Start to Finish:
Four 1/2-pint (1-cup) jars
Level of Difficulty:
The beauty of making fresh preserves is that it takes just a few ingredients and a small amount of work to yield a sensational conserve filled with sweet chunks of berry. Adding a splash of fresh lemon juice will brighten the strawberries and round out their flavor. Sugar will act as the thickening agent so there is no need to add pectin, which creates the gelatin effect in jams or jelly. Use two-part metal lid, self-sealing canning jars to store the preserves.
- 6 cups (about 2 ¼ pounds) strawberries, washed, hulled and
- 3 ½ cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Wash the Jars
Using mild soap and water, wash the jars thoroughly. Rinse them well.
Boil the Jars
Fill a large pot or a canner with water. Place a metal rack into the pot or canner, and put the jars and their lids onto the rack. Bring the water to a boil and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Use jar-gripping tongs to take the jars out of the boiling water.
Making the Preserves
Blend the Ingredients
Add the prepared strawberries, sugar and lemon juice to a medium-sized saucepan. Turn the heat to medium-high and stir the ingredients to thoroughly combine and to dissolve the sugar.
Cook the Berry Mixture
Bring the berry mixture to a boil. Stir the berries to ensure that the mixture is not sticking to the bottom of the pot.
Allow the Preserves to Thicken
Skim off any foamy liquid that may accumulate on the top of the mixture. Continue to boil the berries for 12 minutes until the preserves have thickened.
Canning the Preserves
Transfer the Preserves to the Jars
Using a hot ladle, fill the jars with the preserves leaving a 1/4 inch of air space between the berry mixture and the top of the jar. Wipe off any excess berries from the tops of the jars that may have dripped during transferring.
Add the Jars to the Water Bath
Place the metal lids onto the tops of the jars and secure with the tightening rings. Using tongs, put the filled and sealed jars into the boiling water. Add more water to the pot to ensure that at least 1 inch of water is covering the tops of the jars while in the water bath. Bring the water to a boil again and cook the filled jars for 10 minutes.
Let the Jars to Cool and Seal
Remove the jars from the water and place onto a kitchen towel or a wire rack to cool. A popping sound will indicate that the boiling and cooling process was successful and the jars have vacuum-sealed properly.