Friday, June 1, 2012

Strawberry sauce and leopard print.

I never thought of myself as being the kind of girl who wore leopard print. I thought it was reserved purely for Rockabilly chicks and old ladies who are hanging onto their youth. But then I started seeing leopard print things in the shops. All the shops. Everything you could think of came in leopard print: shoes, scarves, cardies, tops, bags, everything. Everything! 

And then one day I decided that I loved leopard print. I really loved it and I couldn't wait to get my hands on something leopard print. Every shop I went into, I gravitated straight towards the leopard print things. I touched them all, and tried them all on.

You know what doesn't look good? A whole leopard-print outfit: jeans, cardigan, shoes, hat, scarf... You just can't wear them all together. It's a fashion disaster, trust me. So in the end, I bought a head scarf and a beret and I was finally happy! Now I wear them with everything, all the time. Mixing prints? That's the best part! I love a good leopard/cherry/stripe combo. And I love it even better when I'm stirring something in the kitchen. Something a bit like strawberry sauce.

We had some amazing strawberries over the summer. Normally I like to just eat them raw, straight out of the plastic container. Just greedily shove them all into my mouth. But at the end of the strawberry season I decided that I would turn them into something a bit more long-lasting, so I made strawberry sauce.

I'm not sure if you know this (you probably do, you're pretty clever), but strawberries aren't very high in pectin, which means that they don't set into jam very well. If I'm being honest with you, which I should be, I was actually trying to make jam, but the strawberries didn't set as well as they should have, so I called it sauce and was happy. 

This sauce is pretty sweet, but it's got a bit of bite from the lemon. You could get really outrageous and throw in some vanilla bean if you're feeling decadent (but I think that would make it extra sweet). Next time I make this, I would up the lemon and cut the sugar. But make sure you have some vanilla ice cream on hand to spoon this sauce over. It also makes a killer milkshake syrup. Oh, the possibilities!

Strawberry Sauce
Adapted from Word of Mouth

Makes 4 medium jars
2kg ripe strawberries
1.7kg sugar
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
Before you start, put a saucer in the freezer (to test the sauce on later).
Top the strawberries and cut any big ones in half. Put in a wide, heavy-bottom pan. 
Add the lemon juice, zest and a tablespoon of water. Bring to the boil.
Boil for 15-20 mins until thickened. Stir occasionally and test the sauce for checking point in the last 5 mins by putting a teaspoon of sauce onto the cold saucer and push your finger through it. If the sauce wrinkles and doesn't slide straight back together, then it is done. But remember that it is sauce, not jam, so won't be very thick.
Skim off any foamy, pink scum before pouring the sauce into hot, sterilised jars. 
Clean the outside of the jars, put the lids on, and turn upside-down until cool (this creates a vacuum which helps seal and preserve the sauce).


  1. It's so true what you said about leopard prints. You look super-cute in your leopard-cherry-stripe combo. Sweet like your strawberry sauce. Hugs from Miss Maple