It isn’t often I can justify buying vast quantities of fresh lemons in the PNW. A local store a few times a year runs a promotional “fill a bag” deal and this week it included lemons and no limits. Suffice to say I came home with 35 lemons as part of the deal and lemons are normally $1.25 each here! The lemons paid for the bag of produce ($25) and I still had half a bag to fill. And with lots of fresh strawberries around, I decided to do some quick and easy canning for winter. I followed the recipe out of Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate
- 4 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 20 lemons)
- 2 pounds fresh strawberries
- 6 cups granulated sugar
Fill a canning kettle half full with water, and place in 6 clean pint canning jars. Bring to a boil. Fill a saucepan with water about half-full, adding in rings and new lids. Bring the pot to a simmer, take off heat.
Soak the berries in water with a few tablespoons of vinegar to wash, drain. Hull berry caps.
Process the strawberries in a high-speed blender until mostly smooth.
Add the strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar to a non-reactive stockpot. Bring to a simmer, till 190°, stirring often.
Lay out a clean kitchen towel on counter, drain jars and place on towel. Dip a clean canning funnel and ladle into boiling water to sterilize. Pour hot concentrate into jars, leaving ¼″ head space. Take a new damp paper towel, wipe the rim of each jar. Place a lid on top, then a ring, hand tightening on. Place jars in canning rack, lower into canning pot. Bring to a rolling boil (make sure the jars are fully covered with water, if not cover with more). Once boiling, process for 15 minutes covered. Turn off the heat, let sit uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove from pot, let cool on a dry towel overnight, listening for the ping sound as they cool. Remove and wash bands, mark when made on the lids.
Test lids by pressing gently and making sure they are flat and do not bounce back up. If any do not seal, consume soon and keep refrigerated. For best long-term storage, keep jars in a cool, dry and dark place, and use within a year.
Makes about 6 pints.
To make concentrate into lemonade:
Depending on your personal taste it will be 1 part concentrate to 1 part water for super sweet. We drink it at 1 to 4, but we like more diluted juice.
It’s also great to mix with sparkling water, for a carbonated drink.