One thing I love about summer is that you can pick your own berries and make fresh tarts and preserves. I prefer preserves as they are great served over ice cream or on cake. Here is a super easy recipe for strawberry preserves that I’m sure you’ll love.
Yield: 6 8-oz glasses
8 cups of freshly picked or market strawberries
3 cups of white sugar *
1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice (from real lemons)
Wash and hull the strawberries. Slice and pack them firmly into a measuring cup. Measure 8 cups of strawberries into an enamel or heavy-bottomed pot and add the 3 cups of sugar. Stir and let sit until the sugar is completely dissolved.
Place the pot on a hot burner and bring to a full rolling boil as quickly as possible. Boil hard for 5 minutes **. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Boil again for 3 minutes. Pour into sterile mason jars and add seals and lids. Do not tighten the rings all the way at this point. Flip jars over and leave to cool on a rack. Flip jars upright once cooled. Push down on the middle of the seal, if it doesn’t pop back up, the jar is sealed.
Here is a link to various methods of sealing jars: https://www.wikihow.com/Seal-Glass-Jars
* I have seriously reduced the amount of sugar in this recipe as when you pick and cook fresh strawberries the same day, they are much sweeter than the ones you buy in the store. Should you prefer sweeter preserves you may adjust the sugar according to your taste .
** I like to boil my strawberries much longer so that they reduce and become thicker but this is a question of taste. If you prefer runnier preserves, follow this recipe. If you want thicker preserves, boil them for a longer period before adding the lemon juice.
NOTE: You may also make a smaller batch of preserves by using just 4 cups of strawberries, 1.5 cups of sugar (depending on how sweet you want them) and 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Follow the same instructions.
These preserves are perfect when served over ice cream or on cakes.
Strawberry jam recipe adapted from Kate Aitken’s cook book.