It’s the end of March, officially spring, and there’s 6-inches of snow on the ground outside my front door right now. While I love snow, I’ve had my fill of snow cream for the year. It astonishes me that it can be 70 degrees one day, and 20 the next!
One thing that does have me feeling like spring are the delicious strawberries I’ve been getting at the store recently. While snow might be still blanketing the ground here – in warm, sunny Florida it’s strawberry season! So whenever I see any berries from the sunshine state in my local grocery store, I can’t pass them by without picking up a package. I haven’t had bad berries yet!
Most of the time they just get gobbled up, before getting the chance to be transformed into something else in a recipe. But, I did get a chance to make this delicious strawberry syrup a couple of weeks ago. It’s perfect over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, stirred into a cold glass of milk, served over hot Belgian waffles, or mixed into a cocktail to give it a fruity twist. It’s also wonderful to toss with some fresh sliced strawberries and then pour into a graham cracker crust for an easy, but delicious dessert.
The batch I made barely lasted a week, and I’ve already made it a couple of times since then. It’s so wonderfully versatile, and it’s nice to have that burst of fresh strawberry flavor in my refrigerator anytime I’d like!
Fresh Strawberry Syrup
4 cups strawberries, rinsed and hulled
1 3/4 cups of water
1 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
Crush the berries in a heavy saucepan. Add one cup of water and the lemon zest. Bring mixture to boil then reduce heat to a simmer for five minutes. Skim any foam that forms off the top.
After five minutes of simmering, set the mixture aside to cool.
Meanwhile, place the sugar and the remaining 3/4 cup of water in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the syrup reaches 260°F on a candy thermometer. Set aside.
Strain cooled strawberry mixture through cheesecloth, squeezing to separate the majority of the seeds.
Pour the strained strawberries into a heavy saucepan with the sugar syrup. Bring to a boil and cook for eight minutes.
Store in Mason jar or another air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Source: adapted from StrawberrySue.com