Classic Strawberry Preserves

by jenna on February 24, 2015

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I think everyone knows on here by now just how obsessed with canning I am.

Last year, it was my crazy desire to fill an entire pantry in our garage with homemade canned goods. I canned all the way up till the moment my water broke with Grayson and ALMOST filled the cupboard. There were hot pickled carrots, hot pickled okra, bread and butter pickles, apricot jam, raspberry jam, strawberry jam, canned beets, peach salsa, tomato salsa, salsa verde, dilly beans, tomato sauce, whole peeled tomatoes, blueberry butter, apple butter, apple sauce…….the list goes on.

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In my opinion, there’s nothing more satisfying than canning fresh produce from the farmer’s market. I’ve been reaping the rewards of my efforts last spring and summer with every bite of juicy tomato canned at the height of tomato season, and every smear of spiced apple butter that I made with the apples we gathered at Apple Hill last fall. Y’all, I’m a pretty simple gal. Other than my family and friends, the three things that make me the happiest are canning, books and yoga.

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There’s a couple things that I like to make a lot of every year and strawberry preserves are at the top of the list! Adam eats a PBJ every morning for breakfast and strawberry is his favorite jam. I also top Grayson’s oatmeal with homemade preserves every morning.

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Strawberry preserves were the first thing I ever canned and I was shocked at how EASY it was! Plus, so much better than anything you can find at the store, obviously.

Use these preserves on toast, in oatmeal, on buttermilk biscuits fresh out of the oven, spooned over vanilla ice cream, drizzled into a vanilla milkshake…really, I’m sure you won’t be looking for reasons to eat this jam. It’s so good. This recipe makes about ten jelly jars (12 oz) full. Sealed, the jars will keep in dry storage at room temperature for about a year.

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Classic Strawberry Preserves

yields 10 half pint jars

Print this Recipe!

Ingredients:

6 lbs fresh strawberries, stemmed and quartered

2 3/4 – 3 cups sugar (depending how sweet your strawberries are)

6 tbsp fresh lemon juice

zest of three lemons

Directions:

Combine strawberries and sugar in a large bowl. Cover and let sit and macerate overnight in the fridge.

The next day, put the strawberries, sugar and juice in a large pot on the stove. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for five minutes. Place a bowl underneath a colander and gently pour everything in. Pour the juice from the bowl back in the pot and place it back on the stove. You’ll come back for the strawberries in a few minutes.

Bring the strawberry juice to a rolling boil. Boil for 15-20 minutes until reduced to about 3 cups liquid. Add the strawberries back in, as well as the fresh lemon juice and zest. Simmer, spooning off as much foam as you can that rises to the surface, for about half an hour. I love the trick of keeping a small plate in the freezer and after 20-30 minutes, spooning a bit of the jam on the plate. Return the plate to the freezer for one minute. If after one minute the mixture sets a little bit (i.e. isn’t SO runny — it will not jell or harden really), the preserves are done.

Ladle the hot preserves into the jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace (this is WAY easier if you have a simple funnel tool like I have –you can get them for really cheap at any hardware store). Place a flat lid on each jar and gently screw on the band – just finger-tight. If you tighten too much the jars will not seal.

Place all the jars back into your canning pot and crank the heat to high. When the water starts to rapidly boil, set your timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, remove the jars from the boiling water using a jar lifter. Place on a dishcloth and do not disturb for 12 hours.

Correctly sealed jars will have a concave top – you should not be able to push down at all on the lid. If a jar did not seal, the marmalade is still good — just place in the fridge. Sealed jars will stay good for about a year sealed at room temperature.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura February 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm

Yay! So happy to see another post. Your photos are beautiful by the way. Those strawberries look incredible.

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Julie February 24, 2015 at 3:18 pm

There’s one *tiny* thing more satisfying than canning produce from the farmers market, and that is canning something you grew yourself. (Insert swoon) Our garden plot was a bit of a disappointment last year. We’re revising this year- out with the space-hogging watermelons and in with the san marzano and roma tomatoes. Hopefully we’ll be able to can more than 8 cans this year.

