How to Can and Preserve Strawberry Syrup
We are probably pushing the edge of the envelope by linking nutrition and syrup together, but incorporating some sweetness into your stockpile can put smiles on faces during difficult times. We all know that making our own products gives us greater control over what goes into our stockpiles, and our bellies. Chances are that even if recipes contain sugar, they will still have more nutritional value than what is found in store-bought products, and strawberry syrup is a wonderful example.
8 cups of ripe, fresh or frozen strawberries
3 cups of water
1 lemon peel that is at least a couple inches long or wide
2½ cups of sugar
3 cups of corn syrup
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
You will need a water bath canner, along with 3 pint canning jars for this recipe. It’s a good idea to fill the canner with water, add the canning jars and bring up the heat until it starts to simmer. Place the jars inside the canner until they are ready to be filled. This will help to prevent them from cracking once the hot liquid is added and also help to sanitize the jars at the same time.
Once the canner is up and running, prepare the strawberries by removing the heads, stems and cutting out any bruised or defective parts. Rinse the strawberries and crush them in a saucepan. Add in 1½ cups of water and the lemon peel before bringing the heat up to a simmer and cooking for 5 minutes. When finished, remove from heat and pour the juice through a sieve or colander that is lined with some cheesecloth or a moist jelly bag.
Combining the Ingredients
The next step is to add the sugar to another 1½ cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 260 degrees. Make sure to stir continually to prevent scorching and to ensure that all of the sugar is dissolved. Carefully add in the strained juice along with the corn syrup and mix well as you bring the liquid to a boil for 4-5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and remove the liquid from heat.
Carefully add in the liquid to the heated canning jars until ¼ inch of headspace remains. Remove any excess air bubbles and wipe down the rims with a clean, damp cloth or towel. Attach the lids and bands, tighten and place the jars into the canner. Make sure that the jars are completely submerged and the water is boiling before processing. Process the jars for 10 minutes before placing them on the counter to cool at room temperature for 24 hours.
Inspect the jars to ensure that they are properly-sealed and undamaged before labeling, dating and storing them in a cool, dark place. The shelf life of the finished product will vary depending on the conditions in storage, but you should be able to store them for at least six months to a year without any problems. However, once opened, the syrup should be consumed right away, or it can be refrigerated for up to a month.
Feel free to experiment with different levels of sugar and corn syrup until you find the combination that provides you with the level of sweetness that you prefer. Try this recipe for yourself today, and see how it can be a nice compliment to your stockpile or long-term food storage system.