DIY - Canning Strawberries
The great thing about your favorite strawberry plant is the fact that it spreads and produces an abundant harvest every year. However, an abundant strawberry crop brings the problem of too many berries to eat. That's a great problem to have.
Thankfully, there are some delicious solutions to your strawberry abundance problems. Canning your strawberries prevents waste while ensuring you enjoy your harvest year round. Here are some delicious canning options.
For water bath canning, you will need some basic supplies.
- Water bath canner with boiling water filled high enough to cover cans
- Canning jars, washed and ready to use (can be bought at most grocery stores)
- Wide mouth canning funnel
- Lids, rings
- Jar lifter and canning funnel
- Pot holders/towels
- Supplies to prepare fruit (bowls, spoons, knives, etc.)
- Ripe, hulled strawberries, as well as ingredients according to recipe
Once your strawberries are prepared according to the recipes below, sealing and preserving your strawberry recipes is easy.
Step 1: Heat jars, lids, and rings in a pot of hot (not boiling) water for 10-15 minutes. Keep jars hot until ready to use. Dump any excess water out of jars, but you don't need to dry them completely.
Step 2: Using a canning funnel so you don't get juice on the jars, carefully ladle in strawberries, leaving at least 1/2 inch of head space. (Make sure you use the funnel to prevent getting juice on jars. Any residue will prevent a solid seal.)
Step 3- With a damp, clean rag, wipe the rims to make sure there is nothing to prevent a good seal.
Step 4- Pull lids and rings from hot water, dry off, and place on jars.
Step 5- Carefully lower jars into water, making sure jars are completely covered in water.
(Hint- put a towel at the bottom of the water or use a canning cage to lower the jars without the jars touching each other. You can also lower with your jar lifter.)
Step 6- Boil 10 minutes for pints, 15 minutes for quarts
Step 7- Pull jars from water using a jar lifter. Set on towels to cool. At one point in the cooling process, you might hear a "ping" as the lid sucks in. You will know the process was effective if the lid is sucked in and does not "pop" when pushed in the middle. If the lid never sucks in, you will need to refrigerate the jars that did not work and use within a few weeks.
Strawberries in Syrup (Perfect for Strawberry Shortcake or Waffles)
Like most fruits, you can't maintain the texture of strawberries past natural ripeness. When you can whole strawberries, you won't get the firm fruit from the spring, but you can get delicious whole strawberries packed in a sweet syrup to use in your favorite recipes.
16 cups hulled strawberries (can be whole or sliced)
2-3 cups sugar
Step 1: In a large bowl, combine strawberries and sugar. Let sit at least 2 hours. Strawberries and sugar naturally form a delicious syrup.
Step 2- Heat the strawberries over medium heat until strawberries are heated through.
Step 3- Carefully ladle strawberries and syrup into jars.
Step 4- Follow canning instructions
Making jam is a delicious way to preserve your strawberries. The process is fairly simple, but needs to be done in small batches. If you make it in larger batches, you risk overcooking the pectin, causing the pectin to lose its ability to thicken your jam.
8-10 cups raw which reduces to 6 cups hulled, mashed strawberries (leave some chunks, but mash enough for the strawberries to release their natural pectin.
4 cups sugar
1 package pectin (8 tbsp) Add 1/2 package more for firmer jam
1/4 cup lemon juice
- Step 1- Mix pectin with 1/4 cup sugar and set aside. (Helps prevent pectin from clumping)
- Step 2- Mix pectin, strawberries, and lemon juice in a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Step 3- Add sugar and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. (Bring to a slow boil over medium heat to minimize foaming.)
- Step 4- Skim foam from the top.
- Step 5 Test for thickness using a cold spoon. If it sticks to the spoon, it's ready. If it's runnier than you'd like, add more pectin and bring to a boil for another minute.
- Step 6 - Can according to instructions above.
Your abundant strawberry harvest need not be wasted. What are your favorite preserved strawberry recipes?
Thanks to www.canninggranny.blogspot.com and www.pickyourown.org for images.