So sweet and yummy!
What do you do with all these berries? Make jam, of course! Once you taste your own fresh strawberry jam, you’ll never buy store-bought jam again! And, if you’ve never canned anything in your life, this is a good place to start. It takes about a half hour or so and is well worth the effort.
The important thing about canning is to follow proven, safe, tested recipes. Don’t use a recipe found in a closet from someone’s great grandmother. Botulism is a real thing. It could kill you! The following is the recipe I use every year. It is for 8 eight-ounce jelly jars. It’s from the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
5 cups crushed strawberries (that’s 8 cups or 2 quarts fresh)
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 package fruit pectin (49 grams)
7 cups sugar
While getting the jam ready, place eight 8-ounce mason jars in a water canner, covering them completely and bringing the water to a boil. Lids have a wax seal on them, so follow the manufacturer’s directions to clean them. I just wash with soap and hot water.
Measure out your sugar first so you don’t have to wait. We’ll add it later. (This is a hard lesson learned from a person who suddenly didn’t have enough sugar in the middle of a batch and sent Farm Hero to the store while boiling. He went to two different stores. It took a while. That batch was hard as a rock and turned into fruit roll ups. Sigh.)
Wash strawberries, cut the green tops off, put them in a large sauce pan on medium heat, mash them with a potato masher. Don’t worry about having extra. You can use the leftovers to top some vanilla ice cream after dinner tonight!
Add lemon juice. Fresh is best, but the plastic lemon from the grocery store works, too.
Once the mixture is boiling, add pectin and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve the pectin – about 1 minute.
Now add the sugar – all at once – and return to a hard boil for 1 minute. Keep stirring.
Turn off the heat. Skim the foam off the top if you wish.
Remove your jars from the boiling water one at a time with tongs, pouring the boiling water back into the canner. Using a ladle and a funnel, place the jam in the jars, leaving a 1/4 inch space on top. Wipe the rim with a damp paper towel or lint-free cloth. Place the lid and tighten the ring gently. Place back in the canning pot.
Once you’re finished filling, bring canner to rolling boil for 10-12 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the jars to sit in the water another 5 minutes.
Remove them with tongs and place them in a place where you won’t touch them for 24 hours. If you’re going to set them on your kitchen counter, place something heat resistant under them so the heat doesn’t ruin your counter finish. (Yeah, been there too.)
You’ll hear the lids popping almost immediately. 🙂
After 24 hours, check the lids to make sure they are secure. If any are loose, place those jars in your fridge and eat them immediately. The sealed jars will store for one year.
We be jammin!
Can you hear them popping?
Here’s the final lesson learned from yours truly. You cannot double a jam recipe. I don’t know why, but it never, ever, ever turns out!! Just make the recipe as written. If you want more jam, make a second batch.