5 Ingredients or Fewer

Lemon Verbena Scented Strawberry Peach Conserves

June  3, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 3 half-pints
Author Notes

A few years ago, I started using lemon verbena to scent preserves. It's especially wonderful with strawberries and blueberries. And when you add peaches, it's positively magical. I use this conserve stirred into yogurt, warmed and spooned over ice cream, or served with pound cake. And for a completely different twist, stir a smashed garlic clove or two, marinate chicken or pork, then barbeque. Note: I specify frais de bois or Marie de bois, but any ripe, small, farm-fresh berry will do. I like the woodland berries as they can be kept whole, making a very pretty conserve. There is not sufficient sugar to can this safely, so freeze or refrigerate for up to a month. —MrsWheelbarrow

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups frais de bois, Marie de bois, or other woodland strawberry
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh peaches, pureed - I prefer pinkish peaches
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 5 sprigs lemon verbena, six leaves set aside
  1. In a large glass or ceramic bowl, hull the strawberries, leaving them whole. Add the sugar, lemon verbena and lemon juice. Macerate overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. In a preserving pan or other deep pot that holds at least four quarts, add the berries with the sugar, verbena and lemon juice. Bring to a full rolling boil, then add the peach puree and bring back to a boil. Stir constantly as the puree will want to stick and burn.
  3. Bring the mixture up to 220°. Stir. Stir. Stir. Boil for 4 minutes at 220°, skim any foam - there shouldn't be much - then remove the verbena stalks and funnel into sterilized jars. Add two verbena leaves to each jar, and cover.
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  • mrslarkin
  • pierino
  • WinnieAb
  • MrsWheelbarrow
  • Lizthechef
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10 Reviews

mrslarkin June 4, 2010
Q: When you freeze your peach puree, do you add lemon juice?
MrsWheelbarrow June 4, 2010
I use Fruit Fresh or Vitamin C tablets that I crush. Keeping the color without adding citrus flavor is my goal, because I'm never sure how I might use the puree.
pierino June 4, 2010
Peaches and lemon verbena is a VERY happy combination (especially if you spritz in a little Lillet Blanc). But you need to grow your own verbena because it's not exactly a supermarket item unless you live in the deep south.
MrsWheelbarrow June 4, 2010
hmm lillet, peach puree, verbena and some seltzer? a twist on a Bellini?
WinnieAb June 4, 2010
Lovely! Could I substitute lemon balm for the verbena? I've got tons...
MrsWheelbarrow June 4, 2010
I don't know why not! Give it a try and please let me know how it works. Lemon balm is easier to grow, being related to mint!
mrslarkin June 4, 2010
This sounds lovely. I think I'd eat it straight out of the jar! I'm curious where you get your Marie de bois berries.
MrsWheelbarrow June 4, 2010
Ayrshire Farms - at our market - carries them for only two weeks each summer. I also have a large pot of frais de bois that yields about 1 cup, but hopefully will yield more next year, and the year after!
MrsWheelbarrow June 3, 2010
Yes, it's too early for peaches here, too, but in season (last summer) I froze the puree in 2 c. measures specifically for this recipe. Probably incorrectly, I've always thought of a conserve as a looser jam, like preserves, and made with more than one fruit.
Lizthechef June 3, 2010
I won't find your strawberries in San Diego, but I can find great tasting (small) berries. Too early even here for peaches, your recipe sounds delicious! My Mom made "conserves" but they always included nuts...I have lemon verbena in the garden. Gophers ignore it for some reason.