Strawberry Lavender Caramel + Giveaway

driscolls strawberries

Spring has been slow to come this year and so the local produce has only just begun to trickle into the markets around Philadelphia. Happily, a much-welcome dose of spring arrived on my doorstep a couple weeks back, in the form of a large box of Driscoll’s strawberries.

the incredible hull

Months ago, Driscoll’s and OXO hatched a plan to gather up a gaggle of food bloggers, send them an assortment of tools and berries, and see what they created. For me, it couldn’t have come at a better time, as I was positively itching to get my hands on some fresh ingredients.

berry top

One of the tools that came in the box was OXO’s new berry huller and I am not exaggerating when I say that it’s a strawberry game changer. I’ve used their previous huller and while it was a good tool, I always defaulted to a paring knife.

berries in blender

But, now having tried this new huller, it is my go-to strawberry prep tool. It is incredibly easy to use, cleanly removes the hard white center, and makes it possible to whip through four or five pounds of berries in no time at all.

berry puree

I made three different preserves with the berries Driscoll’s sent and I’ll be sharing those recipes over the course of this week. The first one is a variation on the strawberry caramel recipe that I wrote for Simple Bites a couple weeks ago. The second is a maple sweetened strawberry butter. And the final batch was honey sweetened strawberry vanilla jam.

dried lavender

I love the basic version of the basic strawberry caramel, but I’ve long thought that it would be delicious to infuse with lavender for a more complex flavor. And since I spotted OXO’s twisting tea ball, I had a feeling it would be the perfect infusion tool (short answer: it was!).

lavender in tea ball

You start with one pound of strawberries, hull them, and puree them (just pop them raw into a blender or food processor) until smooth.

cooking sugar

Then, combine 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar with 3/4 cup of water in a small saucepan. Measure 2 teaspoons of dried lavender buds (culinary grade) into your tea ball and add it to the pot. Place it over high heat and bring to a boil.

250 degrees F

Cook the syrup until it reaches 250°F/121°C. Remove the pot from the heat and pour in prepared strawberry puree (you should have about 2 cups) and the juice of 1 lemon. Return the pot to the heat and cook until the temperature reaches 218°F/103°C.

finished caramel sauce

Funnel the sauce into two prepared half pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

This sauce is amazing drizzled over ice cream, angel food cake, or a piece of crunchy, buttered toast (it is entirely decadent but ridiculously good).

finished strawberry caramel

Now for the fun part. OXO and Driscoll’s are giving away a pretty terrific prize pack. The lucky winner will get one of those fabulous strawberry hullers, a three-piece OXO berry bowl and colander set, a $70 gift card to OXO.com, and a year’s supply of Driscoll’s berries. You enter via the widget below (not by leaving a comment on this post). The giveaway will close at 5 pm eastern time on Friday, May 30, so make sure to get your entry in!

To see what the rest of the participating bloggers made, make sure to click over to their sites!

a farmgirl’s dabbles
Confessions of a Bright-Eyed Baker
Crepes of Wrath
Crunchy Creamy Sweet
Cupcakes & Kale Chips
Diethood
Eat Your Heart Out
Eats Well With Others
Food n’ Focus
Hoosier Homemade
Never Enough Thyme
Rachel Cooks
Sweet Remedy
Very Culinary

Disclosure: Driscoll’s and OXO provided the berries and tools I used and featured in this post and are also providing the prize pack. They did not compensate me for my participation and my opinions are entirely my own.

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21 Responses to Strawberry Lavender Caramel + Giveaway

  1. 1
    Anita Lotz says:

    Looking forward to your strawberry recipes. We are in top strawberry season and have wonderful local berries available here.

  2. 2
    Amber DePixi says:

    Thanks for the chance to win! :)

  3. 3
    amy says:

    Wow, this recipe looks phenomenal! I can already taste all those interesting flavors.
    Years back, my auntie gave me one of her “Tomato Sharks,” which is essentially a toothed metal teaspoon that does a great job of hulling tomatoes or strawberries. It’s been indispensable to all my strawberry projects since.

  4. 4

    Question. I made the strawberry preserves you demoed in the book signing in Memphis (you even liked my Instagram photo of them!) but one jar looked really dried out on top, like dried bubbles. I canned them for the appropriate time…after the botulism chat we had that night, I pitched them!

    • 4.1
      Marisa says:

      That’s weird that they got all dried out on top. But since they made you uncomfortable, you did the right thing (though remember, botulism can’t grow in high acid environments!).

  5. 5
    Stacy says:

    Wow, what an awesome giveaway, that’s heavenly!!!

    I love the recipe, am going to make that when my lavender is ready…thank you!!! :)

  6. 6
    Rosie says:

    Conventional strawberries are on the dirty dozen list… these are something that you should always buy organic!

  7. 7
    Susan Nebrick says:

    Strawberries are just coming in now in my area, Can’t wait to try some new & fun recipes! :)

  8. 8
    Mel says:

    Question: I make a lot of different kinds of caramel corn…so you think I could toss popcorn with this caramel and it would work (I usually bake the caramel corn for 40 minutes after tossing it).

    • 8.1
      marlene says:

      I’m interested if this would work too, did you try it yet?

    • 8.2
      Marisa says:

      I think it would work. Though I might cook the starting caramel up a little higher to ensure that you have something that will adhere fully to the popcorn.

  9. 9
    Saniel says:

    Would be great over pound cake or lemon loaf

  10. 10
    Megan says:

    Made this this weekend and the strawberry flavor is fantastic! Though, I’m not sure I let the sugar caramelize enough – I waited until it hit 250, but I’m not sure it was the right “copper” color. Would you suggest adhering more closely to the temp reading, or the color? And if lighter, is the sauce I currently have still shelf-stable? Many thanks!

  11. 11
    Cathy says:

    Wow! Thanks! Well one lucky person will be busy canning this summer with all those strawberries : )

  12. 12
    Barabara says:

    It’s nice to be catching up after being unable to read posts for a while due to Hubby’s heart attack and subsequent triple bypass. I’m taking full advantage of Florida’s exceptional bounty of items with Vitamin C to aid his healing. Yes, bring on more strawberries, please! That huller looks divine!

  13. 13

    […] weeks now, I’ve been meaning to write up my recipe for the strawberry maple butter (hinted at here) I made recently (I liked it so much, I made it twice in rapid succession). And so, I finally sat […]

  14. 14
    Roma says:

    The u-pick black raspberries in my area will be ready this Sunday. Would love to make this caramel with them. If I kept the fruit:sugar:lemon juice ratio the same, would it be safe to water bath process?

    • 14.1
      Marisa says:

      It would be safe. The only thing I’d do differently is that I’d seed the raspberry puree before adding it to the sugar.

      • Roma says:

        Thanks for the tip. This is up next, I’ve the black raspberry preserves from the blue chair jam book on the stove now. We managed to grab ~11 lbs of berries today in an hour and a half, loving it!

  15. 15
    Meg says:

    Have you shared the other two recipes yet? I can’t find them in your posts, and my berries are sliced and ready to go. Thanks!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Strawberry Maple Butter | Food in JarsFood in Jars - June 5, 2014

    […] weeks now, I’ve been meaning to write up my recipe for the strawberry maple butter (hinted at here) I made recently (I liked it so much, I made it twice in rapid succession). And so, I finally sat […]

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