A friend of mine introduced me to a wonderful farm called A. Bélisle & fils in Saint-Eustache last year and I went strawberry picking with my husband. Yup, I dragged along the husband who I'm sure would've rather been doing anything other than strawberry picking but was a good sport about it anyways.
The strawberries were unbelievably sweet and tasted like no strawberry I've ever had before so I decided to make jam. Well preserves to be more accurate (preserves are when you slice the fruit or leave in chunks whereas jam has no chunks or slices). I dug out my mom's old cookbook and made two batches of preserves and they tasted delicious! The strawberries were so sweet I had to cut the sugar in half for the first batch and then added only 1 cup to the second. This year the strawberries were not as sweet so I used 2 cups of sugar. You will have to be the judge of how sweet you want your preserves. Most recipes call for a 50/50 ratio of fruit and sugar which I find way too sweet so I have lessened the sugar in my recipe.
4 cups of sliced fresh strawberries (organic if you can find them)
3 cups of white sugar ( I used 2 cups)
1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice.
Wash and hull strawberries. I like to wash my strawberries in a large bowl with a touch of vinegar added to the cold water. This removes any bugs and/or dirt that might be still on your fresh picked strawberries. If you bought your strawberries at the store then you can omit the vinegar unless you want to keep them for a while in the fridge before using them.
Slice strawberries until you have 4 cups worth. Add strawberries to a large pot with a heavy bottom. Add sugar and mix well. Let sit until the sugar is entirely dissolved.
Place pot on a hot burner and bring to a rolling boil as quickly as possible. Boil hard for about 5 minutes. Take from the heat and stir in lemon juice. Boil again for 3 minutes (I like my preserves a little softer and thicker so I turn down the heat to med-high and continue to boil down the mixture for about 10 minutes).
Pour into sterile glasses and add sterilized lids. Once lids have popped and the jars have cooled you can store in a cool dark place like a cold room or in the fridge.
Yield: 2 - 16 oz mason jars or 4 - 8 oz mason jars (depending on how thick you make the preserves).
For ideas on how to use strawberries in other ways please click here.« Eat