Here at the Andrito household, since 2020 happened, I have been more and more interested in finding out how my food is grown, making everything homemade, and finding ways to preserve our food.
I enjoy finding ways to preserve some of our favorite recipes that I can then use throughout the year. That way I get the convenience of just pulling something out of the pantry that is already made, but I get the peace of mind of knowing how this item was made and knowing there are no additives that I don’t want there.
For preserves in particular I have been using less sugar and substituting with honey instead. Which is a lot healthier for us, however it does not compromise on flavor. All of this to say that the following are low-sugar preserves, which are healthier for you yet just as good. They require a specific kind of pectin in order to end up with the right consistency.
This batch of preserves I made with a combination of frozen and fresh organic fruit since that is what I had at hand. You can use all frozen or all fresh, just keep in mind that frozen tends to release more juice than fresh.
I canned these in a water-bath canner and used a hodgepodge of jars, basically all the ones I had left over after completing other projects. Ideally you will want to can these in 8 oz. jars, but honestly anything works.
Strawberry-Rosé Low Sugar Preserve
- 2 lbs strawberries (I used a combination of frozen and fresh)
- 1/2 cup Rosé wine
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 5 Tbsp Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin (I used the Ball brand one).
If you are canning your preserves you need to sterilize your jars and get your water boiling for water-bath canning.
In a saucepan add your frozen strawberries and cook over medium heat until they have defrosted. If using fresh berries, then skip this step.
Now you have to decide whether you want your preserves to have whole strawberries or chunks instead. For this batch I left them whole but have to be honest and say I prefer them in chunks, it makes it easier to spread. If you want chunks, then just do a rough mash with a potato masher.
Once your strawberries are starting to release their juices add in the Rosé, salt, lemon juice, and pectin. Set heat to high and bring to a rolling boil while constantly stirring.
Add in the sugar and honey while constantly stirring and bring back to a boil. Let it boil for two minutes (or until the consistency looks thicker) while stirring then turn off the heat.
You can do the spoon or the plate test at this step. To do so you just have to put a plate or a spoon in the freezer for a few minutes (preferably back when you started this process) then just scoop up a tablespoon of jelly and see if it sets on the cool spoon or on the cold plate. If it does then it is ready, if it doesn’t then it needs to cook a bit longer. Repeat test until you get the desired result.
If you are going to can this, then fill up your sterilized jars leaving 1/2-inch head space. Then wipe the rims with a paper towel soaked in white vinegar. Place the lids and rings on each jar then process for 10 minutes (this means at least 10 minutes in the water canner going at a full boil).
Once processed set them on a towel on the counter and let them come to room temperature and listen for that nice “pop” letting you know the jars have sealed (my girls and I love listening to this and we say the jars are singing to us). I like to leave them out overnight so that I know they are at room temperature.
Test the lid to see if it moves up and down, if it does then the jar did not seal, store in the refrigerator and eat within two weeks. If it doesn’t, then the jar has successfully sealed, and you can loosen the ring and put it in your pantry.
That is it! Now you have delicious preserves for the whole year. You can serve them on toast, add to desserts or smoothies, use them on a cheese board (it looks super fancy and tastes great with cheese), or just make the old faithful peanut butter and jelly sandwich, it all tastes great!
Note: The alcohol in the Rosé is cooked out when you boil the preserves, therefore this recipe is safe to feed to everyone.