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Elegant Strawberry Preserves

2 quarts firm ripe small strawberries
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 2/3 cups sugar


Combine strawberries and sugar in a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, and allow to stand for 3 to 4 hours. Over medium-low heat, bring mixture slowly to a boil, and stir until sugar is thoroughly dissolved. Add the lemon juice, and increase heat to high. Boil rapidly until strawberries are transparent and syrup is thick (about 12 minutes).

Remove from heat, and skim any foam from surface of mixture. With a slotted spoon, remove the strawberries from the syrup and place in a shallow container. Return the syrup to heat, bring to a boil and cook for 8 minutes. Pour hot syrup over strawberries. Cover container loosely with a clean towel, and allow to stand in a cool place for at least 12 and not more than 24 hours.

Skim any foam from surface. Do not stir mixture, but shake it occasionally so strawberries absorb the syrup and are distributed evenly. Pour into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Adjust jar caps, and process for 20 minutes in boiling water .


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