We recently picked 18 1/2 pounds of strawberries, specifically for making a lot of homemade strawberry sauce. I don’t like to call it jam because it doesn’t thicken up as much as store-bought jams. However, I love that this recipe doesn’t use refined white sugar or pectin. It uses only real ingredients that we eat at home every day. I made some last year and we all loved it! Unfortunately, the jars I made didn’t last all that long because we ate them so quickly! So, this year, I want to make a lot more! We canned 8 1/2 jelly jars this weekend and plan to go back for more picking within the next week. This first time around I actually “canned” the sauce, but sometimes I think that’s more work than it’s worth and I’ll probably just freeze our next batch. I also ran out of honey, so I need to buy more of that before session #2!
I followed the basic directions from 100 Days of Real Food – How to can some jam. However, her method uses a TON of honey (which costs more money and makes it sweeter than necessary). I’ve reduced my overall amounts as well as the amount of honey. Here’s the basic recipe I used to make the jars above:
Homemade Strawberry Sauce
- 5 lbs of organic strawberries (weight is after they’ve been hulled)
- 2 cups raw honey
- 1 granny smith apple, grated (including skin)
- 1 T fresh lemon juice
Wash and hull strawberries. (You can cut them, if you’d like, but I don’t think it’s necessary.) Place into a LARGE stock pot. Add the honey, grated apple, and lemon juice. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and watch closely. The sauce will boil up and you’ll need to stir frequently so it doesn’t boil over. Let the mixture boil lightly for about an hour, while stirring occasionally and scraping the sides. During the boiling, I used an immersion blender to mash up the strawberries, but you could also use a potato masher. (Remember: this won’t thicken up like store-bought jam.) When done, ladle into sterilized jelly jars, add lids and rims, and process in a water bath for 10 minutes (or let cool and freeze).
If you want more detailed instructions on how to can, check out this Ball website.
Once you’re all finished, the homemade strawberry sauce is great mixed into yogurt, on top of ice cream, on toast with some butter, or with peanut butter sandwiches. We will fully enjoy each jar, that’s for sure! 🙂
If you’re going to ‘can’ the sauce, besides a large stock pot for cooking it, you’ll need a separate canning pot, a canning utensil kit, and some jelly jars.
Here is a combination canning pot and utensils (not the one I have):
And here are the jelly jars I use (these are great to have around at all times because they are also freezer safe!!):
To see what else I did with those 18 1/2 pounds of strawberries, check out my round up post: Five Ways to use Freshly Picked Strawberries.
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