Making preserves is a great way to use up your not quite perfect or leftover berries. Not that I need any special reason! This is an old fashioned way to make preserves that uses no pectin. It's quick, easy and tastes outstanding. I make mine in small batches and don't actually can these preserves, but they freeze nicely so you could double the batch if needed.
These preserves bear little resemblance to the high fructose corn syrup laden variety you buy in the grocery store. Trust me after you make them the first time, you'll never want the store bought kind again.
3 1-pint baskets (about 6 cups) fresh strawberries, hulled. Frozen strawberries will also work.
2 cups sugar
Lemon juice from one lemon
Place hulled strawberries in heavy large saucepan and mash coarsely. Cook strawberries over medium heat until beginning to thicken, stirring frequently, about 6 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add 2 cups sugar and stir until dissolved. Increase heat to medium and boil gently until mixture thickens and mounds on spoon, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.
Skim any foam that rises to the top. You can skip this step, but your preserves will be much nicer looking without the foam. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in the lemon juice. Cool. (Preserves can be prepared 1 week ahead. Refrigerate in airtight container.)Makes about 3 cups.
It's great on toast, muffins, over ice cream, spread between the layers of a cake, added to buttercream, or my favorite way stirred into yogurt. Mmmm.
I thought this would make the perfect entry for this month's Monthly Mingle Spring Fruit Sensations. Check out the other entries at the mingle on Eat The Right Stuff.