Sun-Cooked Preserves

This is an ideal recipe for use in the Southwest where there are hot, dry days.


  • 3 pounds berries or cherries
  • 6 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 cups water


  1. Wash and pick over enough berries strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, boysenberries, dark red cherries to weigh 3 pounds.
  2. In a kettle combine sugar with water and cook the syrup to the thread stage, or until a candy thermometer registers 228 degrees F.
  3. Add berries or cherries and let the mixture stand overnight.
  4. Skim the berries from the syrup and spread them in a single layer in shallow baking pans.
  5. Heat syrup until a candy thermometer registers 228 degrees F and pour it over the berries.
  6. Cover the pans with glass or clear plastic wrap and let them stand in direct sunlight for 2 to 3 days or until the syrup is thickened. Dampness and lower temperatures at night can cause mold to form, so the preserves must be brought indoors each night in most climates. If the days turn cloudy, the cooking must be completed in a 225 degree F oven.
  7. Pour the preserves into sterilized jars and seal them.