My Grandmother, Gammy, made the most incredible strawberry preserves every year from my Grandfather’s (Pop Pop) garden strawberries.
These jars were a coveted prize, as each strawberry season, my Gammy would dole out our allotted amount for the entire year. My mother would bring them home and put them in the basement for safe-keeping. I always knew these preserves were wonderfully different, but I did not know how easy they were to make until I was an adult.
The best way to make Gammy’s preserves is to wait until the peak of strawberry season in the summer when the fruit is ripe and sweet. The berries should be big but not too big as they start to lose flavor if they are too large. Organic berries should be used because you are going to eat the entire fruit, seeds skin and all.
Once you try the first batch you will be hooked, as there is such an incredible sweetness to the preserves but also a second lovely balanced flavor that comes from boiling down the berries with sugar. Give it a try and see what you think.
- 4 pints organic strawberries, tops removed and berries cut in half
- 4 pints organic sugar
- Mason jars
- Paraffin wax
- Add the first pint of berries and sugar to a large pot on medium-low heat. Stir frequently, allow the berries and sugar to come to a boil and melt down to a liquid.
- Stir, stir, stir! If you don’t stir the mixture, the possibility of it boiling over is high (see Salve blog :/).
- When initial sugar/berry mixture is melted down but there are still visible berries, add in the next pint of sugar and berries. Allow to boil and melt, stirring continuously. Repeat with next two pints of sugar and berries.
- After last pints have melted down, allow to continue to boil for 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Allow mixture to cool slightly before adding to mason jars. Allow jars to cool down to room temperature then melt paraffin wax and pour over top of preserves in jars, making certain to cover all the mixture.
- Let wax cool then close mason jars and store. Can be stored for up to 12 months.
Tip: enjoy on toast with bacon for a perfectly salty-sweet combination!