Fourteen Ways to Preserve Strawberries and a Pie

hulling strawberries

I haven’t seen any local strawberries yet here in Philadelphia, but my sources say they’re coming any day now (just as soon as it warms up a little!). For those of you who have them or are just dreaming about them like I am, I thought I’d put together a collection of my strawberry preserves from over the years. At the end of this post, you’ll find a recipe for the strawberry pie I try to make at least once a year (because it’s just so good).

strawberries in a colander

The Small Batch Recipes

small batch strawberry vanilla

The small batch version of my beloved strawberry vanilla jam. I make several batches of this preserve every year because it’s quick and delicious.

quart of berries

An itty-bitty batch of strawberry rhubarb jam.

strawberry rhubarb rosemary

Strawberry rhubarb jam scented with rosewater. If you make this one, add the rosewater in stages, in case yours is more potent than the one I used.

strawberry fig jam

Strawberry fig jam. If you can’t get fresh figs, you could also make this one with frozen figs.

strawberries and kiwis - Food in Jars

Strawberry kiwi jam. A teeny, tiny, tangy jam.

finished strawberry caramel

Strawberry lavender caramel. A sweet sauce for drizzling and glazing.

strawberry balsamic jam

Strawberry balsamic jam. The perfect strawberry preserve for serving with cheese.

The Large Batch Recipes

strawberry vanilla jam large

My very first strawberry jam recipe. It’s a classic. It’s strawberry vanilla jam!

strawberries and apples

A nice big batch of dusty pink strawberry applesauce.

pint of strawberry vanilla jam

Want a big batch of strawberry jam with half the sugar? This low sugar version is for you!

strawberry chutney ingredients

For the fans of sweet and savory, consider this strawberry chutney. It’s so good with stinky, runny cheeses!

The Butters and Compotes

strawberry rhubarb butter

Strawberry rhubarb butter. Super smooth and spreadable.

maple strawberry butter

Slow cooker strawberry butter, sweetened with maple syrup.

roasted rhubarb and strawberries

Roasted rhubarb and strawberry compote. Eat it over yogurt. Stir it into oatmeal. Top it with granola and call it a crumble.

strawberry pie

Now for the pie. Check the recipe after the jump!

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Giveaway: Foolproof Preserving from America’s Test Kitchen

Foolproof Preserving cover - Food in Jars

Over the years, America’s Test Kitchen has become known and respected for their tireless pursuit of the very best recipes and techniques for home cooks. In their newest cookbook, Foolproof Preserving: A Guide to Small Batch Jams, Jellies, Pickles, Condiments, and More, they’ve turned their attention to the art of putting up.

Foolproof Preserving peach jam - Food in Jars

Like the other America’s Test Kitchen books that have come before, this volume is thoughtfully constructed, clearly written, beautifully photographed, and features a number of recipes that will have both new canners and seasoned preservers leaping up to gather produce and pull out their cookware.

Foolproof Preserving pickled red onions - Food in Jars

The introduction to this book is particularly useful, because it answers so many of the questions that people typically have about canning. They clearly go into the issues around acid content, achieving set, adjusting for altitude, and, in the case of fermentation, the relationship between salt and temperature.

Foolproof Preserving figs - Food in Jars

As I see it, there exists a fairly large flaw with this book. To my imperfect count, of the 111 recipes included, 42 of them cannot be processed and made shelf stable. To be fair, there are 16 recipes for quick and fermented pickles, which are things that never go into a boiling water bath in the first place. But that still leaves us with a goodly number of recipes that will require space in the freezer or fridge.

I can see why the authors made the choices they did. They were developing recipes where the topmost priority was flavor, texture, and freshness. Those are all noble and worthy goals. However, as someone who preserves primarily to create good-tasting food that can live on the shelf until needed, I find myself frustrated to be confronted with a tomato jam recipe that can’t be processed (particularly since a small amount of citric acid would make it safe for the canner and would have very little impact on the finished flavor).

