Summer strawberries are at their sweetest this time of year. Make the most of their delicious flavor with this recipe for Strawberry Preserves, developed for us by Christopher Hirsheimer and Melissa Hamilton of Canal House.
Look for small ripe berries, then preserve them whole for this delicious conserve.
4 cups small ripe strawberries, about 1 lb., washed and hulled
Peel (with white pith) of 1/2 lemon
3/4 cup superfine sugar
Put the strawberries and lemon peel in a wide heavy pot. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the superfine sugar. Let stand at room temperature, stirring occasionally with the spatula, for 2 hours. (The berries will release their juices and the sugar will dissolve.)
Set the pot over medium heat and bring the strawberry mixture to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring gently a few times, until the berries are just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the berries to a hot sterilized pint canning jar. Return the pot with the berry juices and lemon peel to medium-high heat and boil until the syrup thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and let the syrup settle. Using a mesh skimmer, skim off any foam. Discard the lemon peel. Pour the hot syrup into the jar over the strawberries. Using a paper towel dipped in hot water, wipe the rim clean, then screw on the lid. Let cool. Refrigerate the preserves for up to 3 months. Makes 1 pint.