Monday, June 21, 2010

Glossy Strawberry Jam

After berry picking, one of the best ways to preserve all those delicious berries is to can them into jams and jellies. You'll thank yourself come winter.
Your will need:
  • canning jars with new lids
  • berries
  • sugar
  • pectin (there are many types of pectin, use the recipe for your type of pectin)
  • pairing knife
  • colander and bowl for soaking and rinsing the berries
  • giant pot for sterilizing and processing
  • optional canning supplies, funnel for ladling the jam into jars, a jar grabber, magnet on a stick to pick up the lids from the bottom of the boil pot. (There are many gadgets that can help with the canning process, many times you can substitute these items for things you already have in your kitchen, but they can make the process easier, and are relatively inexpensive.)
Start by removing all the green leaves from each of the strawberries. You can purchase a fancy do-hicky that is designed just for that task, but a pairing knife works just fine. We compost all the scraps.
Then wash the berries several times in cold running water with a bowl in a colander. I rinse until the water in the bowl is clear.  
In the meantime start your water boiling to sanitize the jars. We run them through the dishwasher then boil them and the lids for 10 minutes. Place on a clean towel to dry. Read instructions carefully, there are lots of factors that effect boiling times for jam, including elevation levels.
Each pectin recipe is slightly different depending on the brand you buy. Some call for lemon juice, some alternate the order in which you boil the strawberries, sugar and pectin. We used Sure-Jell this time. It called for 5 cups of crushed strawberries and 7 cups of sugar. We use a hand pastry blender to mash our berries. A food processor blends them a little too much for my taste. I like my jam chunky. 
Then we heated the berries and the sugar until they boiled. Once they boiled for the correct amount of time, we added the pectin and let them boil for one remaining minute. We skim off the foam with a shallow spoon. Some recipes you can add margarine or butter to reduce foam, but this is optional.
After that we ladle the hot jam into the jars using our funnel. Wipe each jar with a damp paper towel to remove residue so the lid seals properly. Then place the jars back into the boiling pot bring back to a boil and boil for 12 minutes. Remove carefully. And let cool, if you did it right, the jar lids will pop. pop, pop and seal...ahhh music to my ears.

Check out the Hobby Farm Home July/August 2010 magazine. They have some interesting recipes for infusing your jams and jellies with fresh herbs.


Anonymous said...

Looks yummy!!!
When can I expect my cherry preserves???

Jennifer Sartell said...

Cherry season starts in the next week or so. Can't wait!

Anonymous said...

I love that you included this. Its a great start to Jams and Jellies for us novice people.

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