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Strawberry Syrup

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Strawberry syrup is a delicious way to preserve the flavor of fresh spring strawberries, and it’s wonderful poured on just about anything year round.  Pancakes, milk shakes, yogurt, and cold iced drinks are all wonderful with a dash of strawberry syrup.

Homemade strawberry jam is a spring canning classic, but sometimes you want to change it up…and strawberry syrup is the perfect choice.  It’s versatile, and it can go places where a chunky strawberry jam just wont work.
Especially strawberry flavored drinks!
And, of course, pancakes.
Ingredients for Strawberry Syrup
For making strawberry syrup, to make a batch of six half-pint (8-ounce) jars or three pint jars, you will need the following:

3 quarts strawberries
1 cup water
¼ cup lemon juice, filtered (one or two lemons)
4 cups sugar*  

Using fresh, ripe strawberries for making syrup will produce the best results. Underripe strawberries may not produce as much sweet juice, and overripe berries can spoil the batch. 
Have 2 lemons on hand for extracting lemon juice. Bottled lemon juice will also work, but fresh lemon juice is recommended.  It’s not required for canning safety, so the lemon juice is optional, but fresh lemon juice really does bring out the best flavor in this homemade strawberry syrup.

How to Make Strawberry Syrup
Rinse the strawberries under cool water. Carefully examine the berries, remove any soft or brown spots, and discard any shriveled or moldy strawberries. Remove the green stems, and cut the strawberries into quarters or smaller. 
Working in small batches, place some strawberries in a flat-bottomed pan or bowl, and use a masher or a large, durable spoon to crush the strawberries well. 
Combine the mashed strawberries in a large jam pot or stock pot.
Add 1 cup of water and bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the strawberries gently for 10 minutes.
Take the pan off the stove, remove the cover, and skim off any foam using a spoon or rubber spatula. Allow the strawberries to sit and cool, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
Place a mesh sieve over a large bowl or pan, ladle the strawberries into the sieve, and allow the juices to strain through. I like to do this in small batches, allowing as much liquid to run through as possible. Scoop a portion of the strawberries into the sieve and let it sit for 30 minutes, then remove the pulp, scoop another portion into the sieve, and repeat this procedure until you’ve strained all the strawberries.
Discard the strawberry pulp (or save it for making fruit leather) and thoroughly wash the sieve, removing any pulp residue.
Line the sieve with 3 to 4 layers of cheesecloth and place over another large bowl or pan. Strain the strawberry juice through the cheesecloth. Allow the liquids to drain through until it stops dripping.
Discard the cheesecloth and any pulp or residue captured in it.
Line the sieve with a paper coffee filter and strain the juice into a large bowl one final time.
Measure out 4 cups of strawberry juice. If you are slightly short of 4 cups, you may add a little water or bottled juice such as apple or cranberry juice. If you are quite short of 4 cups, you should obtain more strawberries, cut, mash, and cook them in the same manner as above.
Once you have extracted 4 cups of strawberry juice, you can prepare to make syrup.
If applicable, prepare the canning jars and lids, and your hot water bath canner.
Place the 4 cups of juice into a jam pot or saucepan.
Squeeze lemons to obtain at least ¼ cup of juice, then run the lemon juice through a fine sieve or cotton cloth to remove any pulp or seeds from the juice. Add the lemon juice to the strawberry juice.
Add 4 cups of granulated sugar to the juice mixture, place the pan over medium-low heat, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook the syrup until it comes to a boil, stirring occasionally. 
Once it has reached a full boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the syrup for 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the stove and skim off any foam using a spoon or rubber spatula.
Carefully ladle or pour the mixture into your prepared hot jars, leaving ¼ inch of space at the top of each jar.  
Using a canning funnel with a ¼” lip at the bottom helps you get an accurate amount of headspace at the top and prevents spilling your hot syrup on the counter.
Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean, damp cloth, and cap them with 2-part canning lids.
If you do not plan on canning your syrup, you can let the syrup cool to room temperature on the counter.  Store your strawberry syrup in the refrigerator for up to 1 month, or keep it frozen for up to 6 months. 
Canning syrup is relatively easy using the hot water bath method. Properly sealed and canned syrup does not have to be refrigerated until opened and will maintain quality for up to 18 months stored in your pantry.

