Recipe from Brooklyn Botanic Garden's Homegrown Event

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Strawberry Preserves with Mint & Pink Peppercorns

This is a recipe for whole strawberries preserved in their juice. Using small, sweet early season strawberries is necessary. You can find these in the farmer's market for the next few weeks. 4C mashed fruit 2C sugar 2t calcium water (Pomona's Pectin) 2t pectin (Pomona's Pectin) 2tbl lemon juice 1/2 tsp chopped mint 1/4 tsp ground peppercorns Wash and rinse jars; bring to a boil and boil covered for 10 minutes to sanitize. Let stand in hot water. Bring lids and rings to boil; turn down heat; let stand in hot water.

Clean and prepare fruit. Measure fruit into a glass or ceramic bowl with 1 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice. Refrigerate overnight. Before starting to cook the jam, let sit at room temperature for at least one hour.

Measure fruit into a stainless steal or copper pot (DO NOT use aluminum). Add mint, peppercorns and proper amount of calcium water from jar into pan; stir well.

Measure remaining 1 cup sugar into separate bowl and thoroughly mix proper amount of pectin powder sugar. Bring fruit to boil. Skim foam off the top and discard. Add your mixed pectin sugar and stir vigorously 1-2 min. while cooking to dissolve pectin. Return to boil and remove from heat. Skim off all foam that has formed at the top.

Fill jars to 1/4″ of top. Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids. Put filled jars in boiling water to cover. Boil 10 min. (add 1 min. more for every 1,000 ft. above sea level). Remove from water. Let jars cool (this may take up to 12 hours), then check seals –lids should be sucked down.

Jam will last two to four months once open and refrigerated. Unopened, it will last up to a year on the shelf.

Note: The jam will jell completely and reach it's proper "jam" texture when thoroughly cool -- this might take 8 to 10 hours at room temperature.