawberries
  • 350 grams of pectine sugar
  • 4 tablespoons of vanilla essence (and pulp)
  • zest & juice of 1 lemon added
  • 2 pinches of salt

Clean the strawberries and remove the little crowns. I halved the strawberries to make sure that their shape would still provide a little bite. You could however chose to chop these into smaller bits to make sure all does not collapse off your toast (this is the approach David Lebovitz advocates).

After halving the strawberries, put all into a large (non-reactive) pot, together with the salt, sugar and vanilla extract.
Let this all macarate for around two hours to draw out the juices of the strawberries and to let all the flavors develop (this will make your place smell absolutely delicious). After two hours, put in the lemon zest and juice and put all on the stove on a medium heat.
Let the mixture bubble away for around 15 minutes until all bubbles up.
Sterilize your jars (Marisa gives really clear and helpful instructions to work safe) and pour in the hot mixture. Once it cools down it will firm up. Also, the mixture will divide itself slightly into floating pieces of strawberry and set jelly underneath. No need to worry, simply stir all through before you use it. Enjoy! (On yoghurt, toast, as a cake filler, you name it!).

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