One of my favorite things this time of year is the freshness of everything. Gardens are starting to produce, farmer’s markets are in full swing and roadside stands are ripe with freshly-picked fruit and veggies. There is such joy and simplicity in washing local dirt off your produce and turning that food into something wonderful to eat. Last week, my brother-in-law got us a flat of strawberries; the kind of strawberries that taste like they have sugar sprinkled on them and are small enough to actually look like berries and not large pieces of fruit. Eliza started chowing down on them immediately and we also made a strawberry cake that was so good. You can find that recipe here, if you are wanting a custard like cake that is completely worth the calories. Now a week later, I ended up with a few cups of strawberries still left, some having seen fresher days. I ended up making a quick strawberry syrup/sauce that took no time, unlike jam, and will be used up on pancakes and ice cream in no time. In fact, I whipped up these buttermilk pancakes this morning and Eliza (and Daphne the dog) scarfed them down with the strawberry sauce on top. So yummy!
- 3 cups strawberries – I left mine whole but if they are larger berries you can slice them according to how chunky you want the syrup. I like mine to retain some of the actual berry shape.
- ½ sugar – These strawberries were seriously sweet so I went with only ½ cup. You may need to add more (up to a cup) if the strawberries aren’t quite as sugary on their own.
- 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Combine all of the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring the mixture to a boil. It smells amazing! Simmer the sauce for 15-20 minutes, letting the berries break down and thicken. Let the sauce cool and store in the fridge. It will keep for quite a while, definitely longer than we will have it in the fridge. MEB