Monday, November 23, 2009

Homemade Strawberry Jam

A couple of months back, Pioneer Woman did a couple of posts on canning. Specifically, jam. Strawberry jam to be exact. I have been wanting to try my hand at canning for awhile now, so after reading her post - I decided to try it out. I finally made the jam this weekend. Now, all of you know I am not a photographer and I really should leave the picture taking to Darren, but I got all excited to tell y'all how easy it was to make this jam, I took pictures to show you. Ok, here is the recipe:
Homemade Strawberry Jam
  • 5 cups strawberries, hulled and mashed
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (fresh) lemon juice
  • 1 package powdered fruit pectin

First, you want to wash and hull (remove the green, leafy part) the strawberries. Or talk your husband into doing it and gripe at him to "hurry up already" while you watch him and call it "bonding". Place the hulled strawberries in a bowl or on a baking pan and mash them up with a potato masher. You want small strawberry pieces, but you want to them pretty fine. Measure out 5 cups, and put them into a pot. Add 4 tablespoons of juice from a large lemon. Turn on the heat to your pot and bring strawberry/lemon juice mixture to a boil.

While you do that, put your jars in a big pot of water and put it on to simmer/low boil. Its great if you have a canning pot and rack, but I don't and it worked just fine - you just don't want your jars clanking around all willy nilly. Lay them down if you have to. You want them to get heated so that the hot jam doesn't bust them, but you don't want them to bust or crack while you are getting the jam ready.

On another burner, put the lids (not the screw part) in a small pot and get them to simmering as well.

Then add the 7 cups of sugar to the strawberry mixture (measure it out before hand so that you can add it all at once). Mix together to incorporate. Leave the heat on high and bring the mixture to a strong rolling boil. The kind of boil that doesn't calm down when you stir it with a spoon.

Add half a pat (tablespoon) of butter, to help reduce the "foam" that will start to form on the top of the strawberry mixture.

Then, just mix it in with your spoon.

Then, mix it in with your spoon and let it get to boiling again!

This foam will form on the stop of the mixture. Just use your spoon to get as much of it off, as possible. I recommend that you save that discarded foam, for later.

Then, shake the excess water off your jars, and with a wide mouth funnel, start pouring in the jam, one cup at a time (it makes it easier and less messy that way, trust me). Ok, I know that you are staring at that jam splatter on my counter thinking "trust her, its not as messy that way? there is the messy proof, right there". But, I assure you, you would be picking out the one clean spot in a bright red, strawberry, sticky mess of a counter if I hadn't done it that way.

Continue until you have all of the jars full (leave about a fourth of an inch from the top). Then, run a butter knife around the edge of the jars to get all of the air bubbles out.
Put the lids on and seal them (do not tighten the screw lids). Then, stick them back in the boiling water for 10 more minutes. Then, turn the heat off the water and leave them for 5 more minutes.

Remove them from the water and let sit out on the counter (un-touched) for 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can tighten the screw band if you need to and then you are good to go.
Then, I like to get some cute fabric and cut it into a square and place over the top of the jar and then tie it with a cute raffia bow. It's cute, it's simple, it's homemade and it's delicious and everyone that you give it to will love you!
I plan on giving a jar out with a cute little Thanksgiving card, to all of my guests at Thanksgiving. And remember that discarded foam or that sticky pot you cooked the strawberries in? They are just sitting there, waiting for you to enjoy them! It's not as "pretty" as the jam you just made, but its just as delicious!

Yes, yes that is a finger mark where I swiped some jam and "tested" it, right out of the pan.
It will definitely make you talk your husband into going out and getting a loaf of bread at 9 at night so that you can have a nice piece of toast and strawberry jam "gunk" before you go to bed.
Not that I did anything like that, I'm just saying...


Amanda said...

I wish I was going to be a guest at Thanksgiving!! LOL! Maybe I'll talk Jud into sliding your way after Thanksgiving in Livingston with Jud's family!! That looks really GOOD!!

Anonymous said...

Morgan. . .about how many strawberries did you buy to get 5 cups?

I can't wait to try this and give this at Christmas!


Morgan said...

I bought 3 containers of strawberries and it was exactly 5 cups, mashed. It was also exactly the amount of juice that came out of 1 large lemon.

It's sweet, but its oh so delicious!

I think it would be adorable at Christmas time with some green and white gingham fabric and a little raffia bow.

Melissa Miller said...

Morgan this sounds so good. Yum!

Coco is just adorable! Our pets are the babies of the family for sure. *Smiles*

Happy Thanksgiving! ~Melissa :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I ran to the store yesterday but forgot strawberries and Karo