Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

This recipe is one I’ve made every year since I started canning, from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. I’ve never made the rhubarb drink on the next page, but am really excited to try that one too. Stay tuned. When I got really excited to make the rhubarb one as well, saying it would be excellent with gin, Kiki called me out, saying we can’t make things just because they taste good with gin. Or can we? My favourite way to use this concentrate is actually with just a couple tablespoons in my gin and tonic. I swear, I really don’t drink that much gin. Of course you can just drink it as lemonade by adding water, tonic water, or ginger ale. I bet this would be amazing if you used a soda stream for some carbonation! Mix 1:1 or 2:1 water to concentrate, although I usually make it even weaker since it is really quite flavourful.

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6 cups hulled strawberries
4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
6 cups granulated sugar (or much less if you like it the way I do!)

Here’s how we made it:

First, prepare the berries. Ball tells you to simply puree the strawberries in a blender. By all means you can totally do it that way if you like, and I have made this 3 or 4 times that way, but this year I decided to try and get rid of some of the seeds. To make the lemonade seedless, and partially because I just love an excuse to use it, I cracked out the Victorio food strainer. I ran my 6 cups of berries through multiple times, to get rid of the seeds. It’s kind of nice not having those pesky seeds in a beverage. I don’t mind them in jam, which is why we just used the extra poop you see coming out the left there in the jam we were making.

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Next juice a bagillion lemons. OK maybe not a bagillion. We found that 4 large lemons were pretty close to a cup of juice. A fun tip to get more juice out of them is to microwave them for 20-30 seconds. It really did seem to help.


Combine your lemon juice, strawberry puree and sugar. We actually decided to do 1/4 of the sugar in this recipe. You can certainly adjust it to taste, or maybe try sweetening with honey or something. That could be really good. It definitely decreased the yield quite a bit, but this actually means you use less jars and lids, and if you decide it’s not sweet enough you can always add more sweetener when you open up the jar later. Heat the lemonade over medium high heat. Don’t boil though, bring it up to 190F.

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Remove from the heat, and fill your jars, leaving a quarter inch head space. Wipe the rims, apply the lids, and tighten the bands finger tip tight.

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Process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel. Cool 12-24 hours, check seals, remove bands, clean, label, and store. Enjoy a nice summer treat all winter long! Or just make it and consume immediately!

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Quick Strawberry Lemon Marmalade

This quick marmalade is very similar to a jam, but has that added citrus tang that is quite delightful. What makes a marmalade a marmalade anyways? That citrus peel! Try this recipe out once you’ve already made a ton of strawberry jam and are looking for something different but still quick and easy.

1/4 cup thinly sliced lemon peel
4 cups crushed strawberries
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 package regular fruit pectin
6 cups granulated sugar

Here’s how we made it:
Since this is a quick recipe (some may read “quick” as “cheating” 😉 ) with pectin it doesn’t boil for hours like traditional marmalade, which is what softens up the bits of citrus peel. So step one here is to cut the lemon peel into thin slices and boil it in water for 5 or so minute to soften it a bit. Meanwhile prepare the canner, jars and lids. This makes about 7-8 half pints.

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Then the liquid gets discarded, and you combine the peel bits with the strawberry mash, lemon juice and pectin. I ended up squirting in some additional lemon juice, partially for the shock factor because the other ladies weren’t expecting it, but I also think it gave it a nice extra zing!

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Bring to a boil over high, stirring always. Once at a boil, add the sugar all at once, return to a boil for one minute, remove from heat, skim foam and fill the jars.

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Fill the hot jars leaving a quarter inch head space. Wipe rims, apply lids and tighten bands finger tip tight. Place jars in canner covered by 1-2 inches of water, bring to a full rolling boil and process 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes and remove the jars to a hot pad or towel. Let cool 12-24 hours, check seals, remove bands, wipe, label and store.


mmmm marmalade man. Deeeelish.


Seville Orange Marmalade

OK – so if you read my post on Friday, you know about the epic challenge I am undertaking – that I plan to can my way through the entire Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving. So here is my first post for that challenge, page 97, my first traditional marmalade.

2 1/4 lbs Oranges
2 Clementine oranges
2 lemons
12.5 cups hot water
11.5 cups sugar
1/3 cup brandy (optional)

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Here’s how we made it:

We didn’t 100% follow Ball on how to do step 1 just because we wanted really thin slices of peel, so you can decide which method you prefer. We peeled strips off the oranges with a potato peeler, then peeled off the rest of the peel and juiced them in an electric juicer, reserving the juice. The rest of the peel/rind, seeds and pulp goes into a cheesecloth bag. The other way you can do it is by halving your oranges and lemons and squeezing the juices out into a cheesecloth lined bowl. Then scoop out all the rest of the pulp and seeds into the cheesecloth. If you like the orange slices thick then no problem, follow Ball and now slice those peels as thin as you like them. We just wanted really thin slices. Whichever way you do it, reserve the juices, and tie the pulp, peel and seeds up in a cheesecloth bag.

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Combine the juices, peel slices, pulp sack and hot water in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and continue to boil gently. The goal is to get the peel nice and soft, and reduce the total volume by nearly a half. This will take about 1.5-2 hours.

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After the hour and a half or so you’ll remove the cheesecloth bag. Try and squeeze it out pretty well back into the pot, or set it in a strainer so you can add those tasty juices back. At this point you want to check that you have pretty close to 10 cups of liquid remaining. If you have more left (like we did) this can affect the quality of your set. So if you are still well over 10 cups you can either discard some or let it boil down a little longer.

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Time to prepare the canner, jars and lids. This recipe will yield 11-12 half pints.

Bring your juice back up to a boil, stirring constantly. Slowly add in the sugar. Maintain a hard boil for 15 minutes or so while stirring occasionally, until gel stage is reached. Once it reaches gel you can add the brandy if you are using it.

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Fill the hot jars with marmalade, leaving a 1/4 inch head space. Wipe the rim, apply the lid, and tighten the band finger tip tight.

As you can maybe tell, our marmalade was a little thinner than it should have been. I’m pretty sure this is due to us not making sure we had 10 cups of liquid, so definitely don’t skip that step. It also did set more and more throughout the week, so if it’s not perfect at first don’t panic.

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Place the jars in the canner covered by at least 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a full rolling boil and process for 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes, and remove the jars onto a hot pad or towel. After 12-24 hours when they have cooled, check the seals, remove the bands, wipe the jars, label and store. Wait a few weeks to eat them for the best set.

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