Strawberry Preserves and Homemade Berry Syrup

Warning: This recipe is definitely NOT for people who can’t have sugar!!!

What do you do when you find a bargain on strawberries at the grocer. These were of the ‘eat now’ variety and I paid about $1 for 2lbs. Knowing how my family loves strawberries,  I bought six lbs. Two for the family to ‘eat now’ and four to put up. This recipe requires no added pectin and will work with other berries, too.

Yummy!

First you take the stems off the top and wash them. And then place them in a cookpot with just enough water to cover your berries.

Next you cook them on a simmering boil until they are soft. Then, you squish them. I use a potato masher.

You can, at this point, strain off the pulp, if you want to have a jelly. But, I like chunks of strawberry in mine. So, measure off the liquid/solids in your pot. You need to know how much you have, so you know how much sugar to add. Now, and here is the part that always makes me cringe. To make a jelly or preserve, you need to add nearly the same amount of sugar as you have berries and juice or it will not set (become firm when cooled). I had 8 cups(I put in 6 cups). Let’s not talk about it anymore. Shall we…..

Next you bring it back up to that low boil and stir for…oh, the next hour and a half or so(can’t let it stick to the bottom of the pot). Until it is looking very glossy and getting thick.

I’m not canning this, so I won’t go into that now. But, the water bath method works well with berry preserves and syrup both. If I had more strawberries, I would have. But, since I am just going to set it in the refrigerator, time to pour off and let set.

Enjoy!

To use these preserves as syrup, you can cut the sugar down by half and cooked into it just thickens. Serve warm on pancakes, crepes or waffles…delicious!!

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