STRAWBERRY PRESERVES

Large chunks of farm fresh strawberries suspended in a thickened sugar syrup. Strawberry preserves can be used between sponge cake layers, or served atop scones, toast, yoghurt and ice-cream.

Ingredients for  STRAWBERRY PRESERVES


Yield: 4 cups

Strawberries, Fresh

1.3kg (3 pounds)

Lemon

1

White Sugar

4 1/2 cups

METHOD:

1.  DAY 1: Wash, hull and slice strawberries in half or quarters so they are even in size. Discard both ends of the lemon and cut in half to remove seeds. Dice lemon coarsely then puree (zest and flesh) to as smooth as possible.  Combine prepared strawberries, lemon pulp and sugar in a non-metallic bowl. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight (8 hours or more).
2.  DAY 2: Clean jars (or bottles) and equipment by washing in hot soapy water and rinsing well before use.
3.  Prepare jars (if they require pre-heating, i.e. twist top jars) in a pot lined with a cloth. Cover jars with water and bring to a boil, boiling for 10 minutes. Once the time is up, turn the heat off and leave jars in the hot water until ready to fill.
4.  Place lids into a bowl. Cover with boiling water. Remove the lids from the water when you are ready to place them onto the jars to seal.  
5.  Pour strawberry mixture into a pan. Bring to a boil, as high as possible, whisking occasionally to prevent the syrup sticking to the base. Reduce the syrup over 15-20 minutes, reducing the heat if the mixture begins to stick.  The setting/gel stage is around 100°C (210°F) if you have a thermometer to check, or until the syrup is thick. Remove the pan from heat. Skim foam from the surface of the preserve.
6.  Remove jars from hot water and place onto a heatproof surface i.e. tea towel. Pour the hot strawberry preserves into the hot jars to 0.5cm (1/4 inch) from the rim.
TIP: use a jug and jar funnel to fill jars.
7.  Wipe jar rims with a clean, damp cloth to remove any residue.
8.  Remove lids from hot water and seal jars i.e. twist to secure “fingertip tight”.
9.  Return jars of strawberry preserves into the pot of boiling water and boil for the processing time stated below. Start the timer once the water comes back to a full boil.
10.  Turn off the heat source once the time is up. Remove jars from hot water after 5 more minutes. Cool jars overnight on a heatproof surface i.e. wooden board or towel. Do not adjust lids during this time.
11.  The next day, check jars have sealed before labelling and dating clearly.
12.  Store jars of strawberry preserves in a cool, dark and dry place (i.e. pantry) for up to 12 months. Jar lids should remain tightly sealed during storage, and not flex up or down when pressed (which indicates jar seal failure, do not consume).
13.  Refrigerate jars upon opening and consume contents within 6-8 weeks.

Processing Time for  STRAWBERRY PRESERVES  in a Boiling Water Canner


Jar

Size

Altitude

≤ 1,000 feet

Altitude

1,001 - 3,000 feet

Altitude

3,001 - 6,000 feet

Altitude

≥ 6,000 feet

Hot Pack

≤ 500ml

(pints)

5

minutes

10 minutes

10 minutes

15 minutes

NOTES:
o     Choose firm, ripe fruit;
o     Preserves have “whole pieces” of fruit in them – choose a jam recipe for a smooth, even consistency to your spreads;
o     Sugar is the main preservative in this recipe, so cannot be reduced in this recipe – an alternative to this recipe is making a low or no-sugar jam recipe for preserving.
  
Author: Megan Radaich          
Image credit: Megan Radaich          
Publication: www.foodpreserving.org

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