“I grew up watching both my grandmother and mom make biscuits,” says Jennifer Hill Booker, who is a chef, author of Field Peas to Foie Gras: Southern Recipes with a French Accent, and the Culinary Explorer for the Georgia Department of Tourism and Travel. “But the strawberry preserves are all my mom, and she taught me how to make them. When my sisters and I visit her, we fight over who gets to take home a jar.”
Food & Drink
Makes about 3 pints
When Georgia chef Jennifer Hill Booker was growing up, this treat was reserved for the adults. “Now,” she says, “I eat it as often as I like”
photo: Margaret Houston
4 lbs. fresh ripe strawberries, hulled and quartered
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2–3 cups sugar
Combine the strawberries and lemon juice in a large stainless steel saucepan over medium-high heat.
Slowly bring the mixture to a full rolling boil, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook until juices release from the berries; about 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add 2 cups of the sugar, stirring to dissolve.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring the strawberry preserves back up to a full rolling boil and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, or until preserves have thickened and thickly coat the back of a spoon. Taste for sweetness and add additional sugar to taste.
Remove from heat and skim any foam floating on top. Ladle the hot preserves into clean and sanitized pint jars, leaving ½-inch of empty space between the preserves and the rim of the jar.
Using a clean damp towel, wipe the rims of the jars clean, add the lid, and tighten until fingertip tight; do not overtighten. Allow the jars to cool, on the countertop, for about an hour. Refrigerate until ready to eat.
Note: The Strawberry Preserves should be good for one month in the refrigerator.
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