Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Home-made Strawberry Preserve

Fragrant, sweet strawberries are in season and to make best use of this I decided to make some homemade strawberry preserve. These fleshy, delicate berries are perfect for preserve.

The difference between jams and preserves is simple.

Jams use fruit pulp or crushed fruit and preserves use chunky pieces of fruit in a syrupy jam base. My husband hates jam and loves preserve for this reason alone. He loves the fruit chunks on his morning toast.

It requires just 3 ingredients to be precise, 2 of which are very basic and will be available in every pantry. The recipe requires only fresh strawberries, sugar and lime/lemon. Yes, it's that basic. And, the cooking time is only about 15-20 mins. Simple.

I followed Delia Smith's recipe.

But I did make a few changes to suit my convenience.
The changes I made are :
1. I did not use preserving sugar as recommended. I used normal white sugar.
2. I did not use any butter in my recipe. I skipped that whole step.
3. I reduced the amount of sugar to 600 gms for 900 gms of strawberries instead of the 700 gms recommended.
4. I cut the big strawberries in half because I did not want to many extra-large chunks in my preserve.
5. After the 8 minute boiling phase, and the consistency test, I continued with 5 more minutes of boiling.

On the whole, I really enjoyed the experience of making preserve and this being my first trial in preserves, I'm proud of the end result. My hubby and mom-in-law and I are thoroughly enjoying it almost every morning.
I always thought that strawberry preserves get their color from artificial colors. But I was pleasantly surprised at how the strawberries turned a deep red when the preserve was ready to be jarred. No artificial color.
What I would do differently when I make this preserve again? I would cut all the strawberries in half before sprinkling them with sugar. I prefer small chunks in my preserve.

The picture above shows how to check consistency of the preserve as mentioned in Delia's recipe. The crinkle test with a frozen plate.

Luv 'n' luc'

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pistachio Kesar Kulfi Popsicles

Dessert again. Kulfi is a popular, frozen, dairy dessert from India, very similar to ice cream. I have a weak spot for good ice cream. I'm sure there are many like me. I like the "real thing" which is made of REAL DAIRY cream as opposed to the non dairy cream which does not render that genuine creaminess . Very many ice creams found in the market, especially in India, contain non dairy cream, artificial flavors and artificial colors.
Two brands that I know off which use top quality and natural ingredients are Haagen Daz and Ben and Jerry's. Thank God for globalization, these are available here today.
I've used all natural ingredients in my kulfi. Most Kulfi recipes call for corn starch to thicken the mixture. I've replaced corn starch with arrowroot powder. Flavor comes from using saffron, cardamom and pistachios. Creaminess from rich milk and whipping cream. These ingredients are a bit on the expensive side, but, I feel it is money well spent.
Another advantage is that it is a no bake dessert. Easy to make. You could avoid cardamom and add any fruit pulp to make fruit kulfis. My suggestion would be Mango and Chiku, as these fruits have a very Indian flavor which will go well with this Indian dessert.

  • Milk - 2 cups
  • Sugar- 1/2 cup
  • Arrowroot powder - 2 tspns
  • Cardamom powder - 1/2 tspn
  • Pistachios - 1/4 cup (chopped)
  • Saffron - 4-5 strands
  • Whipping cream-1/2 cup


  • Dissolve arrowroot in 1/4 cup of cold milk.
  • Whip up the whipping cream to peaks and set aside in the refrigerator
  • Take 1/4 cup of hot milk and to this add saffron strands and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining milk with sugar and let dissolve. Once the milk begins to boil, reduce heat and add the arrowroot dissolved milk. Stir well
  • Next add the saffron milk and stir.
  • Stir for about 2-3 mins till the arrowroot slightly thinkens the mixture and it comes to a custard consistency.
  • Turn off heat and add pistachios and cardamom powder.
  • Let cool. Once cooled, add whipped cream and fold gently till it's incorporated well.
  • Pour mixture into popsicle molds or any mold of your choice.
  • Freeze for 4-6 hours or overnight.
  • To unmold the popsicles, dip the mold in warm water for 10 secs. The popsicles will slide out easily.
  • Enjoy.

Luv 'n' luc'


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin