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Jams, jellies, fruit butter, and preserves are all delicious spreads made with fruit and sugar. Each one uses the fruit differently, but I feel that preserves are one of the quickest, easiest and also most delicious ways to use seasonal fruit. Preserves keep the texture of the fruit while natural pectin thickens the spread leaving it slightly more thin and always spreadable. With a few simple ingredients and just a few minutes, you can choose to can it for long-term shelf life or keep in the refrigerator and use it right away!
Honestly, preserves and canning are so easy. You will love this!
Watch how to make these strawberry basil preserves:
Strawberry Basil Preserves
- 8 cups strawberries stemmed, washed, and sliced if large
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 juiced lemons
- 1 lemon rind remove seeds of juiced lemon and quarter
- ¼ – ½ cup fresh basil, minced
- Place strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and rind in a heavy-bottomed 6-quart kettle. A heavy bottom is essential for high sugar content foods to prevent scorching and burning.
- Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Stir to ensure even cooking. If berries do not break down, use a mashing tool to break them into smaller pieces.
- To achieve the correct thickness, bring the preserves to 210°F. The thickness can alternatively be checked by placing a small amount on a dish and freezing for a few minutes. Run a finger through the chilled mixture to check thickness.
- Once at temperature, remove from heat and, if canning, pour in readied jars.
- Top with lids and rings and place them in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.
- Remove from the water bath and let cool for 12 hours. Check lid to ensure jar has sealed. Any that did not seal can be placed in the refrigerator and enjoyed within one month.
- If not canning, place in jars or containers unsealed and keep in the refrigerator for one month or freeze for up to 6 months.