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What Are Strawberry Preserves?

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  • Written By: Angela Farrer
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2016
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Strawberry preserves are flavored fruit preserves often spread on toast, bagels, and other similar bread items. This type of spread can be purchased in grocery stores, although many people prefer making preserves from scratch at home. The process of making and storing strawberry preserves is mostly the same as that for other types of preserved foods. The challenge that many novice preserve makers face is properly sealing the finished product in sterilized jars.

Ingredients for strawberry preserves usually include water, white granulated sugar, and ripe strawberries. The simplest recipes for these homemade preserves often call for the strawberries to be rinsed, dried, sliced into medium-sized pieces, mixed with the required amount of sugar, and left to set for 24 hours. This mixture is then steeped in boiling water until the sugar melts enough to cause the preserves to thicken. Strawberry preserves often have foam that needs to be skimmed off before canning to prevent air bubbles from forming in the finished mixture.

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Some cooks prefer to first chill their mixtures of strawberries and sugar in the refrigerator for about three hours before thickening in boiling water. To keep the sugar from sticking to the sides of the cooking pot, this mixture usually needs to be stirred consistently for about three to five minutes. Once the thickening is complete, the sweetened and cooked fruit is stored in the refrigerator for an additional 24 hours. The cooled fruit preserves are then boiled and stirred for an additional five minutes before they are transferred to the preserve jars with a ladle. Strawberry preserves generally last the longest and remain fresh when they are stored in preserve jars with rubber seals designed to keep out bacteria.

While basic recipes for strawberry preserves can normally be thickened to a certain point with sugar alone, cooks who would like preserves with a consistency closer to that of jelly usually need to add pectin. This gelling ingredient is a common requirement for various fruit preserve flavors, and it can be found in both sweetened and unsweetened mixes. Pectin with added sugar is a popular alternative for preserves made with strawberries that may not be as ripe as recommended for the best flavor. Strawberries for preserves are ideally ripened to the point of being deep red in color, though they may not always be available in every area during certain times of the year.

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Wisedly33
Post 2

I like strawberry preserves too. I never thought sterilizing the jars was such a big deal -- just put them in boiling water for about a minute and remember to use a jar "grabber" to pick the jars up and you're good.

One of my favorite ways to use strawberry preserves is to roll them up in crescent dough and bake them. That is a great breakfast -- even better than pop tarts! Preserves are really versatile. You can eat them on toast or even on vanilla ice cream. That's a great summer treat. I always make preserves when the strawberries are in season. They're much better.

Scrbblchick
Post 1

Strawberry preserves are my favorite, second only to the tart plum jam my mom used to make.

I like a much more tart product, so I use about half the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. I love the taste of the fruit itself, and that's what I want to taste when I make preserves, or buy them from the store. If I buy them, I always look for the ones labeled "low sugar" because I know they will taste better and will be healthier. I also always make sure the maker hasn't filled the preserves up with a lot of color to make them redder. It's not necessary. Strawberries are red enough on their own.

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