Friday, June 20

Freezing Strawberries in Syrup

As promised in my earlier post on making strawberry freezer jam, I am now showing you how I froze the remaining strawberries after the jam was done.  This method comes from Suter's website, and is an old family recipe.  However, the instructions were a bit vague, so this is my attempt at making it work.  I won't know if they turned out alright for a while, but I'm thinking that these strawberries might be best used for recipes that require cooking the berries, like in a pie or sweet bread.  If you've tried this and had success, please let me know!

Suter's recipe:
"Boil together 1 1/2 cups sugar and 6 cups water.  Add 1 large packet of strawberry gelatin.  Cool.  Pour on berries."
"Wash gently in cold water, drain and remove caps. Slice or crush berries in a large bowl. Use 1 cup sugar to 7 cups berries, or sweeten to taste, then freeze. We use ziplock bags."

Now, boiling the sugar and water together wasn't hard, but I also wasn't sure if it should boil for a certain amount of time.  I brought the sugar water to a boil and just added the gelatin at that point.  I also wasn't sure if the mixture should boil for any length of time after the gelatin was added, so I just mixed the gelatin until it was completely dissolved and then let the liquid come back to a boil.  I then turned off the burner and removed the pot from the heat.  I set it on a cooling rack to help the liquid cool faster.  As a side note, then strawberry liquid never really thickened, but it did have a good flavor, like strawberry Kool-Aid.

While waiting for the gelatin liquid to cool, I commenced washing and slicing the remaining bucket of strawberries, which gave me eight cups of strawberry slices. 
I emptied the slices into a large bowl and added a cup of sugar and mixed it all together.

At this point, the liquid had sufficiently cooled to slightly warmer than room temperature, so I began pouring it over the berries.  Then I decided that I didn't want to do it that way.  I do that a lot.

I decided to measure out two cups of berries per quart freezer bag, then added enough strawberry liquid to the bag to submerge the slices.  I ladled it into the bags, and it might have been about a cup of the liquid in each bag.  

Doing it this way, I had enough to fill three bags with two cups of strawberries and then add the juice.  If anyone has a different method for this or has done this in the past, I'd love to hear from you!

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