I wanted to get this posted earlier, but was covered up in work. This is a little throwback from last year, but all the principles apply!I began this season with a healthy dose of Strawberry Preserves. Granny Pynk and I went to a local berry farm and picked about 6 gallons to split between us and to have some extra to just munch on. I used 2 gallons for my preserves.
I grabbed the jars I had left over from last year, and added a few more that I bought this year, washed them up and sterilized them.
Next, I got out my trusty Ball Blue Book – guide to preserving, and double checked my recipe.
2 quarts of crushed strawberries and 6 cups of sugar. It really can not get much more simple than this. So into a large stock pot they go.
The berries were really good and juicy this year, so after a few minutes on medium-high heat, the sugar began to mingle with the juice and soon the mix began to boil.
As the mix boils and cooks, you need to make sure and stir frequently to avoid sticking and burning. From my experience, the longer they cook, the more dense and thick they become. Of course, if you ask Granny Pynk, she will insist that I do something different to mine, because hers never thicken like mine do. She almost always ends up with strawberry syrup (which is just as delicious and especially good on ice cream, yogurt, waffles, etc.). And then you have mine, which are super thick not syrupy and are great on PB&Js and biscuits. We both boil the pots for at least an hour, sometimes more depending on the weather, humidity, etc. The moisture in the air can affect how long it takes for them to begin gelling. When the preserves round up on a spoon and are not loose and liquidy, the preserves are ready to be jarred. If a pink foam forms on the top of your preserves, make sure to skim it off before you put them in the jars, making sure to leave a 1/4 inch headspace. Place the 2 piece lids on the jars and screw the ring on just barely.
It’s so satisfying to see what a little effort will bring. And just think of how good they will taste this winter! Have your littles help… they’ll love it!