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Anne @ CandyCrazedrun.com February 24, 2015 at 4:14 pm

Oh Wow, these look incredible! Jams, preserves, and jellies are one of my favorite things on earth. Dramatic I know but there is something simple about them that brings me so much joy. When you have a great jam, someone likely made it personally which makes it even better.
Like so many though, I confess I am utterly intimidated by the canning process an the time it takes!

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Paperblooming Prints February 24, 2015 at 4:19 pm

simple and pure jams are the best! They look so great!

x
http://www.etsy.com/shop/paperblooming

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Linda | Brunch with Joy February 24, 2015 at 4:50 pm

Yayyy! Happy to see you back and yes, it’s time for some canning and preserving. Love these strawberries and how easy to make.

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Brianna February 24, 2015 at 4:52 pm

Oooooooo…I’m so excited about the canning season! ….there is NOTHING like homemade strawberry preserves. My favorite. 🙂

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Mabel @ Ma Bella Vita February 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm

oooooooohhh I am sooo making this! Is funny you said that about your husband because one of my breakfast staples for many years has been either a PB&J or Almond butter and Jelly. I usually buy jars of jam at trader joes for convenience and because the prices are pretty reasonable. However, this looks like my next project coming up. Loving it.

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Pearl February 24, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Hi Jenna, this recipe looks delicious. Just curious- since a pint is one cup, or 8 ounces, does this recipe make 120 ounces or 80? Thanks!

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Chicago Jogger February 24, 2015 at 5:51 pm

Ahhh these little jars look gorgeous! I can’t wait until it’s strawberry season!

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Heather || Heather's Dish February 24, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Adam (and you too obviously!) clearly knows what’s up – PB&J is best with strawberry! I’m hoping to make the time to can like you did this summer, especially tomatoes. And salsa!

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MariCatherine February 24, 2015 at 7:05 pm

Mmmm! First, I absolutely share in your love for canning! Truly there are few tastes more satisfying than strawberry preserves that you yourself put up the previous summer. Especially in the dead of winter (btw I am beyond jealous that you have strawberries already!! It’s snowing here – in Georgia!! Grrr). We live on 75 acres so of course we have several different veggie and fruit gardens. My favorites to put up are strawberry jam, pepper jelly, and corn salsa. Oh and pickles. And apple butter. I could go on! Second, following your blog has been such a pleasure and I’m glad to see you back. I love the diversity of your writing – food, travel, reading, exercise – all some of my favorite things in life! And as an expecting first-time momma, I appreciate your honesty as well as humor regarding motherhood. So just saying thanks! 🙂 So sorry your family was under the weather and hope all are on the mend!

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Megan Ludwig February 24, 2015 at 7:11 pm

Oh my gosh, I am so jealous of your canning display! I am hoping to can a lot more this summer. I do not have a great stove, so I have to go to my mom’s house and use her power boil burner to do my canning! In return I usually make her a dozen jars of Dilly Beans 🙂 I can’t wait to try this recipe, thank you!

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Sommer February 24, 2015 at 8:21 pm

Canning has been on my list of to-do for several years. This is my year to do it! Your posts about canning are great, but I’m looking for another resource, too. What is your favorite (beginner) book for canning? There are so many to pick from and every time that I go to buy one I get overwhelmed and then don’t. Thanks for the post and advice!

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Emily @ Life on Food February 25, 2015 at 3:13 am

These look so good – yes nothing better than the homemade kind. There is something reassuring about a shelf full of homemade canned goods.

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Tamara @ A Side Of Dessert February 25, 2015 at 5:06 am

I’m always so intimidated by canning but you make it seem so easy! There also is no taste like homemade jams! I’ll have to try this out when strawberries finally are in-season here!

