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Let the Sun cook Strawberry Preserves

104_2974Don’t want to heat up the kitchen chained to a canner making preserves? How about letting Mother Nature do all the work for you?  Here’s an old fashioned method of cooking preserves in the sun, much like I make what I call my solar/sun cooked dills. Yes, there’s a good amount of sugar in here, but usually preserves do have a lot of sugar. But hey, think of all the vitamin D coming from all that wonderful sun perhaps going right into your preserves!

Sun cooked strawberry preserves

The amount of berries isn’t exact, so go for 4-5 heaping cups strawberries or even a bit more.

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4-5 heaping cups strawberries, sliced very thickly if large, halved or quartered if medium or left whole if real small

3 cups sugar or more to taste

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Cook sugar, water and lemon juice until boiling and cook until sugar dissolves.

Put berries in, lower to simmer and cook just until they start to lose their color and shrink a bit.
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Pour into sprayed shallow baking pan (I use cookie sheets with sides) in single layers. Set in sun for 3-4 days. When berries are plump and turn darker red and syrup has jelled, pack into jars without reheating. Store in refrigerator up to a month or in freezer up to 6 months.

If it rains, bring inside. If insects are a problem, cover with cheesecloth.

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