Here in California, it is the end of strawberry season. In my own backyard, I have a small patch of strawberry plants plus a large strawberry pot. Both areas are still bursting with sweet berries. Next year, I’m thinking about adding Burpee’s ‘Berry Basket’ strawberry to the mix because it is supposed to do well in hanging baskets. It sounds perfect for my garden. That way, I will have some strawberries down low and some up high. Every inch of space will be used.
Given the fact that I only have a small patch of strawberry plants, my family usually eats our harvest way before it ever makes it inside the house. So if I want to preserve some for later, I end up buying my strawberries at the farmer’s market or we take a trip to a pick-your-own-berries farm. Fun stuff!
When I am able to gather a mother lode of berries, I love to make this Strawberry-lemon marmalade. It is adapted from an old recipe, but it seems very modern in flavor. And you just can’t find this kind of marmalade in the store.
(I use lemons from my tree but if you buy lemons for this recipe, get un-waxed.)
½ medium lemon
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 quarts strawberries
1 package powdered pectin
6 cups sugar
Squeeze lemon half, reserving 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Remove pulp and white membrane from the lemon peel. Thinly slice and combine with baking soda in a small saucepan. Add just enough water to cover and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; drain peel; set aside. Slice strawberries; measure 4 ½ cups prepared strawberries and combine with the 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, lemon peel and pectin in a large saucepot. Bring all slowly to the boil. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Ladle hot marmalade into sterilized jars, leaving ¼ inch headspace. Adjust two-piece canning jar lids that you have prepared according to the box instructions. Process 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner.
Yield: about 8 half-pints.
For more information on water bath canning, see my Water Bath Basics 101 article on the Growing A Greener World website.