Make Your Own Sunshine Preserves!

In Tennessee in the summertime, there is one thing we have no shortage of: the sun.

While the sun is helping our plants grow healthy and strong, here is a fun (and tasty!) way to utilize the sun’s energy this summer.
It’s also a great way to take advantage of the fact that strawberry is in full swing!

Sunshine Strawberry Preserves

– The key to making good preserves is to utilize equal parts fruit and sugar.

– Slice the strawberries into fourths.
– Put the fruit in your preserving kettle in layers. Make your first layer of fruit just barely cover the bottom of the kettle.
– Then, layer a sprinkling of sugar over each layer.

– Keep alternating the layer of fruit and the layer of sugar until you run out of fruit.
– The fruit and sugar should be no more than 4 inches deep.
– Place the preserving kettle on the stove and heat slowly to the boiling point.
– When it begins to boil, skim the foam off of the top.

– Boil for ten minutes, starting from when the fruit begins to bubble.
– Then, pour it into a shallow pan and cover it with a glass top, and let it sit in the sun for 3-4 days
– The fruit will plump (due to its natural pectin) and the syrup will thicken into a jelly.
– Put the preserves (cold) into a glass jar.

They should keep for about 2 weeks in the fridge.

Source: “Independence Days: A Guide to Sustainable Food Storage & Preservation” by Sharon Astyk