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Erin@WellPlated February 25, 2015 at 6:23 am

We recently moved into a new house where I finally have room to can! I can’t wait to get started and stow away bright, happy bites of spring and summer to enjoy year round.

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Emilie February 25, 2015 at 6:59 am

Homemade jam is the best. I’ve tried it before but I’ve never canned it or tried to stock up my pantry. It looks so easy though and the payoff in winter when fresh strawberries are nowhere in sight is worth the work in the summer!

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Jojo @ Run Fast Eat Lots February 25, 2015 at 7:49 am

Your jam looks delicious! I wish it was strawberry season already, but that won’t be for another few months

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Laurel February 25, 2015 at 8:10 am

I’ve only ever done apple butter, but this is definitely next up on my list! I was hugely pregnant during strawberry season last year and not quite as brave as you canning up to my due date. 😉 Hopefully, I’ll get enough in my garden for canning, but, otherwise, I know there will be ample at the farmers’ market soon! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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Sarah February 25, 2015 at 10:44 am

Preserves on oatmeal!!! Never thought of that. I’m not going to lie from all your canning talk I started canning this past summer and LOVE IT!!! I did a ton of different jams and pickles. What book did you use again? I was looking for a canning book but I only do hot water bath. Not pressure cooker. Do you use both? Any direction would be great so I can be all set for this season! (I’m every attempting to grow my own cucumbers and dill to can all my own stuff!!!) isn’t it great the little things can make someone just so friggin happy!!!

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Rebecca @ Bring Back Delicious February 25, 2015 at 10:44 am

Beautiful! Unfortunately, the strawberries around here are absolute crap compared to the ones I used to get from Chipman Farms in Maine. It makes you appreciate good produce when you do find it!

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Karen T. February 26, 2015 at 5:41 am

Thank you so much for these very thorough instructions along with a fabulous recipe! I’m pinning and I know what I will be making just as soon as the strawberries here in Chicago get good again (there a little green around here now thanks to the -10 degree weather!)

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Julie February 26, 2015 at 11:31 am

I really need to try canning! I’ve been nervous to can since I’m afraid I’m going to mess up and not get a good seal. Do you know if the can does NOT seal, if you can try to reseal it again in the hot water bath? I need some of that jam! Mmmm

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Allegra February 27, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Thanks for sharing this lovely recipe! I have started seeing strawberries again (which to me is so odd…I live in San Francisco now but grew up in Vermont, which is still under feet of snow in February!), and want to do some canning soon.

I’d also love it if you’d share some of your other canning recipes throughout the season. They all sound delicious!

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Danielle March 1, 2015 at 5:18 am

Your pantry is gorgeous! I would love to have all that summer produced preserved and at my fingertips for the winter. I cannot wait until I have the space to do lots of preserving!

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Mackenzie March 1, 2015 at 9:55 am

Oh my goodness. Not only am I going through my own weird canning phase with this pregnancy, but I am currently obsessed with Strawberries! I’d say these are next on my list, thanks love!

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Amber March 17, 2015 at 9:12 am

Wowza, this was so good and so easy too! Reminds me of the jam at my favorite breakfast place that went out of business, so glad I can enjoy it again. Thanks for the recipe!

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SarahRS March 19, 2015 at 7:18 pm

I’d love to see your set-up. I received 33qt. Granite Ware Canner and some accessories. I’m a bit overwhelmed.

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Mary May 14, 2015 at 1:23 pm

I’ve now made and canned your recipe three times and love it! I had first tried to make jam (thinking I was making something the consistency of preserves) and was disappointed. It was runny and didn’t appear to be anything like jam you would buy at the market. Tasted good though (albiet very very sweet). This recipe uses MUCH less sugar and I love the big pieces of strawberry.

I also purchased the glass cook top safe canning pot you recommended to another commentator. It worked well. It has its kinks, but for the price, it did the job.

Thanks Jenna!

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