Strawberries- if love could be made visible and edible it would look and taste like these gorgeous fruits. Use them in mousses, ice-creams, cakes, cheesecakes all through the season and when the season ends how do you lock up the flavour? Jams, Jellies and in a very novel way as strawberry sugar. I learnt this technique from one of the foodie groups on facebook , by a very talented home baker, Smriti Iyer. Please check this facebook page for her original method. Since we have abundance of solar energy here, I went for sundrying rather than the original oven method which she has described. But all credit to her for decribing this unique way to making strawberry sugar.
Fresh strawberries- 2 small boxes (around 40 in number)
- Wash and remove the leaves from fresh strawberries.
- Slice vertical or horizontal slices out of the fruit, not very thin ( I learnt the hard way). You can make 4 to 5 slices out of each fruit.
- Lay them on a steel plate/ baking sheet/ silicon sheet/ parchment paper. ( I found the thin slices sticking on to the steel plate after drying and did not peel off easily. So better to use some non stick surface or simply line the plates with parchment paper. If you don’t have any silicon sheet/ parchment paper, you can directly lay them on the steel plate, but they carry a small risk of not coming off eaily)
- Dry them in sun , in a clean non dusty place for 4 to 5 hours in peak afternoon.
- Once the strawberry chips are dried, store them in airtight container.
- Lay them out on a steel plate again the next day to remove any residual moisture, preferably exposing them to 3 to 4 hours of hot sun.
Grind the strawberries with 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar to form a strawberry flavoured sugar.
- Store the sugar in airtight boxes, preferably in fridge.
- You can use this strawberry sugar to flavour ice creams, cakes, puddings or sprinkle over any dessert. The options are endless.
- I used the sugar in this strawberry ice cream, Recipe coming soon !