My husband and I were going to clean and freeze some of the strawberries we; actually he picked from our garden. But once they are frozen, they are really only good for smoothies or so we thought. He asked if I knew how to make strawberry jam. I have canned pickles, beets, tomatoes etc. but never tried making jelly or jam. I found an easy recipe and thought why not try it, I didn’t have to run out for anything and he was helping me so why not.
He cleaned and hulled the berries; I cleaned the canning jars and covers. Using my food processor I smashed all that he cleaned and added them to one of my large heavy bottom pots. Added some sugar and lemon juice and started boiling it down to release the natural pectin in the berries. It is important to get the temperature to 220’ degrees F so the mixture will not be too runny.
I will admit while the jam tasted great, I boiled it too long and it came too thick. Another live and learn lesson in the kitchen. I will share with you what I am going to do the next time and I am sure it will come out perfect.
I did take one of the jars and tested adding a very small amount of water and mixing it up; it made it much more the consistency it should be.
While canning in a water bath isn’t really difficult; you do want to make sure you start with cleaned and processed jars and covers. And you want to make sure you boil your filled jars for as long as is required. I boiled my jars for 10 minutes; I think you could go up to 15 minutes and still be fine.
4 cups of smashed cleaned and hulled strawberries
3-4 cups of sugar – to taste
¼ cup lemon juice
Cook on low temperature till sugar dissolves. Slowly bring the berries up to a boil stirring occasionally. Here is where it can get a little tricky so pay attention to what you are doing. No emptying the dishwasher or folding laundry etc. using a candy thermometer and being careful not to burn yourself; which is why I mentioned using a large pot; it will help keep the liquid from splattering on you while you stir. When it reaches 220 degrees I suggest boiling it for 2-4 minutes. Here is where I went wrong and boiled it for 10 minutes; yeah that was way too long though adding a little bit of water helped it come back to a spreadable consistency.
Proof is in the eating, while I writing this; my husband just made himself a PB&J sandwich and he isn’t a PB fan so I may try some other berries in the near future.
Recipe adapted from allrecipes – katherin