I made 9 pints of strawberry syrup last night. I still have 8 pounds of strawberries on my fridge waiting for a second batch. My 11-year old son was heard saying, "this is the most fun I've had in a long time!" as he dropped the strawberries into our juicer. The whole family helped with the process.
Actually, this is the first time that I've ever done water-bath canning. I regularly bottle peaches using a steam* canner. I also do grape juice with a juicer. My family gave me a large water-bath pot for Christmas, but I was hesitant to use it on my flat-top stove. Someone recommended that I check my stove manual for any canning restrictions. So, I located the manual online. I was pleased to find that canning was allowed on my stove top.
I bought 8 pounds of strawberries for $6.99. Those strawberries made 12 cups of juice and 9 pints of syrup. I used this berry syrup recipe from the USDA Canning Guide. I reduced the sugar a bit and added some lemon juice to the recipe. Usually you shouldn't modify canning recipes, but this is fine because I was actually adding acid rather than reducing it.
The whole process was a bit chaotic as the bottle-sterilizing water came to a boil way faster than I anticipated. It took longer to cut and juice the strawberries than I had planned. I know from past experience that next time I'll have a better sense of how to time everything.
*The USDA does not recommend the use of steam canners due to inadequate research and testing. However, Utah State University has tested the steam canners and has found them to be safe and adequate for processing certain foods if used according to instructions and safe canning procedures. Due to botulism poisoning potential, we do not recommend that you use the steam canner for meats, tomatoes, and vegetables. If you choose to use a steam canner for fruits, jams, jellies, and salsa, only USDA approved and tested recipes and canning times should be used. Processing times for boiling-water bath canners may be used for the steam canners. It is very important to make sure that an eight inch plume of steam is present during the entire processing and water must not run out before the end of processing. [source]
[photo copyright owned by blog author]