Thursday, May 31, 2012

Roasted Strawberries

It's kind of hard for me to believe that it's not even June yet and strawberry season is about over here in the Midwest. When does that ever happen? I knew we had to get to the fields to pick some berries before the season was officially over. We chose one of the hottest days we've had this year (fail), went on one of the busier days (fail), got lost and relied on our GPS rather than our common sense (fail), and forgot water bottles (ultra-fail). Couple that with being told that it was already going to be "a tough pick", we came into the field defeated.

Not to be deterred, we listened to our children whine for over an hour while my husband and I scoured the thistle for berries. Our haul? 11 pounds of sweet, sweet berries. And their taste made all the blood, sweat, and bleeding ears worth it. I follow a number of food blogs, and one universal theme kept recurring: I had to try roasting fresh picked strawberries.

There appear to be two different methods when roasting berries: higher heat for a shorter time, or low heat for a longer time. I had the time, so I went with low and slow.

And the result? Swoon.

My girls and I loved them. My oldest actually did the happy food groan when she was eating them and said how much she loved the warm berries with the cold ice cream. My youngest polished off her sundae in record time and then both girls headed over to the stove to eat berries directly off the cookie sheet. I was even warned not to eat all the leftovers myself. Me?! Do they think I have no self-control around such deliciousness? They know me too well. :)


Roasted Strawberries
Ingredients:
  • 2 1/2 lbs small fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup demerara sugar (or white sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 225°F. Wash, drain and hull strawberries. Divide berries in a single layer on one or two baking sheets  (I lined mine with parchment paper for easier clean-up). Place in the oven and slow-roast for 45 minutes. Strawberries will not release much juice during this part.

Remove from oven and sprinkle sugar evenly over the berries. Season lightly with salt and pepper (optional), and stir gently. Return pan(s) to oven and roast about 30 minutes more.

Remove pans from oven and allow to cool for at least ten minutes. Strawberries will release more juice during this resting period. Transfer to a bowl or jar and use a spatula to scrape all of the sauce from the pan. Enjoy warm, or refrigerate until ready to use.

Will keep up to one week in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. In addition to all the yummy recipes linked above, I would recommend eating these berries on some pancakes or waffles, in a bowl of oatmeal, or just out of the jar.

Source: Simple Bites

Per Simple Bites: This is the basic recipe, but feel free to get creative by adding a splash of balsamic vinegar or a sprinkling of cardamom, or what ever complementary flavor you like. 
 

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