Canning strawberries as whole and in-fact fruit is almost impossible as the fruit are very soft and have very high water content. The same is true when it comes to freezing them. The best method by far is to preserve them as jam and then can this. You can do this carefully and in such a way so as to keep the fruit as whole as possible.
It is not impossible to be successful when canning strawberries, but you will probably find that they will lose some of the flavour and much of their colour as a result of the process. This will vary between varieties and people are always trying to find the most suitable variety for successful canning.
Can the fruit in the usual way using rapid processing in a rotary cooker for the best results or 6 – 10 minutes at 100 degrees centigrade in other cookers. Follow this with thorough and fast cooling. After canning strawberries, cover the jars with paper to keep the light out. This will improve the shelf life. These can then be used for making deserts or even eating as they are. They are a wonderful with waffles!
Strawberry jam is a lovely way of preserving and canning strawberries and can also be used for deserts as well as with bread, waffles or scones. It is also when used with cream as a sandwich filling for sponge cakes. It is best to use pectin for making strawberry jam to ensure that it sets to a good consistency. The best pectin is to use is the ‘low sugar’ or even ‘no sugar’ varieties as these will give a stronger strawberry flavour to your preserve.
Many strawberry jam recipes suggest that you mash the fruit. This is a matter of choice and some people will prefer to find whole strawberries in the jar. If you mash the fruit you will probably end up with a thicker consistency but I do think that it is lovely to find some whole fruit when preserving or canning strawberries. I love it when you are lucky enough to find a complete strawberry appear on a scone, it is a little like winning at the luck dip! Do not feel that you have to stick rigidly to the recipe when it comes to the amount of sugar that you add. Try the strawberries first and if you think that they are quite sharp then you may wish to add a little more sugar. Likewise, if you prefer a sharp strawberry flavour, you could reduce the measurement slightly. The flavour of the fruit can very tremendously from variety to variety and also depending on where and when they were picked.
Whatever your choice of preserving, making jam or canning strawberries is a wonderful way to keep a little taste of summer for those dark and cold winter tea times.
Ivy Johnson is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about canning strawberries, please visit Home Canning Online for current articles and discussions.
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