Strawberry season is here! While I won’t be able to hit up the “pick your own” places here in Upstate NY for several more weeks, delicious strawberries from warmer climates are all over the place at my local Walmart-and at great “in season” prices too.
To celebrate the start of their big “Strawberry Season”, and to tempt you all to head into your local store and pick some up, Walmart asked me to share a strawberry recipe. You guys know how much I like to can and preserve–so of course the first thing that came to mind when they said “strawberry recipe” was “Strawberry Jam”. But there are a million strawberry jam recipes out there. . . and they are all pretty much the same. My second thought was “Strawberry Rhubarb Jam”. Another classic but my rhubarb wasn’t quite up enough yet (and that particular regional specialty has not made it into my Walmart for the season yet).
So I was flipping through a couple of cookbooks I had and came across Sherry Strawberry Preserves. I don’t usually keep sherry in the house, but I do keep some lovely, fruity, NY Finger Lakes wines! Viola–I created “Tipsy Strawberry Preserves”. The wine gives a certain elegant “something” extra to the recipe!
Now, preserves are not quite jam–although sometimes the term gets used interchangeably. Rather it’s supposed to be whole (or large chunks) of fruit suspended in gelled juices. The juices can be the consistency of jelly or looser up to a more syrup texture. I was aiming for a jam–but wound up with a syrup. That’s ok–I could have fixed it by opening up the jars, pouring it all back into a pot, adding more citrus, boiling it down a bit more, checking my gel and then re-canning the whole thing.
I decided to heck with all that, I’d just use it more as a syrup 😉
One of the coolest things about this recipe is that the strawberries make their own syrup/juices. After washing and trimming your berries (you do know you should never wash strawberries until you are ready to use them, right? They get soggy & mold otherwise), you just mix them with a relatively small amount of citrus and the sugar, then let it set a minimum of 4 hrs at room temperature (I left mine overnight) and the sugar pulls the liquid out of the berries and creates the juice!
While you can’t spread these preserves on toast, they are awesome over ice cream, cheesecake or pound cake. They would also make a fantastic strawberry shortcake–perhaps mixed half and half with fresh berries.
- 5 C Strawberries (whole small or large cut into chunks)
- 4 C Sugar
- 3 TBS Lemon Juice
- 1 Box Powdered Pectin
- 1/2 C White Wine
- Stir together lemon juice, strawberries and sugar in a large bowl. Set aside for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Place Strawberry/Juice mixture into a large pot and stir in the powdered pectin. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add in wine.
- Fill sterilized jars leaving 1/2" headspace and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
Here are what some of the other Walmart Moms made:
Lille Punkin made Fresh Strawberry Spinach Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing
MomAdvice made Baked Strawberry Donuts
A Cowboys Wife made Strawberry Lemonade
Wholesome Mommy made Strawberry Egg Rolls