Grandma Viola’s Strawberry Preserve

July 5, 2010

..my take on my grandmother's strawberry preserve


A Saturday afternoon trip to a local farm for berry picking resulted in several pints of strawberries. The first thing on my brain was to make my Grandmother’s preserve. I remember watching her hull and slice up strawberries in preparation for strawberry preserve goodness. I also remember the amazing treat as a topping on her amazing french toast. While I can’t recall all the little details of what she did (because we all know Grandmas have magic powers) this is my take on my Grandma Viola’s Strawberry Preserve…..side note: I won’t go into detail about the process of canning. It’s easy enough, but I honestly don’t feel like typing that all out here, but instead, I will provide a link on how to properly CAN.

Ingredients

9 cups strawberries (from 4 pints), hulled and quartered
4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 medium lemon)
1 tablespoon vanilla
Finely grated zest of 1 medium orange

Preparation

Chill one plate in the fridge to test jam.
In heavy 5-quart pot, combine 9 cups strawberries and sugar. Using potato masher, crush and mix fruit. Set mixture over moderate heat, bring to boil, and cook, skimming and stirring frequently, 10 minutes. Add lemon juice, orange zest and vanilla extract. Lower heat to moderate, maintain gentle boil, and cook, uncovered, skimming and stirring frequently for 2.5 hours. The key here is reducing until you notice a thickness or viscosity. Remove pot from heat and test preserve for doneness: drop spoonful onto chilled plate and refrigerate 1 minute, then tilt plate; preserve should remain in soft mound and run slightly. If preserve is very runny, return pot to heat and continue boiling 10 minutes, then re-test. When preserve is ready, can, allow to set, give to friends, families, co-workers or just horde all to yourself. Enjoy!!!

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