Strawberry preserves

So after our family outing to the strawberry farm I had to find many things to do with our strawberries.  I decided to take my first little adventure into canning.  It was seriously so much fun!

Strawberries

Here is what you need:

5 cups mashed strawberries (about 2 pounds)

7 cups sugar

1 lemon

1 tsp. butter

8 cup sized mason jars, or 4 pint size jars

1 box powdered pectin

On the left here you see this nifty kit I purchased at Wal-Mart for $7.  It comes with tongs to remove the jars, a magnetic wand for the lids, a measuring stick, and a wide mouth funnel.  You don’t have to have this but it sure was FUN!!!

IMPORTANT NOTE!!!!  Do not try to double the recipe.  If you do, you will end up with a runny mess.  The reason is because it takes longer to heat up and the extra heat breaks down your pectin.  If you have enough to make multiple batches, just do one recipe at time.  It is worth it!!

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You will need some canning jars.  I have lots of pint-sized mason jars so I only had to buy the lids.  You always have to use NEW lids.  If you re-use old ones, there is no guarantee that they will seal properly and it can cause you to get sick.  Don’t risk it.  These were only $1.50.

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Put your lids in a pot and let theme simmer, NOT boil, in hot water.  This will allow the seal to warm up.  Also, put your jars in a large pot to simmer.  You can buy fantastic little racks and pots…..I didn’t.  I had a seafood steamer and it worked GREAT!  It has an insert that keeps the jars from sitting on the bottom of the pot.

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Take your strawberries and cut out the stem.  Rinse well.

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Mash all the strawberries and put them in a pan.

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Squeeze the lemon juice into your pan.  (Yes, I know this picture is silly!!  In my excitement…I forgot to snap the picture of me squeezing the lemon juice in the pan.)

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Add the powdered pectin and whisk well.

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Add 1 tsp of butter.

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Cook on medium-high heat until your strawberries are at a rapid boil.

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Stir in sugar completely.  Continue to stir occasionally until it boils rapidly.

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You want it to REALLY boil.  You will have to stir it to keep it from over flowing.  Keep a full boil for about a minute.

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Turn off the heat and skim the scum off the top. (I just use a rubber spatula)  This is a before and after  picture.  I got MOST of it off.

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Pull your jars out, one at a time, as you need them.  This way they stay hot.

IMG_4983 IMG_4985Fill each jar up almost to the top.  Leave about 1/4 inch at the top.

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Run a knife around the edge of the jar.  This releases any air that is in the jar.

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Take one of your lids out of the simmering water and gently set it on the jar.  Take a rim and twist it on until it just starts to meet resistance.  (DO NOT tighten the jars.)

IMG_4991Put all four (or 8 cup size jars) into the pan.  Your pot needs to be big enough that the jars can be submerged in the water and a lid can go on top.  Let the water boil.  Boil for 10-12 minutes, covered.

Turn off the heat and let sit in the pot for 5-10 minutes.

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Pull each jar out with tongs and let sit overnight.  Try to handle them as little as possible!  You might hear some popping from your lids.  This is a GOOD thing.  It means your seals on your jars are working!!

In the morning, gently remove the ring from the lid and tug the lid of each jar to make sure it is sealed tightly.  Don’t pull tight enough to remove it, just make sure it is tight.

ENJOY!! Save the jars for your next batch 🙂

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Strawberry and Cream Poke Cake | Two Frugal Gals

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