In Spring and early Summer we get tons of strawberries and usually for a good price or sometimes a friend sharing, some people grow their own but I am not good with strawberries so I will buy them or trade for them. This Spring I have been bless with delicious sweet strawberries and I did not just want to make jam, I want other strawberry products. So I made a batch of strawberry pie filling and more!
When making strawberry pie filling you will need to buy a product called " Clear Jel" its specially made to home can pie filling, regular corn starch for some reason will separate when it home canned. I invested $10 in a huge jar ( Found on Amazon) and I am sure it will last me for a long time because I used around 1/2 cup for the batch of strawberry pie filling I made and that was all.
You`ll Need :
3 1/2 cups of ripe strawberries
1 cup of sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of Clear Jel
3 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1 cup of water
Pint and/or half pint canning jars
Now lets get started!
First in home canning always is getting your jars washed and cleaned, no matter if they are new or not wash them with hot soapy water and sterilize them, kills all bacteria! I also wash my lids and rings but I do not sterilize them.
Have ripe strawberries washed with green caps removed and remove the stems. Set aside.
Next : You need to blanch the strawberries for one minute in boiling water, so put on around a gallon of water to boil and have an empty pot that has a lid setting near by.
Put the strawberries in the boiling water, allow to return to a boil and boil 1 minute. Remove the strawberries with a slotted spoon into the empty pot, cover with lid keeping the berries hot.
"Why Blanch? What is blanching? Blanching means heating the fruit at high temperature for a brief time to stop the enzymes that can cause the flavor to degrade during storage."
Next step : to make the Jel :
In a large cooking pot put 1 cup of sugar with 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of Clear Jel, Add one cup of water and stir over medium high heat till thicken, add 3 and 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice and stir ti mixed in.
Note: This will become very thick fast, removed from heat is need be while adding the lemon juice.
Stir in the strawberries, and its okay of a little strawberry juice comes in with the berries.
Dip into the pint canning jars and put lids on.
Process in a hot water bath for 30 minutes.
Remove onto a towel and allow to cool, each jar should seal as it cools down, you`ll hear a pop noise.
And that is how I made my Strawberry pie filling.
My tips for things to go smoothly :
1 - have the jars on a space of the counter that is not in the way of the stove and sink because this is the last step before canning.
2 - Have all the fruit cleaned and ready to process, set the sugar, clear jel and lemon juice together next to the stove with that cooking pot.
3- Have all the pots and spoons needed laid out, one for boiling water, one for keeping them berries hot and one for making the jel.
4 - Have the water in the hot bath canner already hot so that the hot filled jars of fruit wont bust when put into cold water, plus it keeps the temp up and the boiling will begin faster.
I hope these tips help make canning strawberry pie filling easier for you.
Another Strawberry Product!
With the berries that were over ripe I made something else, I took those berries and I chopped them and put them into a pint jar, covered them with vodka and set this in a cool dark closet. I shake the jar everyday or every other day, In a few weeks I will strain and have a nice bottle of Strawberry extract! No waste.
By Andria Perry
Photos By Andria Perry