Active Work and Total Preparation Time:
30 minutes plus 8 hours standing
This recipe works best with weights (how would you know if you were a few strawberries short of a pint?). Use equal amounts of fruit and sugar. We've listed approximate volume measures if you don't have a scale (2 pints of strawberries weigh about 2 pounds.)
2 pounds washed and hulled strawberries, cut into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
2 pounds sugar (about 4 cups)
Juice of 1 lemon
Combine the strawberries and sugar in a large pot and heat slowly until the juices are clear, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, then cover loosely and let stand overnight.
The next day, get everything ready for canning: Bring a large pot of water to a boil and sterilize 5 sets of jars and lids, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, but leave the jars and lids in the hot water until you're ready to use them.
Heat 2 cups of the strawberries and juice in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the strawberries start to simmer, cook, stirring often, until the preserves test done, 3 to 5 minutes. Ladle the jam into the sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the rim. Cover with the lid and fasten the ring tight.
Set aside and repeat with the remaining strawberries and juice.
To complete the seal, bring the large pot of water back to a boil, place the covered jars in a pasta insert and place them in the pot. Make sure the boiling water covers the jars. Cook 5 minutes.
Remove the jars from the pan and set aside to cool. After 30 minutes, check the lids to make sure they've sealed tightly. Gently press down in the center of the lid; if it does not spring back, you have a tight seal.
Repeat the canning process with any jars that have not sealed tightly.