There are few flavors that scream "SUMMER" like the flavor of a fresh-picked, juicy, sweet Strawberry!
When the strawberries are ripe, we eat them until we are about ready to burst, then it's time to make Strawberry Jam.
Wouldn't you love to have the summertime fresh strawberry taste next winter?
This is the way to do it!
Once you taste your own homemade strawberry jam, you'll never want store-bought again!
I understand that canning seems intimidating if you've never done it before.
I promise... this will be easy!!
Once you try it, you'll wonder why on Earth you waited so long!
If you've never canned anything before, there are some supplies you'll need.
A beginners canning kit is a great start, but you don't have to one or anything fancy.
You will need-
- canning jars with two-piece lids (lid and tightening ring)
- A deep, large pot, (a deep stock pot works well) deep enough to submerge your filled jars in water and cover them by at least 2 inches of water.
- a jar lifter or sturdy long kitchen tongs (to lift hot jars out of the waterbath.)
- a med- large heavy pot for cooking your jam.
- a small sauce pan to heat your flat lids.
- kitchen towels.
- timer (to keep track of processing times)
Thats only because this is Jam Making 101...
I have explained (and probably OVER explained) just about anything I can think of!
Dana's Rich Strawberry Jam
(Makes 8-9 half-pint jelly jars)
- 6-7 cups sugar (depending on the sweetness of your berries)
- 5 cups prepared strawberries.
- 1 box (1.75 oz) powdered pectin. (you can find this in just about any grocery store Ball, & Sure-Jell are two great brands)
- 1/3 - 1/2 Tablespoons butter *optional*
- Wash your jars and lids, the dishwasher works fine for the jars and rings.. BUT to NOT wash your flat lids in the dishwasher... the rubber lined ring is heat activated. Just wash the flat lids well and set aside in a small sauce pan.
- Fill your large, deep pot with water, making sure it's deep enough to cover your jars, heat over high heat to a strong simmer/boil.
- Place the flat lids into a small sauce pan and cover with water, set on stove over med-low heat, this heat will activate the rubber ring, you want them hot but do NOT boil them!
- Prepare your strawberries, wash and remove stems. Use only great berries! cut out any soft spots. dice or mash berries. measuring exactly 5 cups of prepared fruit.
- Measure your sugar. If your berries are really sweet, measure 6 cups, if they are not as sweet, measure 7 cups in a bowl and set aside.
- IN a med-large pot, heat berries and the entire contents of your box of pectin over high heat until it comes to a hard boil , stirring to prevent sticking.
- Add your sugar and butter, and quickly return to a bard rolling boil (that does NOT stop when you stir)
- Boil for exactly ONE Minute, stirring constantly, remove from heat. (skim off any foam that has formed on the top if desired)
- Quickly ladle the hot jam into clean jars, fill to leave 1/2 inch head space (half-inch from the top of the jar)
- wipe the lip of the jar so it is clean of any drips or spills.
- place a hot flat lid on the jar, and screw on a jar lid ring, fingertip tight. Continue filling your jars, working quickly so the jam cools as little as possible.
- Using your jar lifter or tongs place your filled jars into the large pot of simmering water. being careful NOT to let them fall over.
- Make sure the water is covering your jars by at least 1 inch!
- Return to a simmer and process for 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars from the water bath and set in a draft-free area to cool.
- as the jars cool you'll hear them "POP" this is the lids sealing! (great sound!!)
- when the jam is completely cool, press in the center of each lid. It should NOT move! If it moves or doesn't feel solid, your jar didn't seal and this jam should be kept in the refrigerator and eaten first.
- Your sealed jams will last well over a year in your pantry!
- The jam will thicken over the first 24-48 hours, so don't worry if it is a little soft the first day.
- The butter in this recipe helps limit the foaming in homemade jam. It's optional.
- Use great quality fruits at their peak of freshness!
- if your jars are hopping around too much or tipping over in your waterbath, try placing a hand-towel in the bottom of the pot to cushion them,
- One of the secrets to getting jam to set is the speed. Once you add your sugar you want to bring it back to a full boil ,for your one minute boil, as fast as possible... work with high heat and never walk away!
- You can re-use jars and rings over and over, but always buy new flat lids.
- Lots of people skip the water bath. They use the inversion method.
- ((**the USDA recommends NOT using the inversion method, it can lead to inferior and misleading seals**))
- after filling your jars with the hot jam, and putting the lids/rings on, turn the jar upside down. The heat from the jam should seal the lids.
- After 5minutes, flip the jars back over sitting upright.
- When cool, check for seals. Any that didn't seal must be processed with a new lid in a water bath OR the jam must be refrigerated.
Go Forth and Make Jam baby!!
Feel free to ask!!