Canning: Making Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate

This time of year in Arizona means an overabundance of early strawberries. Even though we have a limited patch here at the homestead it’s highly economical to buy large amounts of strawberries. Since we’d already dehydrated plenty, and currently have enough strawberry jam for an army, it was time to try some new recipes. We’re big fans of Lemonade, and when someone pointed out this Strawberry Lemonade Concentrate recipe to me I had to try it!

Juicing Lemons

First step is squeezing the Lemons. Here I’ve got my juice press and we’re squeezing enough lemons to get 4 cups of fresh lemon juice.

Blending hulled strawberries

Second step is pureeing 6 cups of hulled strawberries. We already had a bowl of strawberries prepared for canning, so this only took moments. The trick is to add one cup at a time to the blender so that it doesn’t leave any big chunks.

Strawberry Lemonade Mixture

In the pot here is the grand sum of the ingredients. The 6 cups of pureed strawberries, the 4 cups of lemon juice and 6 cups of sugar. A trick to make sure you get all the strawberries out of the blender is to pour in the lemon juice as a rinse which then goes into the pot. Stir it all up and bring to a near boil (~190 degrees f).

Skim the foam

Once it’s at temperature, remove from heat and skim off the foam. Then it’s fill pints using the correct canning procedures.

Strawberry Lemonade in the water bath

Now the Ball recipe states a yield of 7 pints. We only managed 4 full pints and another near pint that we will consume immediately. Canning recipes are always a little too vague to me, so we’ll probably experiment more with this to figure out why we got a fairly significantly lower output. Bring your Water Bath Canner up to full processing boil and process for 15 minutes plus altitude adjustment (5 minutes for us).

Strawberry Lemonade!

While the WB was running I had to try our our test pint. Wow! It was an instant hit with the family. You’ll have to figure out a mixture ratio that you prefer. I think ours was ~3 tablespoons for a glass this size. You may also want to experiment with the ingredient ratios a little bit. I like a very tart lemonade, this came out a bit too sweet for my tastes. Next time I may up the lemon juice and drop the amount of sugar. If you do modify the recipe, don’t skimp on the lemon juice as it’s the acid item in the recipe!
You can find the original Ball recipe here: http://www.freshpreserving.com/recipe.aspx?r=245

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