I keep my spices in a corner cabinet on a turntable & they usually get returned to a different spot than where I got them. So every few months I reorganize them again. The blessing in this is I usually find something I picked up for future use, stored away and have completely forgotten. This time it was a small bag of pink peppercorns I purchased during a short stay in Charleston. I didn’t have any particular purpose for them at the time, however since I am infusing any and everything lately, it seemed like they would be just the ticket to add to the strawberries I picked up this week. The strawberry-tequila infusion takes 6 weeks to ‘mature’ so I needed a strawberrry fix sooner than that. My usual is strawberry balsamic, which I decided to ‘enhance’ with pink peppercorns. And, it is not disappointing. Pink peppercorns are quite a bit more delicate than black, so I used white balsamic in the sauce. They really add a delightful surprise to this well-known sauce. Although I doubt this batch will last long, I’m planning on making an ice cream based on this concoction. Doesn’t that sound fabulous ??
STRAWBERRY PINK PEPPERCORN BALSAMIC SAUCE
adapted from various recipes, including the NYTimes
1 quart very ripe strawberries, sliced or quartered
3 T pink peppercorns, smashed or ground
3 T sugar or splenda
1 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup sugar or splenda
Combine smashed peppercorns with 3 T sugar/splenda & mix with strawberries. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb flavor. Meanwhile boil vinegar & 1/4 c sugar/splenda in saucepan for 10-15 minute until reduced to a syrup.
Add strawberry mixture to balsamic reduction & bring to a simmer. Adjust taste by adding more peppercorns or sugar, if needed. (I added another tsp of whole peppercorns & 2 T. splenda) Allow to reduce again until honey-type consistency. Depending upon the juiciness of the strawberries, this could take 30 min or more, so keep an eye on the pot & stir frequently. Allow to cool in pot.
Store in tight-lidded container in fridge for 1 month or in freezer for 1 year.