Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Strawberry Preserves with Grandpa's Sherry (Toast Topper #37) #12WksXmasTreats

For the last recipe in my list of contributions to the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats hosted at Meal Planning Magic, I wanted to share probably the most personal, special preserve I made this year. My grandfather was, in his own right, a good cook - especially for his generation of men who were generally happy to sit back and let the women of the house fix dinner. Along with his fantastic scrambled eggs, curry, and hummus, Grandpa also made his own (rather potent) sherry. For years, the liquor was referred to as the family "cure all" medicine - a shot of it (or a tablespoon for the kids) would basically scare any cold or flu from your system before it even hit your stomach!

It's been almost a year and a half since Grandpa passed away, but our liquor cabinet is still packed with a few bottles of his famous booze. In honour of him, I decided to make use of it in a few jars of strawberry preserve that I'm giving to family this Christmas as a way to rekindle some good memories around the Christmas tree. Along with the sherry, the loose-set jam I adapted from The Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving: Over 300 Recipes to Use Year-Round by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard is comprised of strawberries macerated overnight in sugar and cooked with a hint of vanilla and lemon juice. A spoonful of this on a slab of his favourite Challah on Christmas morning would be just what he would do, but it is equally at home on ice cream, pancakes, oatmeal or yoghurt.

Berry Preserves with Grandpa's Sherry

So this is for you, Grandpa... and for everyone out there with memories of someone special. Have a Merry Christmas - and enjoy the other contributions to the #12WksXmasTreats below!


Strawberry Preserves with Grandpa's Sherry
Makes 3 cups, 24 (2-tbsp) servings
13.25 oz (about 2 ½ cups) whole tiny (or halved medium) strawberries 

1 ½ cups sugar 
2 tbsp lemon juice 
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract 
1 pkg (49g) Bernardin No Sugar Needed Pectin 
¼ cup sherry**
  1. Toss berries and sugar together in a medium pot. Cover and let stand overnight.
  2. In the morning, bring mixture to a boil and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in lemon juice and vanilla, cook 1 minute.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in pectin and sherry.
  5. Ladle into jars, seal and process 10 minutes in a waterbath.
**You can use port or rose wine if you prefer

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 56.1
Total Fat: 0.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 0.4 mg
Total Carbs: 13.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.1 g