This morning was dedicated to making our years supply of strawberry jam as well as a few for gifts and a few to sell. I will tell you how I make it along with how I can it. Some people think canning is so intimidating but it is actually very easy and quick. There are only 4 MUST have tools….1) jars and lids 2) funnel 3) grippers 4) 2 large pots. My son does not like big chunks so I crush my berries 1 cup at a time by hand so they are smaller pieces in the jam.
You should always make your own jam when the fruit is in season. There is nothing better and it’s all natural!!
Note: there are directions all over the internet for canning and the pectin has directions in the box also!!
To make cooked jam for canning:
5 cups crushed strawberries (wash, cut the hulls (green leaves) off, and crush in a bowl ONE cup at a time)
7 cups sugar (you can use alternative’s with no sugar pectin) We use Sure-Jel Pectin. Always works and yes it’s a bit of sugar but you can cut back on it by adding a little extra pectin from a second box if you want and it’s so delicious you won’t care!!
Get a 1/2 full stock pot of water almost boiling
Fill your sink with the hottest water you can (you can use boiled water from microwave if need be) and keep jars, lids, and rings in it
Fill the 2nd stock pot with the 5 cups of crushed strawberries and add one box of pectin
Bring the berries/pectin to a full rolling boil stirring constantly it should boil even as you stir
Pour in the 7 cups of sugar all at once quickly
Keep stirring and bring back to rolling boil. Boil for 1 full minute
Remove from heat and skim off any foam (light pink foam you will see). You can leave foam but it doesn’t look pretty in the jars. I keep the foam in a separate bowl and when finished I cover with plastic wrap and we use it as jam also keeping it in the fridge.
Remove a jar from hot water, wipe it dry and fill using the funnel and a ladle. Fill just to the top where it meets the rim leaving 1/2 inch space to top of jar
Continue until all the jam is in the jars
(TIP: if you have a little left over and don’t want to start a new jar put it in the foam bowl!!)
Wipe the top of the jar and around the rim where the lids screw on if it dripped at all
Dry the lids and place them on the jars and then dry the rings and tighten until just tight
Turn heat up on the water stock pot
Carefully place the jars in the water bath with the grippers making sure the jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water
Bring to a slow boil and let boil for 10 minutes covered
Remove from water using grippers and place on a towel to set overnight (you will hear popping sounds when the lids seal)
After they have set overnight touch the middle of the lid to make sure it is not sticking up and has been sealed. If it did not seal you can still use the jelly but keep it in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
When sealed you can store in a cool, dark place for 18 months
That’s it!! Some of my tips:
1) Always make one batch at a time. Do not try to do 2 batches at a time.
2) Clean everything in between batches so you are ready as soon as the batch comes out of the water bath
3) Jam should have fruit pieces in it. If you want bigger pieces don’t crush as much