How to Make (the Best) Strawberry Jam
Lately, there has been an onslaught of comfort food and homemade goodness passed around social media. Today I'd like to make my contribution by sharing my Homemade Strawberry Jam recipe for your How-To files. I'm also including a brief tutorial on using the canning methold outlined from the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving.
I used two large containers of strawberries found at my local market and a Boiling-Water Canner I purchased last year at Walmart.
This recipe will make 8 pint sized jars of Strawberry Jam. The Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving is incredible - the recipe for this jam is found on Page 8. It's actually the same recipe my mother made for our family years and years ago.
Pint jars and lids can be found at Walmart and often your local market keeps them stocked on their shelves. You can only use the lids once, but the jars and bands (the part that screws the lid down) can be used over and over.
Here is the link to the recipe to print out or you can follow along below.
Classic Strawberry Jam
Preserving method: Water bath canning Makes about 8 (8 oz) half-pint jars Try out this recipe, then make it your own as you discover new twists to this favorite classic jam. Using Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin highlights the fresh flavor of strawberries by keeping the cook time short.
You will need
5 cups crushed strawberries (about 3 lbs)
1/4 cup lemon juice
6 Tbsp Ball® RealFruit™ Classic Pectin
6 cups granulated sugar
Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
Combine strawberries and lemon juice in a 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
Add entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
Ladle hot jam into a hot jar leaving a ¼ inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjust to fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool 12-24 hours. Check lids for seal, they should not flex when center is pressed.
After I hulled the berries, I put them in this large pan and crushed them with a potato masher, resulting in a little over 5 cups of crushed berries. Any leftovers I put in the refrigerator to add to vanilla ice cream - YUM.
I put the berries into a Le Creuset pot and added the lemon juice per the recipe.
Next I added the pectin. Pectin shortens the cooking time, resulting in a fresher fruit flavor. It also gives your jam a gel consistency. The recipe calls for Ball brand, but I used Sure Jell since it was on the shelves at Kroger. I used one entire pouch (each box contains 2) per the box directions.
Pour it in and mix together.
I used a wisk to mix the pectin and crushed berries together.
If you have not used a water bath canner, here is a link on preparing your glass jars. It is very easy! You definitely got this.
While the fruit was cooking on the cooktop, the jars were sterilizing in the water bath canner. Here is how I lifted them out - using a Ball jar lifter tool to prevent touching the hot jars - then I poured the hot water back into the canner.
The jars were filled with fruit to 1/4" from the top. I also went around the inside of the jars with a spatula to get out any air bubbles. Then the top of the jars were wiped down from any spills.
Next I added a warm lid to the top of the jar. This tool has a magnet on the end to easily pick it up from the steamy water. You can buy tools, such as this Presto Canning Kit, from Walmart.
The bands were added and tightened just to the point of being met with resistence. I use this canning wrench so I don't have to touch the hot jars.
Next, the filled jars were added back to the canning rack and lowered, making sure there was at least 1" of water above the tops. Following the instructions on the recipe, I covered the canner and brought the water to a full rolling boil, processing the jars for 10 minutes. At the end of the processing time, I turned off the heat, lifted the canning lid off, and waited 5 minutes before removing the jars.
The jars are set on a kitchen towel and you will see the sealed lids begin to concave. This means your jar has properly sealed. Watch this short video. You'll hear the ''pop" as it seals.
Here are the jars after resting for a minimum of 24 hours. They are filled with bright homemade jam that is far superior than store bought. Don't they look delicious?
You can purchase cute and creative labels for your jams and jellies. I found this clever set from The Container Store.
After passing a few jars out as gifts, I received this actual text from my beekeeper, Brandon, after giving his family a jar to take home.
If you've never tried making your own jam, I hope I've inspired you to try this beginner recipe. It's very simple and you will feel so accomplished, using a tried and true method, stocking your pantry with homemade goodness!
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