Two weeks ago I ventured across the river to my friend’s farm. There, I spent my Sunday morning alone in the quiet fields picking the essence of Summer: sun-ripened, perfectly sweetened strawberries. Last Sunday I did the exact same thing. In total my efforts yielded 50 quarts, which translated into hours and hours of washing, hulling, and preserving Summer’s most sought after fruit!
In preparation for the harvest I was planning on bringing home, I started formulating my plan of action. I had already decided that half of my fruitage would end up frozen to be enjoyed in the off-season, and there was definitely going to be a lot of shortcake baking taking place, which eliminated several more quarts. Now, what to do with the rest? After flipping through my collection of food preservation books, I finally narrowed it down to three mouth-watering recipes. First up: strawberry orange compote. Oh yes!
4 quarts of strawberries, hulled and quartered
grated zest and juice of one lemon
grated zest and juice of one orange
2 cups granulated sugar
In a large pot combine strawberries, sugar, orange and lemon juices and their zest; bring to a simmer over med-high heat, stirring often. Lower the heat to a minimum and gently simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. You will end up with a slightly reduced, but still runny mixture.
Ladle into hot, sterilized jars leaving 1/4″ headspace; remove air bubbles, wipe rims, and adjust two-piece lids to fingertip-tight. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes, adjust for elevation.
So far my favorite way to enjoy this slightly sweetened sauce is drizzled over a bowl of creamy vanilla bean ice cream. Absolute heaven if you ask me!
I also canned a batch where I excluded the zest, therefore reducing the pectin content, which resulted in a slightly looser, but equally delicious sauce.
Images and content copyright © 2013 Danielle R Limoge. Recipe adapted from Tart and Sweet - 101 canning and pickling recipes for the modern kitchen by Kelly Geary and Jessie Knadler.