StoneGable Strawberry Jam ...
How To Make Strawberry Jam
It's June finally and it is going to be strawberry season here in New Hampshire soon (we hope - with the crazy weather I'm not sure yet). Note to self: call the farm to check on the status of this season's strawberry crop!
When it comes to canning it seems many of us, whether country or city girls, possess a gene that drives us to hit the farmer's market or the self-pick farms at first whiff of our preferred fruits becoming available for the season! Next, with our canning equipment in hand we sequester ourselves in our kitchens to begin the annual ritual - the hot sticky process of preserving the season's bounty of fresh fruits that will still be sustaining us well into the cold wintry months!
In the spirit of self-sufficiency I thought I would share this recipe I found today over at StoneGable blog. Yvonne, StoneGable's mistress of home decorating, cooking and so much more uses the recipe from the Sure Jell package and tweaks it a smidge to put her signature on her homemade jam.
Ready to get started?
PLEASE - Make sure to read through all of these instructions
before you begin - unless you are a seasoned canner!
For further information/help/safety: http://www.freshpreserving.com/getting-started.aspx
- canning pot with lift-out jar holder (jar holder keeps the jars off the bottom of the pot which might be too hot for the jars to tolerate)
- jar lifter or tongs (this keeps you from having to touch the jars once they are sterilized)
- magnetic lid lifter (again, keeps your fingers out of Hot water and off the sterilized lids)
- metal kitchen ladle (plastic ones may melt from the heat of the jam - yes, this is speaking from experience!
- lots of paper towels
- clean kitchen towels
- canning jars, new lids and screw on rims
5 cups crushed strawberries
7 cups sugar
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp butter (optional)
1 packet Sure Jell Pectin (or mfg. of your choice - be sure to follow the mfg. instructions)
12 - 8oz.sterilized canning jars, lids and rims (this recipe will use about 8-9 jars)
Remember - you must use brand new lids (only the screw on rims are re-usable)
* Do not double recipe!
(doubling makes the measurements inaccurate)
For each 8-9 jars of jam you will make a new batch of the recipe
Heat water in a large stockpot or canner and while water is heating, clean 8 oz. canning jars and rims with warm sudsy water rinsing thoroughly (or better yet run them through the dishwasher if you have one - and if you are lucky enough to have a sterilizing setting on your dishwasher you won't have to sterilize the jars in the canner/pot).
Put the clean jars into the pot of hot water and make sure they are covered with water by 2 inches. Gently boil water as jars must be sterilized. Do not take them out of the water, just keep canner/stock pot gently boiling.
Next heat water in a small sauce pan to a slow simmer - this will be for the lids which you will place in the pot after you have prepared the strawberries.
Rinse and hull strawberries.
Mash 1 cup of strawberries at a time to equal 5 cups. A potato masher works well if you don't have or want to drag out the Cuisinart/food processor.
In a separate bowl measure 7 cups of sugar and set aside.
Put strawberries in a large pot and add 1 package of Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin, zest of a lemon, lemon juice and butter ( butter keeps the foam to a minimum). Heat over medium heat stirring constantly - with a metal spoon only - plastic is likely to melt... trust me on this one! Bring strawberries to a rolling boil.
Remove from heat.
At this point be extremely CAREFUL as you are working with both sterilized jars as well as unbelievably hot sticky jam!!!
Take 1 jar at a time out of simmering water using jar lifter or tongs - CAREFULLY. (this step is if you did not sterilize your jars in the dishwasher)
Skim off any foam that has formed on the top of the jam.
Carefully ladle jam into jars leaving at least 1/4" space (or amount recommended by pectin mfg.) - between jam and rim of jar.
Wipe off the rim of the jar with a clean damp paper towel.
Take lid out of hot water with tongs or magnetic lid lifter, and being careful not to touch it with your hands place on jar. Screw on clean rims.
Put jars, now sealed with the lids and rims, back into canner and process
in hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Take jars out of canner/stock pot with tongs or jar lifter,
and sit on a clean doubled kitchen towel(s) to cool.
Listen for that little"ping" of the lids as the jars cool - that "ping" tells you they are sealed.
After the jars are completely cool check that each lid has sealed by pressing the center of the lid. If it clicks or you can push the center down,
refrigerate or freeze this jar because it has not sealed properly.
After several hours of frenzied stirring and ladling finally we stand back, covered in red sticky wonderfulness admiring with a sense of pride our now filled pantries - gleaming jars glinting in the sunlight filled with all manner of OUR preserved fruits.
This is the recommended way to safely preserve jam. Sure Jell is a fabulous product that gives consistent results and directions that are easy to understand and follow. Again, for further help/instruction on the safe preparation of canning visit Ball Jar's canning website at http://www.freshpreserving.com/getting-started.aspx
Thanks bunches Yvonne from StoneGable for this great post on one of the first of the season's yummy fruits!
As always, Hugs and thanks for popping by for a visit!