strawberry preserves

In spite of the on-again off-again sunshine this spring and early summer, our strawberry patch is doing OK. Will picked over six pounds on Wednesday so we had to come up with a recipe that uses lots of berries. The preserves use no pectin, but attain an extremely good strawberry flavour because the berries don't get cooked to mush in this method.

French Plunge Strawberry Preserves

5 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and left whole5 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Layer the berries and sugar in a large stainless steel bowl and pour the lemon juice over. Cover and let sit over night. Pour into a very tall pot. (This is going to foam up a LOT! You will need at least three times the space that the strawberries take or you will have a mess on your stove.)
Bring the mixture to a boil and cook 10 minutes, skimming off the foam. Allow to cool. Strain out the berries and bring syrup to a boil. Add the strawberries and bring up to boil. Turn off the heat and allow to cool again. Do this a few times over the course of a day or until the preserves are nice a thick. They should mound up on a spoon nicely.
Put them in the fridge to see how thick they are if you are unsure.
Prepare small canning bottles and lids. Heat the preserves and pour into hot bottles within 1/2 inch of the rim. Seal and process in a hot water canner for 20 minutes.
Absolutely the BOMB... as my friend Gay likes to say!

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