Foolproof Preserving back - Food in Jars

Reading the introduction, I have a sense of why this book came to be as it is. The authors confess from the start that they approached this project as canning novices and that the testing was a process of discovery for them. I can see how that shaped the book I hold in my hands, because they were not driven by the primary goal of having shelf stable preserves to last the year. However, it doesn’t stop me from wishing they’d better addressed the fact from the start that 38% of the book focuses on short-term, rather than long-term, preserving.

Foolproof Preserving giveaway pack - Food in Jars

With all of that off my chest, let me say that again that this is a beautiful, well-designed, useful book. If long-term shelf stability isn’t your primary goal, you will find much to love here. I plan on exploring this book throughout the summer and fall, just taking care not to fall in love with too many recipes that demand space from in my limited fridge and freezer.

Thanks to the kind folks at America’s Test Kitchen, I have one copy of this beautiful book to give away, along with a jar lifter and stainless steel wide mouth funnel. Here’s how to enter.

  1. Leave a comment on this post. Tell me about something you’ve preserved lately, or a preserve you opened and enjoyed in recent days.
  2. Comments will close at 11:59 pm eastern time on Sunday, May 8, 2016. A winner will be chosen at random and will be posted to the blog on Monday, May 9, 2016.
  3. Giveaway open to United States only (so sorry!). Void where prohibited.
  4. One comment per person, please. Entries must be left via the comment form on the blog at the bottom of this post.

Disclosure: America’s Test Kitchen sent me the copy of the paperback you see here, along with a box of jars, two wide mouth funnels, and a jar lifter. I’ve included the jar lifter and one of the wide mouth funnels in the giveaway, they’re also providing the second copy of the book. All this has been done at no cost to me. No additional compensation has been provided. All opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

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Jam & Tea at Valley Forge Flowers with WHYY

spring flowers

On Sunday, May 8, I’m teaming up with WHYY and Valley Forge Flowers for a special canning demo and book signing. There will be tea, jam, and the chance to watch me make jam from a comfortable seat. Tickets are still available for this event and they cost $35 for WHYY members, and $42 for non-members (that price includes a copy of Naturally Sweet Food in Jars).

If you’re looking for something special to do with your mom or other favorite maternal person, this event is for you, because May 8 just happens to be Mother’s Day. However, the program is not Mother’s Day specific, so please come even if you don’t have a mother to fete.

The event is from 4-6 pm and tickets can be obtained here.

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Links: Strawberries, Maple Syrup Grading, and a Winner

sorrel soup

It took the better part of a week, but life is finally settling down into a normal rhythm again. It’s been a pleasure to cook regular food (I love jam, but after weeks of demos, it’s nice to make savory things), walk around my neighborhood, and sleep in my own bed. I do have a number of events coming up this week and next, but they’re all within driving distance of home, which is so nice. Now, links!

Curious who won the Mother’s Day Coffee Gift Set from Mason Jar Lifestyle? It’s Beth V.! For those of you who didn’t win, don’t forget that you have to get your order in tonight to get your set shipped in time for May 8.

Notes on the above photo. Last week, I had lunch the home of Nadia Hassani. She is the author of the lovely book Spoonfuls of Germany. She fed me sorrel soup from her book, the pumpernickel bread she wrote about here, and sparkling water spiked with fir tip syrup and lemon juice. Make sure to follow her on Facebook!

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May Sponsors: Cuppow, Masontops, Fillmore Container, Harvest Right, Mrs. Wages, Mason Jar Lifestyle

Mason Jar Lifestyle Mother's Day Mother's Day Coffee Gift Set - Food in Jars

We’re at the start of a new month and so it’s time to thank the people who help support this blog through sponsorship! Please do show them your love if you have a chance.

Back in the top spot are our friends at Cuppow. They are the creator of the original mason jar travel mug topper and the BNTO, a small plastic cup that transforms a canning jar into a snack or lunch box. I feel like summer is prime Cuppow season, because it’s the perfect thing for no-waste iced drinks, so get yours dusted off!

