It's summer. Strawberries are the first fruits to ripen. Fragrant, juicy and oh, so sweet. I freeze bags of them for use in the winter - for smoothies, desserts, and sauces. Thinking about how I use them, I realized that I often make a sauce for pancakes or for cheesecake and other desserts. How much more convenient it would be to have a sauce ready to go from a jar!
I had a hard time finding a recipe I wanted. Finally, I concocted one of my own. I'm happy with it, and you might be, too. Sweet strawberries combine with tart rhubarb for a sauce that has deep flavour and isn't overly sweet.
4 cups sliced rhubarb
4 cups sliced strawberries (depending on the size, I either halve the berries or slice them)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/4 cup water
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large saucepan, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, salt and water. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring well. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring almost constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly. The consistency should be sauce-like. Remove from heat and add the vanilla.
Place into clean jars (about 5 half-pint or 250 ml), cover with sterilized lids and screw on the caps finger tight. Place into a hot water bath and process for 15 minutes. Cool on the counter and ensure that the lids are sealed before storing in a cool dry place.