It is strawberry season and time to start picking! You will come back with buckets. Or if you don’t wander out to the local farms or farmstands, buy frozen fruit (it’s frozen fresh) and let it thaw. Just mash it up. Add a little sugar and boil. And you are well on your way to making your own jam….
Today is strawberry jam.
This is not your average piece of toast.
For strawberry perserves I use strawberries and sugar and a little lemon juice. If you read any jam at the store, the first ingredient is not the fruit, but “Sugar." I do not make jam where there is more sugar than fruit. NOPE not me. The pectin that you add (in powerded form) makes the fruit mixture gell together to make the jam. I buy the low sugar pectin so I don’t have to add as much sugar. The directions for whatever fruit preserves you want to make are right in the box of Pectin.
Once you learn the method of canning, you will love it. If you are interested, you may want to buy a cookbook such as The Complete Book of Home Preserving. (click on title for a link)
You can buy the canning pot at a kitchen store. It’s a very large pot used only for canning fruits and vegetables. This pot is used to boil the jars in to steralize them before you fill them with the hot jam mixture. It is a method that is necessary if you want to store the jam at room temperature (until opened) and give as gifts. They will keep at room temperaure for basically a year (maybe even more).
Now, if you don’t care about making 6 jars to keep and store and only refrigerate after you open them, then you don’t have to use the big pot and steralize the jars. You can make jam and keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks (unopened) or freeze for up to a year. This is a smaller recipe below that uses low-sugar pectin and will make 4 (1 ½ pint) glass canning jars.
Fresh Strawberry Preserves (stored in refrigerator)
- 1 lb fresh strawberries
- 2 ¾ cup sugar
- 1 (1 ¼ oz) package powdered low-sugar fruit pectin
- 1 tsp lemon juice (optional)
- ½ tsp butter (optional—this prevents the foam on the surface after melting sugar and strawberries together)
- Prepare the glass canning jars (Four ½ pint-sized jars with tight-fitting lids). Wash and rinse out jars with hot water, pour boiling water over them and place on kitchen towel to dry)
- Put strawberries in large saucepan and mash with potator masher or wooden spoon (coarsely mash).
- In small bowl mix together ¼ cup sugar amd package of pectin. Add to strawberries. Bring to boil.
- After strawberries and pectin mixture reach a full, roaring boil. Add the rest of the sugar. Return to roaring boil, stiring constantly. Once reaches boil, stir 1 minute. Remove saucepan from heat and skim off the foam (the butter if you add it to the strawberries at the beginning will reduce this foam from forming now).
- Pour jam with laddle into jars, leaving ½ inch from the top. Wipe rims of jars clean with towel. Cover tightly with lids and let stand at room temperature to set 12-24 hours.
- Store in fridge for up to 3 weeks or 1 year in the freezer.
Follow the steps and you will be a jam-making pro.
If not, I have a lot and I am willing to share. :)