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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Strawberry Syrup

4 pounds fresh local strawberries
1-1/2 pounds turbinado sugar
2 ounces lemon juice

Get your honkin' boiling water canning pot boiling.  Wash your canning jars & lids.  I recommend new canning jars & canning lids for best results.  After washing, I put my sterile canning jars into the oven - laying down on their sides - at 225 degrees F.  They stay there 'til I'm ready to fill 'em.  Yes, most of the time I do remember to use hot pads to take them out ;)

Rinse strawberries in cool water.  Remove caps.  Weigh out four pounds.  Puree with lemon juice.  Put liquids in large stainless steel pot (I use my 4-1/2 quart Revere Ware soup pot).  Add sugar.  Stir thoroughly.  Bring to boil - boil for five minutes.

Remember to use your hot pads to protect your fingers & hands when working with hot stuff!

Ladle extremely hot strawberry syrup carefully into extremely hot sterile canning jars (I leave just over 1/4" head space since this is in the jam/jelly/syrup category), wipe rims, add two-part canning lids.  Very carefully put in canning rack that's hovering over boiling water in honkin' boiling water canning pot.  Once rack is full, carefully lower into the boiling water.  Make sure there's at least a couple of inches of water over the jar lids.  Put canning lid pot on.  Once the water returns to a good boil, set timer for 20 minutes.  Turn off heat & remove lid.

My Ball Blue Book says to use a jar lifter to remove the jars from the canner and set them on a towel to cool.

I have had successful results using my long handled wooden spoons to get my canning rack handles above the boiling water & lifting the rack so that it can sit on the rim of the canner for a moment.  Then, with my hands & fingers protected in my hot pads, I carry the full canning rack of extremely hot jars over to my towel-covered area & lift jars one by one onto the towel.  Then I place another clean dry towel over the jars.  Then the glorious sounds:  pop, pop, pop.  Those are the lids sealing.  I love those sounds!

I let the jars sit overnight (or 12 hours at least).  I put labels on every jar with name of product (strawberry syrup), date, ingredients and a note in bold reminding folks "please refrigerate after opening".  I make sure that note is loud and clear!  And jars that have lids that didn't seem to seal properly go in fridge and are used within a day or two.  The rest go in the cardboard box with dividers that the canning jars came in, with labels on the outside of the box (I just print extra ingredient labels & tape those on the box).  I generally give some of these for gifts, but we try to keep some for us to flavor plain yogurt or pancakes or whatever through the year.

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