Strawberry Preserves

An interview I did with ABC Illawarra this morning gave inspiration to think about posting a range of my strawberry recipes. Here’s some that were discussed and more besides.

There’s also some extra ways of, and hints for, preserving strawberries.

Let’s buy up big to make all sorts of delicious preserves, and hopefully help the strawberry farmers along the way.

Strawberry Chilli Sauce

Use as for regular sweet chilli sauce.  T is especially delicious with seafood.

500g strawberries, hulled and roughly chopped

220g long red chillies, ends removed and chopped finely

4 ½ cups white wine vinegar

4 ½ cups white sugar

1 ½ teaspoons salt

1 ½ tablespoons grated fresh green ginger

8 garlic cloves, crushed

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Boil over medium heat for 40 minutes.

Thicken if needed with 3 teaspoons cornflour mixed to a paste with 2 tablespoons extra vinegar.

Recipe from “A Year in a Bottle”, ABC Books

Strawberry Cordial Syrup

1kg strawberries

4 cups water


3 level teaspoons tartaric or citric acid

Place the berries and water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer very gently for 15 minutes. Strain through a colander, and the resulting liquid through a kitchen sieved lined with a layer of muslin (or other thin cloth).

For each cup of the resulting liquid add 1 cup of sugar. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat immediately to a bare simmer and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in tartaric acid, pour into sterilised bottles and seal immediately.

The cordial will keep at room temperature but in warmer weather or climates it would be best to keep it in the fridge. In either case, refrigerate the bottle once it is opened.

 To serve

To serve as a drink, use one part syrup to 4 to 5 parts chilled water, lemonade or soda water. You can add some vodka or gin in the case of the first two. The syrup is nice served as a coulis over ice cream, panna cotta or pavlova with berries.

Recipe from “A Year in a Bottle or “Complete Preserves”, ABC Books

Strawberry Vinegar

Use as a salad dresssing just as it is, or add a little balsamic vinegar.

Drizzle over ice cream for a delicious treat (truly).

Strawberries, roughly chopped

White or cider vinegar


Combine equal amounts of strawberries and vinegar in a glass bowl.  Stir well, cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave to stand for a week at room temperature, stirring occasionally.

On day 8, strain through a sieve or colander lined with muslin.

For each cup of strawberry vinegar liquid, add 1 cup sugar.  Bring to the boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes.  Pour into sterilised heal-proof bottles and seal immediately.

Recipe from “A Year in a Bottlee or “Complete Preserves, ABC Books


Strawberry jam

 1.5kg strawberries

1 teaspoon citric acid or 2 tablespoons lemon juice

1.25kg sugar

Place the strawberries and citric acid or lemon juice in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.

Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.

Bring back to the boil and cook briskly until setting point is reached, stirring often. This should take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately.

Recipe from “A Year on the Farm”, ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers

Strawberry conserve

1.5kg strawberries

1½ teaspoons citric acid

1.25kg sugar

Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Leave to stand at rom temperature overnight.

Next day, bring to the boil, stirring. Boil briskly over medium heat until setting point is reached. This should take 15 to 20 minutes.

Pour into warm sterilised jars and seal immediately.

Recipe from “A Year on the Farm”, ABC Books/Harpercollins Publishers

Sparkling Strawberry Drink

Makes approximately 4.5 litres

875g strawberries, roughly chopped

875g sugar

1 lemon, chopped

4 ½ litres cold water

250ml cider vinegar or white vinegar

Place all ingredients in a food-safe bucket, mix well, then throw a tea towel over the top of the bucket (make sure it doesn’t touch the liquid) and leave to stand at room temperature for 48 hours.

Strain through a fine nylon kitchen sieve and pour into PET bottles and seal immediately. (Very clean, empty soft drink bottles are ideal, or you can buy new ones from home brewing suppliers.)

The sparkling strawberry will be ready in about ten days, maybe sooner (check by carefully every day after day 2 by opening the lid a fraction – if it’s fizzy, it’s ready).  Refrigerate all bottles immediately once the fizz has developed and use within two weeks.

Open very carefully and gradually.

Serve ice cold with a slice of lemon or lime.

Recipe from “A Year on the Farm”, ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers

Dehydrating Strawberries

 Strawberries can be dehydrated on wire racks over a tray in a very slow oven (65 to 70 degrees or in a food dehydrator.

Personally, I like to make pear and strawberry fruit leather. Simply stew peeled, cored and chopped pears with a little water and the same weight of strawberries until a smooth puree forms (not too wet.

Spread to 6mm thick on trays lined with baking paper (if dehydrating in the oven, or spread on fruit leather sheets for a dehydrator.

Dehydrate until no liquid is exuded when a sheet of the leather is torn. Cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge (freezer if to be stored for more than 3 weeks).

From “A Year on the Farm” by ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers.


Strawberry Powder

Dehydrate strawberries until crisp then pulverise in a blender.  Store in airtight jars in the fridge.  Use to flavour cakes and drinks, sprinkled over a strawberry topped pavlova it’s sensational.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Using strawberry cordial syrup or strawberry jam.

Whisk together until just combined, one and three quarter cups of cream, three quarters of a cup of milk and three quarter of a cup of the strawberry cordial syrup or two thirds of a cup of strawberry jam.

Pour into an ice cream machine and churn until soft serve consistency, then spoon into trays and freeze.

Add crumbled dehydrated strawberries if you have them, for extra texture.

Freezing Strawberries

For free flowing frozen berries, spread on trays and freeze, then place in freezer bags or airtight containers.

Alternatively, place in freezer bags or containers, allowing headspace to allow for expansion and freeze.

From “A Year on the Farm”, ABC Books/HarperCollins Publishers





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