Canning Strawberry Syrup
If you are a beginner or novice canner, please read my Beginners guide to water bath canning for detailed canning instructions, including the supplies you will need.
Once your syrup is ready, ladle or pour the syrup into hot mason jars, leaving ¼” headspace at the top.  
Use a clean cloth to wipe the rim before you place the lid on the jar, then screw on the canning rings until “finger tight.”.  
Place the jars into the prepared hot water bath canner using a jar lifter.  
Return the water to boiling, then process in the water bath for 10 minutes (or 15 minutes if above 6,000 feet in elevation) for half-pint (8-ounce) jars. For pint jars, process the jars in boiling water for 15 minutes (or 20 minutes if above 6,000 feet in elevation). 
When the processing time is complete, turn off the heat from the canner and allow the jars to sit in the canner for five minutes. Then, use a jar lifter to remove the jars from the canner and set them to cool on a towel on the counter, leaving them undisturbed for 24 hours. 
After 24 hours, check the jars and lids to ensure they are all sealed. If you have jars that did not seal, store those jars of syrup in the refrigerator and use them within one month.  
Enjoy your strawberry syrup from your pantry or cellar throughout the year! Properly canned and sealed jars will maintain quality for 18 months and can still be used after that as long as the jar has remained sealed.  Refrigerate after opening.
Strawberry Syrup Variations
Strawberry syrup is sweet with a bright flavor all by itself, but it’s also fun to experiment with different flavor combinations. 
To add a little zing and reduce the sweetness of your syrup, you can add cranberries or tart cherries to the strawberries as you cook them. Make sure the cranberries or cherries pop open, and use a spoon to smash them as you cook the mixture.
Another way to mellow the flavor is to use only 3 cups of strawberry juice and one cup of apple or mild white grape juice for your syrup.
Vanilla beans or pure vanilla extract would also produce a unique variation to strawberry syrup.
Ways to Use Strawberry Syrup
Strawberry syrup is delightful as an ice cream topping or to make strawberry shakes.
Pour strawberry syrup over angel food cake or sponge cake and serve with fresh strawberries and a dollop of whipped cream.
Pile fresh strawberries on your breakfast waffle and top with strawberry syrup for a delicious way to start your day.
Stir a spoonful of strawberry syrup into a glass of lemonade for a great flavor combination.

Yield: Six half-pint (8-oz.) or three pint jars

Strawberry Syrup

Prep Time:
30 minutes

Cook Time:
25 minutes

Additional Time:
10 minutes

Total Time:
1 hour 5 minutes

Homemade strawberry syrup is easy to make at home with just a few ingredients.

Ingredients

3 quarts fresh, ripe strawberries

1 cup water

¼ cup lemon juice, filtered

4 cups sugar

Instructions
Rinse the strawberries under cool water, remove any overripe strawberries, and cut off the stems and any soft or brown spots. Cut the strawberries into quarters.Working in batches, mash the strawberries in a flat-bottomed pan or bowl using a masher or durable spoon.Place the mashed strawberries in a large pot and add 1 cup of water.Heat the berries with water over medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.Remove the strawberry mixture from the stove, skim off any foam, and allow the mixture to cool for 15 minutes.Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and ladle some of the strawberry mixture into the sieve, allowing the juices to run through into the bowl. Let the mixture strain for about 30 minutes. Remove the strawberry pulp, ladle more strawberry mixture into the sieve, and repeat this process until all the juice has been strained from the strawberries.Discard the strawberry pulp and wash the sieve thoroughly to remove any pulp and residue. Line the sieve with 3 to 4 layers of cheesecloth and again place the sieve over a large bowl. Pour the strawberry juice through the sieve with the cheesecloth and allow the liquid to run through until it stops dripping. Discard the cheesecloth and any pulp or residue it captured.Line the sieve with a paper coffee filter and once again pour the juice through the filter and sieve, capturing the filtered juice in a bowl or large pot.Measure 4 cups of strawberry juice into a large saucepan or jam pot.Squeeze the lemons and filter the juice through a coffee filter or cotton cloth. Measure ¼ cup of lemon juice and add it to the strawberry juice.Place the pot over medium-low heat and add 4 cups of sugar to the juice mixture, stirring continuously until the sugar is dissolved.Turn the heat up to medium-high and bring the syrup to a boil.Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer the syrup for 15 minutes, uncovered. Remove the pan from the stove and skim off any foam.Ladle or pour the syrup into prepared hot jars, leaving ¼” headspace, and wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth.Apply the 2-part canning lids.If canning, process in the water bath for 10 minutes (or 15 minutes if above 6,000 feet in elevation) for half-pint (8-ounce) jars. For pint jars, process the jars in boiling water for 15 minutes (or 20 minutes if above 6,000 feet in elevation). If not canning, leave the jars to cool and then refrigerate or freeze. Store canned syrup in a cool, dry place for up to 18 months.  Uncanned syrup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or in the freezer for six months. For all syrup, refrigerate once opened.

Notes

Lemon juice is optional in this recipe, but reccomended for flavor. Either bottled or fresh juice work, but fresh gives a better finished flavor.

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