Simple Strawberry Vanilla Sauce

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This recipe, originally from Northwest Edible Life, is one of the easiest preserves I’ve ever made. Sugar, strawberries, vanilla bean. Puree, simmer, water bath can. That’s it. The result is a sweet taste of spring in a jar, excellent as a topping for ice cream, swirled into yogurt, or spooned over waffles. If you’re scared of the water bath, you could also freeze it, just leave a little head space in the jar as it will expand as it freezes. Because it’s smoother than a strawberry preserve and thick-but-pourable, is also a great addition to summer beverages. Everything from lemonade to margaritas can get a pink makeover with a spoonful of strawberry vanilla sauce.

Ingredients

2lbs Lepp’s Strawberries

1 Real Vanilla Bean

3 cups Sugar

Canning Equipment:

Water Canner (or a very large pot that you can submerge your jars in)

Lid Lifter

Jar Lifter

Method
  1. Set up for water bath canning.
  2. Wash berries, and remove caps and stems. Set aside.
  3. Add sugar to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Slice the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Scrape the black seeds from both halves of the vanilla bean into the food processor. Reserve the vanilla pod.
  4. Process until the vanilla seeds are fully mixed into the sugar, then add the strawberries and pulse until only small pieces of strawberry remain.
  5. Scrape the strawberry sauce into a large, shallow-sided saucepan. Add the reserved vanilla bean pod to the sauce. Heat the sauce to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer until the berries are soft and the sauce has thickened slightly and turned glossy, about 10 minutes.
  6. Skim off foam, and ladle sauce into clean half-pint jars, leaving a 1⁄2-inch headspace.
  7. Set lids according to manufacturer’s instructions and process sauce in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

Using Your Sauce:

Swirl it into plain or vanilla yogurt

Top your ice cream sundae

Top Char’s Cheesecake Squares