More on the syrup...

Sunday, May 8, 2011
Ream's had cases of strawberries on sale awhile back for 6.99 (.88/lb), and I picked up two. I should have picked up four, but oh well. I was going to make jam and syrup, but then we found an(other) unopened box down in the basement and what was inside? A batch of strawberry jam that I did last year - we hadn't even opened a single jar yet! So then I decided I would just dedicate all the strawberries to syrup.

My first attempt was, well, a disaster. I've never made strawberry syrup before, let alone tried to can it.

The instructions are to mash the strawberries and then simmer them. I read a few tutorials online and several suggested using a juicer if you have one, and running the strawberries through there instead of mashing by hand because you would get more juice. Well, if a juicer is better than hand-mashing I thought, wouldn't a run through a Blendtec blender be EVEN better...? Turns out, not so much. It made a great strawberry smoothie, but the stuff was IMPOSSIBLE to strain and we couldn't get a clear juice to come off, so there went 5 pints of strawberries...(we stuck the pureed strawberries in the fridge and have used them for smoothies all week).

I figured rather than waste yet another 5 pints of strawberries on the second batch, the second time I'd just follow the good ol' canning bible (the Ball Blue Book of Preserving), which I should have done in the first place. :)

We decided to have pancakes for dinner that night, and we went through an entire jar of syrup in no time flat, so I don't expect the 17 jars to last for too long. Guess I'll be on the hunt for more cheap strawberries!

Strawberry Syrup
Yield: about 3 pints (I got 9 half-pints out of each batch)

2 1/2 quarters strawberries (5 pint containers)
3 cups water, divided
1 2-inch strip of lemon peel
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 cups corn syrup
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Wash strawberries, drain and hull. Crush strawberries with potato masher. Combine strawberries, 1 1/2 cups water and lemon peel in pot; simmer for 5 minutes. Strain through several layers of cheesecloth. While the mixture is straining, combine sugar and 1 1/2 cup water in another pot and boil to 230F. Add strained strawberry juice and corn syrup to sugar syrup; boil 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Ladle hot syrup into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust lids and rings. Process 10 minutes in boiling-water canner.

The syrup is thinner than your regular maple pancake syrup, but most fruit syrups are.