I’ve been experimenting with different preservation techniques over the past few years. I’m not really a jam/jelly fan, and I think it is because of all of the corn included in commercial pectin. I know there are other sources for pectin, and I have heard good reviews, but I haven’t purchased any yet. For now, I’m trying recipes that don’t call for pectin or using homemade pectin. The nice thing about preserves is that they are cooked down, so that they don’t require additional pectin to set up. And preserves just sound fancy. The drawbacks to preserves are that it 1) takes WAY more time (1-2 days!) and 2) the longer you cook a fruit, the more you break down the nutritional benefits within the fruit. I guess it’s a toss-up. less sugar and corny ingredients. More nutritional breakdown.
That’s why you make some of each, right?
I haven’t opened the jars yet, but they sure look purdy.
- 3 lbs rinsed and hulled strawberries
- 2-5 cups sugar (to taste. I like mine less sweet. It does make it a softer set, though)
- 1/3 c strained fresh lemon juice [bottled has more consistent Ph, but I can’t have the sulfur preservatives]
- Layer the strawberries and sugar in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or at least 3 hrs.
- Transfer strawberries and sugar in 6-8 qt saucepan. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, being careful to not break up the fruit. Cook until sugar dissolves.
- Add lemon juice [I had to add the lemon juice before the sugar dissolved because it was just caramelizing the sugar. I think my strawberries were too fresh]. Bring to boil and cook to jelly stage220°, approximately 30 minutes
- Pour into cake pan. Let stand uncovered in cool place for 12-24 hrs.
- Return to saucepan and bring fruit and syrup to a boil.
- Remove from heat, skim foam. Immediately fill hot sterile ½ pt jars leaving ¼” head-space. Carefully remove trapped air bubbles with non-metallic tool (I use the end of a plastic spoon. You can also use a chopstick or canning knife
- Wipe jars clean, add lids and rings, and process in water-bath for 10 minutes [5 minutes at sea-level].