Making and canning homemade strawberry preserves is a simple project that only takes a couple of hours, but the results are very rewarding!
This recipe yields about 7 half-pint jars, but this tends to vary depending on how juicy your strawberries are.
Here is a short glossary of basic canning terms:
Band: A metal, threaded screw band used with a lid to form a two-piece cap.
Boiling-Water Canner: A large pot or kettle big enough to completely immerse filled jars; used to process jars.
Headspace: The unfilled area between the rim of a jar and the top of the contents of that jar.
Lid: A flat, metal vacuum sealing lid used with a band to form a two-piece cap.
Pectin: A substance (naturally found in apples) that aids in the gelling process of jams, jellies, etc. You will need the powder form.
Preserves: A type of soft spread where the fruit retains its shape; the syrup is much thinner than a jam or jelly.
Processing: Sterilizing jars and their contents in a (boiling-water canner, in our case) canner to destroy any bacteria or enzymes that may harm you.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Supplies
Gathering all of the necessary ingredients and supplies before you begin will save you time and make the canning process much smoother.
You will need the following ingredients and supplies:
2 quarts strawberries (fresh is always better, but frozen works as well)
6 tablespoons pectin (I use Sure-Jell, but any brand is fine)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup water
6 1/2 cups sugar
large saucepot (At least 3 quart capacity - but bigger is better. This will hold the ingredients)
small saucepot (This is just to keep the lids in, so size isn't as important)
canner or large stockpot (This is what the filled jars will process in)
jelly jars (a.k.a. half-pint jars)
lids and bands
It is very helpful to have canning utensils, such as a jar lifter, lid lifter, wide-mouth funnel, and headspace tool. However, if you do not have these, you can use tongs (to lift jars out of the hot water), a fork or a magnet (to lift lids out of the hot water). Just be very careful not to drop your jars!
*all italicized words can be found in the glossary on the introduction page of this instructable