A strawberry preserve is a fruit preserve. Fruit preserves usually come in 3 different types, and they can be overly classified into Jams, preserves, and jellies and are commonly known as fruit preserves. As the name suggests, it’s a way to naturally preserve any fruit (seasonal and non-seasonal) in a delicious form but as close to its natural form as possible. Though they are available commercially over the shelf, they typically consist of a high level of preservative chemicals best avoided.
Jelly is a sweet fruit juice that’s thick with no fruit particles or pieces. Since jelly has to hold its own and stand firm, gelatin in some form is used to give that firm texture. It can be either due to naturally occurring pectin or some other thing. Jams are preserves prepared by boiling crushed fruits over a more extended period until they become almost pureed. Jams have higher water content and are thus easy to spread compared to jellies. Though pureed, you can still easily see the small pieces of fruit and its seeds.
Preserves made using fruit pieces are cooked only till the fruit achieves a level of softness. It will have a slightly more watery consistency than Jams and thus are even easier to spread. For this reason, they find usage in dishes when they can drip from the contents, like fruit mix, pancakes, cakes, and more. Preserves give a beautiful look, finish, and delicious flavor and texture to baking items. And the lovely pieces of fruit in the preserve provide a very natural presentation to the recipe. Today we will explore the preparation of strawberry preserve the vintage and natural way without using pectin, as was the case in the old ages.
How to Make Strawberry Preserves
- Prep time: 20 mins
- Cook time: 45 mins
- Macerate time: 14 hrs
- Total time: 15 hrs 5 mins
- Servings: 16 servings
- Total Yield: 4 (half-pint) jars
- Fresh ripe strawberries (including 25% underripe strawberries) – 3 pounds
- Granulated sugar – 4 cups
- Fresh lemon juice – 1/3 cup
- Collect all the strawberries in a large enough bowl, place them under running water and give them a good rinse to remove all the dust and mud particles. Repeat the process 3-4 times, each time completely emptying the bowl. Then pat them dry with a towel or paper napkins
- Hull the strawberries by removing the greens and the white stem underlying it with the help of a strawberry huller or a paring knife. Discard all the branches and caps. Cut the strawberries into halves or quarters, and ensure all the pieces are the same size to ensure even cooking. Irrespective of how you cut them, ensure you cut them lengthwise as they look neat and presentable in the final serving.
- We use 25% unripe strawberries, and the unripe fruits have a considerable level of naturally occurring pectin. And it is pectin which gives its characteristic gel-type texture. The more the number of ripe fruits used, the more jelly-like texture you would get. But we will limit the quantity to just 25% because unripe strawberries will spoil the taste of preserve, which has to be naturally sweet.
- Take a large enough saucepan. Add all the strawberries and sugar to the saucepan. Use a wooden spatula to toss the contents around and mix them well. The saucepan should be a nonreactive one else; it will alter the taste of the preserve. You can use a stainless steel pan or an enamel-lined one for the purpose. Cover the pan and let the mixture sit outside at room temperature for 2 hours.
- The sugar will slowly combine with the strawberries, and you will see the strawberries releasing water into the pan. This process needs to continue for a while without spoiling the strawberries. So keep the saucepan in the fridge overnight.
- Remove the pan from the fridge, let it come back to room temperature, and then place it over medium-high heat. Add all the lemon juice to the solution.
- The strawberry solution will slowly boil as the sugar melts and cooks along with the strawberries. Reduce the heat to a simmer once the solution starts to boil. Let it simmer for 20 – 25 minutes. When you see a froth or foam appear, skim it.
- Turn off the heat and let the solution cool down completely to room temperature.
- Once completely cooled down, funnel the solution into storage containers. Glass storage containers are the best and most recommended ones, like in old ages. They help preserve food items them modern air-tight containers. Leave a little headspace when clamping down the lid on each one.
- Alternately you can pour the hot preserve in the glass jars and close the lid immediately. Then place the whole jar in a large pot filled with water to give it a boiling water bath. Keep the jar in the water bath for 10 minutes. Then let it cool to room temperature before you place it in the fridge for more extended storage.
Check out more strawberry recipes:
Storing Strawberry Preserves
One pint weighs approximately 12 ounces. And so, plan your storage methods likewise. Suppose you follow our process of making the strawberry preserves. In that case, if you follow correct canning practices as we instructed, the strawberry preserve can also easily last up to a year in a cool, dark place in your kitchen or house. But if you are not sure of the canning process, keep them in the fridge and easily enjoy them for at least a month. You can prepare the preserve using other types of berries and fruits, and you can also do a superb and colorful multi-fruit preserve. Your kids and family will love it.
That’s it. Your strawberry preserve is now ready. You will be surprised by how beautiful it looks and how wonderful it tastes. You will be left wondering why you have been buying all the store-bought jams, jellies, and preserves all this while. Strawberry jams and preserves are very similar in taste, but the preserve includes whole uncrushed fruits. It’s the uncrushed fruits that give the preserve its unique look and flavor. I hope the information has been helpful. Cheers and happy cooking!