The folks at Masontops joined the sponsorship roster this month. They sell an array of jar accessories, including Chalk Tops, Pickle Pebbles, the Pickle Packer, and (my favorite), the Pickle Pipe. If you’re looking to get into fermentation in a way that is easy and foolproof, make sure to check out their gear.

Lancaster, PA-based and family-owned Fillmore Container are next! They sell all manner of canning jars, lids, and other preservation gear. They posted a really terrific piece recently, featuring conversations with a number of canning bloggers, writers, and educators in which those folks share what canning means to them.

Harvest Right is back this month. They make freeze dryers for home use. Previously, it could cost as much as $30,000 to get freeze dryer, but the ones that Harvest Right sells are are 1/10 of that price. I don’t have space for one in my home, but I so wish that I did!

Our friends at Mrs. Wages are back for another season. They make pectin, vinegar, and more canning mixes than I can count. Their website is an incredible preserving resource and I can’t say enough good things about their salsa mixSign up for their newsletter for monthly installments of canning goodness.

Mason Jar Lifestyle is a one-stop shopping site for all the jar lovers out there! They sell all manner of mason jar accessories and adaptors. I recently had a chance to try out their cork jar stoppers and have become totally obsessed. It’s the perfect way to use mason jars for easy access storage. I’ve got a small tower of finishing salts in wide mouth half pints next to my stove, closed with these corks. Seriously, I love them. (And don’t forget about their Mother’s Day Coffee Gift Set!)

If your company or small business is interested in becoming a sponsor, you can find more details here. I offer discounts for multiple month purchases and am always happy to work with your budget. Leave a comment on this post or drop me a note to learn more!

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Sponsored Post: A Lifefactory Deal from MightyNest’s MightyFix

orange Lifefactory bottle - Food in Jars

Fun fact about me. I have a minor water bottle obsession. I’ve been this way since my high school days, when I kept a tall disposable bottle (refilled for ages before being recycled) in my backpack. In college, I carried a brightly colored Nalgene.

Once on my own, I acquired a small collection of aluminum Sigg bottles. These days, I use stainless steel and glass water bottles exclusively, because they don’t impact the taste of the water, and they seem to be the healthiest choices available.

Lifefactory water bottle in bag - Food in Jars

Of all the glass water bottles I’ve used, the ones made by Lifefactory are my favorite, both for their grippy silicone sheaths and for the lids that are so easy to put on and take off (plus, they’re essentially big jars, which pleases me more than it should).

As we head into the final days of Earth Month, our friends over at MightyNest though some of you guys would also like to get in on the glass water bottle action. How do you do it? By joining MightyFix!

Lifefactory URL - Food in Jars

If you’ve missed my earlier posts about the MightyFix, it’s a monthly subscription service that sends full sized non-toxic products for the kitchen and home. It costs $10 a month and ships for free. What’s more, anything you want to add to your monthly order from MightyNest will also ship for free.

Without the FIX, this 12 ounce Lifefactory bottle costs $18 + $5.95 in shipping. When you sign up, you’ll get it for just $5. Then, for just $10 a month going forward, you’ll get regular shipments of items that help you make small but rewarding changes that help both you and the planet.

full Lifefactory bottle - Food in Jars

This deal is only open to new FIX subscribers. Unfortunately, if you’ve joined up in the past, you won’t be eligible for the discount (so sorry!). However, if you’re new to the FIX and ready to hop on board, use this link to head over to MightyNest (it’s got the discount code already applied). If that link gives you trouble, use the code FIJBOTTLEFIX at check out instead.

Just to recap. If you’re new to MightyFix, you’ll get this water bottle as your first FIX when they sign up for the subscription service. The cost of the FIX is $10 a month and the products are always valued more than $10. Your first month is $5 and you’ll get a Lifefactory glass water bottle valued at $18 + $5.95 in shipping. It’s a pretty nifty deal!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. MightyNest is a regular Food in Jars partner and occasional sponsor. They sent me the orange water bottle you see pictured here back in December, for photography purposes. All opinions expressed here are entirely my own. 

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