Aaliyah's favourite summer drink is lemonade. This strawberry concentrate hits all the right buttons: her favourite summer berry paired with the sourness of lemons, sweetened with a little sugar (actually quite bit of sugar) which she can mix herself with water or ginger ale. It's in a special place in the pantry...
You can substitute strawberries with any other favourite berry or use a mix of blueberries, raspberries, cherries, etc... just keep the proportions of fruit to lemon juice and sugar the same. Note: i have decreased the amount of sugar in some batches, by as much as 50% - for more tartness.
The recipe is based on one found in the Bernardin Complete Book of Home Canning.
Makes about six 500 ml jars.
6 cups strawberries, cleaned and hulled (about 2 L)
4 cups lemon juice
6 cups granulated sugar
• In a food processor or blender, purée strawberries. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine strawberry purée, lemon juice and sugar. Heat to 165°F (75°C), stirring occasionally (Do not boil). Remove from heat; skim foam.
• Quickly ladle lemonade into a hot jar 500 ml jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar. Using nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more lemonade. Wipe jar rim removing any food residue. Centre hot sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip tight. Place filled jar to rack in steam (or water bath) canner. Repeat for remaining lemonade.
• Cover canner and process for 15 minutes.
• When processing time is complete, remove canner lid, wait 5 minutes, then remove jars without tilting and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours.
• After cooling check jar seals. Sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place.