Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Canning Strawberry Preserves no pectin required!

I used to spend a lot of time in France, both Paris and Nice and sometimes Lyon. In France a family would buy a fresh baguette daily. They eat it plain or with some nice cheese. We Americans typically like to eat baguettes with butter, and Italians with olive oil. This is good too. On weekends French people like to eat their baguettes with fresh strawberry preserves. They have it just like that for breakfast and many make their preserves almost weekly. It's easy.

Today I found a sale on strawberries. $1.25 a pound! I bought some and thought I'd make a few jars of preserves. Canning is the perfect solution to store away late summer fruits for the up coming seasons. Or you could just put them in the freezer and use for smoothies, but since I'm all stocked up on frozen fruits, I thought I'd make my favorite recipe of strawberry preserves from the famous La Madeleine restaurant. I loved this restaurant so much when I used to visit Texas or Washington D.C. Sadly, we don't have any here in California. The best thing they serve is the Tomato Basil Soup. Their second best is the strawberry preserves. I knew I had to buy their recipe book. Thank you La Madeleine.


3 lbs fresh strawberries 
 4 1/2 cups sugar 
 juice of 1 lemon  
THAT'S IT! Makes 3 half pints

Wash, stem, and hull strawberries. Cut in uniform pieces if necessary. Set aside.

Combine sugar with the lemon juice and boil until sugar dissolves and mixture becomes a syrup, about 6 minutes after a boil is reached. It's good to use all stainless steel for canning. Clearly here, I did not.
You can keep adding a few drops of lemon juice until you reach a syrup. Pour strawberries into the syrup, stir well and boil for 25-30 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure the fruit does not boil over.

Sterilize your jars and place on a clean towel.

When preserves are cooked, skim off any foam, and pour mixture into hot sterilized jars. It's nice to have one of these funnels. I found mine for $2.

Wipe rim, seal and process in canner for 10 minutes adding 5 minutes for every 3000 feet above sea level. Water should be boiling 1-2 inches above the jars. Turn off stove and let sit for 5 minutes more.

Remove jars and place on a towel. Leave alone for 24 hours then check to see if lid is properly sealed. Lid will be concave meaning there is no air left in jars. Refrigerate if lids are unsealed for up to 3 months. Store sealed jars in pantry for up to 1 year.

Make your labels and trim with your favorite ribbon.

Congrats! Perfect preserves without any additives. Bon mange! 

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