ISO Strawberry Preserve Recipe
It's strawberry season in NC! Before I head off to go berry picking, I want to be armed with a really great preserve recipe. The recipes in the pectin boxes have left me a little dissapointed lately - I'm searching for something semi-soft with chunks of berries and not too sweet.
If I'm lucky I will be able to introduce some rhubarb into the mix too, so any strawberry-rhubard preserve recipes would be most appreciated as well.
Here's a good one that will keep the berries more or less whole if you use the french plunge method.
Strawberry Preserves or Strawberry Ice Cream Sauce
Cook down partially for ice cream sauce, or all the way for preserves. Two different formulations with varying sweetness. No pectin added.
5 pounds washed, hulled strawberries
5 cups sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
3 pounds washed, hulled strawberries
6 cups sugar
Layer the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar and let them sit overnight. If using sliced or quartered berries, you need only weep the berries for a couple of hours or overnight and then cook them down some. Let the preserves cool. Repeat heating and cooling several times until the preserves are thick enough, as demonstrated by a jell set test on a frozen plate.
For whole-berry preserves, use the French Plunge Method. Separate the berries from the syrup by straining. Cook down the syrup and add the berries back in; cool and repeat. You can refrigerate the preserves overnight to make sure they are thick enough.
Jar, seal and process in a rolling water bath for 10 minutes.
Variations: Grand Marnier (or some other liqueur) may be added to these preserves to make Marnier Strawberry Preserves. Spiced Strawberry Preserves can be made by adding a few drops cinnamon oil, or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or nutmeg, or other spices.
I love strawberry jam, but hate the cooked taste.
The recipe I am linking to is for Freezer Strawberry Jam. It has a fresher taste because it is not cooked. After it's made, you can eat it right away, or store it in the freezer for future use.
Really good stuff. It calls for the Certo pectin in pouches. In Connecticut, it is usually readily available in the supermarket or at an agricultural store.