I have a glut of alpine strawberries
My alpine strawberry plants are going wild...I can pick almost a quart, every couple of days. Anyone cooked or baked with them? I'm thinking about trying a jam.
Strawberry jam is easy and wonderful. Berries, sugar to taste, maybe a few drops of water, cook on low heat. You can't get those small alpine berries.
I sure envy you your problem. Here's the 4-step solution my family employed when we had
fresh strawberries weren't going to be eaten or otherwise used right away:
1) Cut in half
2) Sprinkle with a little sugar
4) Enjoy anytime 'til next year's crop arrives.
Fresh-picked and frozen they're SO much better than factory farmed frozen strawberries! The sugar helps them to juice out just a little bit. Can be used for instant smoothies or blender cocktails, or thawed and served over ice cream or custard or cereal (like over toasted steel-cut oats with a little brown sugar, mmm!) or just eaten with a spoon. I certainly wouldn't discourage you from making pie or jam or cobblers- especially since they're the super tasty little alpine ones- but do be sure to keep some frozen too. It's fast & easy and you won't be sorry!
thanks for all of the suggestions. The plants have slowed down production a bit in this heat, but I still picked two cups of berries this morning. Added a quarter cup of sugar and let them macerate all morning. Added a little lemon juice, brought to a boil and simmered for just a few minutes. Wowee, it's good stuff. Yeild was less than a cup of jam. Upon seeing a partially-filled jar cooling on the counter, my hubby remarked that that was my smallest batch of jam EVER.
I read somewhere that alpines have a higher pectin content than regular strawberries. I was surprised at how quickly the jam set up - it's a bit soft, but not bad at all for a first try.
Can't wait to make more, and to try out some of your other suggestions!
Of course there is jam, BUT, I had an excess of strawberries this year and now have a quart (or half-gallon, not sure how much) of strawberry liqueur resting in my cabinet. It's really easy to make with some vodka, strawberries, lemon peel (or whatever you want to add) and sugar. yumm
Bumping this to thank everyone again for the replies, and to update. Plants are going crazy again - I've been picking 3-4 cups of berries every day or so and mostly turning each batch into jam (a single jar!), since the berries just don't hold up well. Even overnight unwashed, in the fridge, is too much for them. I I've decided that it's best to pick them and then use them right away - which is challenging right now with all the showers we've been having. These berries go to overripe in a heartbeat when it's wet.
I tried a couple of batches of straight-up strawberry and one with a little rhubarb in it. Tonight I had enough berries to make two jars of jam so I tried canning it. it's intense stuff, there's an aroma that I'm trying to place..is it floral? Kind of rose-water-y? oooh, alpine strawberry and rose petal jam. Might be too much of a good thing.
I haven't tried freezing the berries yet, but that's next on my list.