Canning Strawberries

One of the things I love most about living out on the farm is learning all the new ways to become more self-sufficient. There are so many blogs out there talking about homesteading and learning to live off the land, or live off less, or just returning to a simpler way of living…all of these points appeal to me and so I am always reading and learning new ways to save money and make things from scratch! We had 4 flats of extra strawberries going into the weekend from Hometown Harvest that we knew would not make it thru the weekend to sell next week, so it was up to me to figure out what exactly to do with all of them. I had much success canning black raspberries last summer, so I thought I would do the same method with whole strawberries and see how those would turn out.

I also decided to try my hand at making some jam…a strawberry with balsamic vinegar and black pepper.  I cooked it for over an hour and it never seemed to set up properly, but it tastes delicious…so we ended up with 11 jars of strawberry sauce!

Strawberry Jam with Balsamic Vinegar and Black Pepper (via keepingitcozy.blogspot.com)
Makes 3 half-pint jars
2 lbs fresh strawberries
1 1/4 cup sugar
Juice from 1/2 lemon (about 3 Tbsp)
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Rinse strawberries and hull.  Place in a bowl with sugar and let sit for 1-2 hours, mashing the strawberries after about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare jars and lids.

Place the strawberries in a non-reactive saucepan, add the lemon juice and bring to a boil on medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until jam is at the jell stage, stirring frequently and watching closely. Add the balsamic vinegar and black pepper the last two minutes of cooking, stirring constantly.  Remove the pan from heat.

Pour jam into hot, prepared jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace.  Seal and process jars for 10 minutes in a water bath canner.  Remove and let jars sit for 24 hours, ensuring a good seal.  Remove bands and store for one year.

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