One thing I love about summer is that you can pick your own berries and make fresh tarts and preserves. This recipe, adapted from Kate Aitken’s Canadian Cookbook, is a super easy and scrumptious treat.
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 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: www.wikihow.com/Seal-Glass-Jars
* I have seriously reduced the amount of sugar in this recipe as freshly picked strawberries are much sweeter than store-bought. Should you prefer sweeter preserves, adjust the sugar accordingly.
** I like to boil my strawberries for much longer so that they reduce and the preserves become thicker. This is just a question of taste so 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 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. •