Capture some of the flavors of spring by making fruit preserves made from strawberries and rhubarb, enhanced with a bit of orange and walnuts. This recipe is adapted from my book Herbal Vinegar, (Storey Communications, 1994; $13).
4 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
4 cups rhubarb, cut in 1-inch pieces
4 cups sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh orange zest
1 cup walnuts, chopped
In a large, non-reactive saucepan, combine the strawberries, rhubarb, sugar, vinegar, orange juice, and orange zest. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thick, or a candy thermometer reaches 200oF, or about 40 minutes. Stir in the walnuts. Continue to simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
Pour into clean, hot half-pint canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch space at the top. Wipe the rims, put on lids and fasten the screw bands. Put the jars on a rack in a deep kettle half full of boiling water and add more boiling water to cover the lids by 2 inches. Cover the pot, bring to a hard boil, and boil for 15 minutes. Lower heat if necessary.
Remove jars from boiling water. Cool, remove bands, label, and store. Refrigerate after opening.
Makes 2 to 4 pints
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