Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Food: Strawberry Preserves Recipe

My sisters and I made Strawberry Preserves at Mom and Dad's a couple weeks ago. I didn't take pics of the whole process because I already had my Strawberry Jam tutorial up. 

Jam is made from crushed or chopped fruit cooked with sugar, and often pectin and lemon juice. Jam can be a pure of fruit or have a soft pulp, but it does not contain chunks of fruit.  
Preserves are fruit cooked with sugar to the point where large chunks of fruit or whole fruit, such as berries, are suspended in a syrup base. The texture of preserves is not smooth like jelly or jam. 

Ok, so by that definition ours is a mixture between Jam and Preserves, I guess. Either way... it is delicious. 

You can see step by step photos on my Strawberry Jam Tutorial. The only thing we did different than the Jam was that we didn't run the strawberries through the food mill this time. So there are larger chunks of berries in there. 

You will need 

5 level cups of juice/berries, 
1 pkg of Jell-Ease, 
7 cups of sugar, 
and 4 Tbsps lemon juice. 

The recipe says to get 5 cups of juice/berries you will need 2 quarts of strawberries to cook. This should yield 8 cups of preserves. 

Toss the jars in the dishwasher. Don't forget the detergent. Put that sucker on HOT water and a heated dry. 

Get yourself some berries.

Now, rinse then off and spread them out on paper towels to drip dry.

Cut the tops off and cut the berries in chunks.

Now put your jars, lids, and rings in your water bath canner. The water just needs to be simmering. This will reduce the risk of the jars breaking when you put hot food into them. {{If you have your dishwasher on heated dry you shouldn't have to put the jars in there. Just the rings and lids.}}

Grab your other ingredients. Sugar, pectin, and lemon juice. 

Measure your sugar out in a bowl. 

Get your cooker and add in your correct amount of fruit and pectin. Bring to a full boil. Stir continuously. You don't want it to scorch or stick. 

Now add in the sugar, gradually. Stir well. Bring back to a full rolling boil. {{Can not be stirred down}} Stir constantly. 

Boil 2 minutes.  

Now you can skim off the foam or not. We didn't. 

Fill your hot jars. Leave 1/4 inch of headroom. 

Now wipe any juice from the rims of the jars and quickly put on your lid and ring while the jam is hot. You may need to hold the jar with a dishtowel while you put the lid on. They say fingertip tight.

The Ball Blue Book of Preserving says the next step would be to process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner. To do this you just put the jars on the canning rack and lower them into simmering water. Make sure they are covered by at least one inch of water. Cover with lid and heat to a steady boil for the amount of time on the recipe. Turn off the heat and let the jars stand in the water for 5 minutes. Remove jars from water and sit them upright on a towel on the counter for 12 hours. 

Now with that being said, I normally don't do the processing at the end. We eat our homemade jam so fast there really isn't a need for it. After we put the lids on we leave them sitting on the stove top. In about half an hour they jars should be sealed. When they seal the tops will be flat or even look like they are caved in a smidge. There will be no bump on top and it won't make a popping sound when you touch them. If the jars haven't sealed, and the jam is still hot, turn the jar upside down for about 15 minutes. It should seal. Then we put in the fridge and forget it. But you may want to do what book calls for if you aren't going to eat yours straight away.

That's it. Enjoy!

I am sharing this post at Farmgirl Friday!

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