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“Complicated” Strawberry Preserves

August 16, 2021

With spring around the corner, and strawberries already starting to appear in the shops around Oamaru, it’s time for us to start thinking about the annual ritual of making more of our very popular “Complicated” Strawberry Preserves. As mentioned in an earlier post, the nickname “complicated” is an ironic one given to these preserves by James B, since the instructions call for precise weight and time measurements. In fact, the recipe is very easy to make, and once you’ve tried it I am confident it will become a favourite!

  • 152 grams strawberries, crushed
  • 608 grams strawberries, whole
  • 800 grams sugar

Place the crushed berries in a heavy preserving pan; divide the whole berries into 3 equal portions (around 202 grams each).

Add 200 grams of sugar to the crushed berries. Cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves, and the mixture comes to a boil. When bubbles start to appear around side of pan, start measuring time and boil for exactly 4 minutes. Add one of your portions of whole berries and 200 grams of sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves. When boiling starts, measure time and boil for exactly 4 minutes. Add the second portion of berries and 200 grams sugar, again boiling for 4 minutes when bubbles appear. Add the last portion of berries and 200 grams of sugar and do the same thing, making sure not to break the berries, and stirring to avoid scorching.

Remove from the heat and pour into a flat glass cake pan, and cover with cling film. Let stand 10-12 hours at room temperature to plump the berries. Return the preserves to the pan, bring to the boil and then pour into sterile jars. Process in a boiling-water bath for 10 minutes to allow for long-term storage.