Disclaimer: Remember that lovely post about eating natural foods and all that good stuff? Well, aside from the lovely fresh-picked strawberries, the following is NOT a recipe that follows those guidelines.
We went strawberry pickin’ earlier this week. And yes, that’s a homemade sling on C. She actually fractured her arm earlier that day, but we didn’t know it yet.
As you see, we had three large buckets of yummy fresh strawberries to do something with. So, I decided to try my hand at some jam. The last time I made marmalade, it didn’t turn out so hot, so I went with the easiest recipe I could find from the Ball Canning book. The ingredient list below is slightly modified, but only because the amount of whole strawberries it suggested didn’t match the amount of liquid cups of pureed strawberries, and I figured that was the more important quantity to match.
7 cups granulated sugar
15 cups whole strawberries (approx. see instructions)
Juice from 2 lemons
1 package (1.75 oz) regular powdered fruit pectin
Canning jam requires water bath canning, which means you basically need a large pot of boiling water to can the jars, and not a pressure canner. You can find one pretty inexpensively at WalMart or the like.
By the time your recipe is done, you need hot jars. You can either gradually warm them as you start to boil your water in your large canning pot, or you can wash them in the dishwasher, and remove them while still hot. I usually do the latter, and pull them out right before I’m ready to ladle the jam into the jars. You also need to boil the lids for about 5 minutes or so, and keep in the warm water until ready to use.
Measure your sugar into a bowl, because you will need to pour it in all at once when it’s time. Set aside. (I know, it’s a CrAZy amount of sugar!!)
Measure your washed and drained strawberries, and blend them in a food processor little by little until you have made 5 cups of liquid strawberries.
Put your 5 cups of pureed strawberries into a deep saucepan. Add lemon juice (4 Tablespoons) to strawberries and whisk in pectin until dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Stir frequently.
Add sugar all at once.
Stir constantly and bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute then remove from heat.
Skim off foam. (Adding a pat of butter to your jam will help with the foam).
Take your hot jars out of the dishwasher or boiling water. Fill one jar at a time, using a canning funnel. Ladle hot jam into the hot jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Slide a small spatula against the inside of the jar 2-3 times to release air bubbles.
Wipe the jar rim with a paper towel to remove any food residue or liquid. It will mess up your seal. Using a magnetic utensil (also found at WalMart for cheap), take a seal out of the warm water and place on the jar. Screw the band on, and then place into the large pot of boiling water. Bring to rolling boil that covers all the jars, cover, and boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars with handy jar-remover tool, and place on a towel on the counter to dry. Do not touch lids, and let them sit undisturbed for 24 hours. The gratifying popping noise you’ll hear is the jars sealing! After 24 hours, check the lids to make sure they have all sealed. If they haven’t, it’s okay, you just need to use that jar first and keep it in the refrigerator.
Makes 8-9 eight-ounce jars of sweet yummy strawberry jam, that tastes especially yummy on toast made from homemade bread!