|soft and chewy strawberry jelly candy.|
Don't you just love it when you try to make something and you mess it up - only to gain a fabulous final product anyway?
It was a sunny Saturday afternoon when I made this. I had visions of a silky strawberry butter - similar to strawberry jam, but with a texture so soft and smooth and velvety that you'd want to drown in it. Death by strawberry butter. Yes.
|cooking them strawberries with sugar.|
Well! That didn't happen. I cooked it too much, for too long, so instead of a dreamy strawberry butter, I got strawberry paste instead. A strawberry paste so firmly set, you might call it strawberry cheese.
But guess what? I like it. Look, I can slice it up and serve it with brie and crackers! I can cut it into pieces, roll it in sugar and transform it into soft, chewy strawberry jelly candy!
And guess what. All you need is three ingredients. Strawberries. Sugar. Lime juice. That's it. No pectin, no gelatine. How good is that?
|life is good with strawberries, brie and crackers...|
strawberry paste / strawberry pâtes de fruits (strawberry candies)
(makes one small block of strawberry paste or two dozen strawberry candies)
1 punnet strawberries (250g / 1/2 lb)
1/2 cup raw sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Hull and halve strawberries.
Cook over a medium low heat with sugar for 10 minutes until soft and juices released. Blend till completely smooth.
Return to saucepan and continue cooking for 20 - 30 minutes or until very thick and goopy. Check on it often, stirring so that it doesn't burn at the bottom.
Add lime juice and bring to a boil for a 10 seconds, stirring, then turn down the heat and simmer for another 10 - 15 minutes.
Times may vary, but the mixture should be a deep red colour, the texture dense and sticky. It should start moving in towards the centre of the pan, cling to a spoon (sliding off slowly and reluctantly) and form a clean, distinct line at the bottom of the pan when you scrape across with the spoon. Bring the mixture to boil for a few seconds occasionally to speed up the process.
Pour or scoop into a small tray, mould or other suitable container. Keep it in the refrigerator until set.
When the strawberry paste has set, and you would like to serve it, turn it out.
Cut into thin slices to serve with cheese and crackers. It'll go well with a mature brie, parmesan or cheddar.
Alternatively, cut into pieces and roll in sugar to create strawberry pâtes de fruits - i.e., strawberry jelly candies. I used raw sugar, which gave it a rough appearance and a crunchy texture. Use a finer sugar to achieve a more delicate quality.
I didn't actually get around to retrieving this from the fridge and trying it out until two weeks later. I was pretty excited by then.
So I had it with brie and cracked pepper crackers for lunch...
|a dab of strawberry paste, a dab of brie and a cracked black pepper cracker.|
And finished off with a dessert of strawberry pâtes de fruits.
|strawberry pâtes de fruits, or strawberry jubes.|
Life is sweet. Strawberry sweet.