2016 update: local crop is in and looks great…won’t be around much longer, though, so I went to a local farm and picked up 2 baskets (gallon size) for $14.oo each. I have made two batches of strawberry jam today and find that I can make 2 batches from one basket. Bumping this post for seasonal reasons…get some fresh strawberries!
In 2012, my older daughter got married. As a small token to our wedding guests, I made a 4 0z jar of homemade strawberry jam with a little fabric cover and a label with the wedding date, the bride and groom’s names and the message “Spread the Love”. Oh, and I made two hundred and twenty-five of them!
I had help picking some of the strawberries and a little help with the jam process from my younger daughter, but I did make several backache producing strawberry picking trips on my own. In that time, I became rather proficient at making jam. The guests all gave the jam rave reviews! The recipe is basically the one that comes in the Sure-Jell box. It’s simple. Just follow easy directions. I haven’t tried low sugar or no sugar recipes, but I know you have to follow directions for the specific pectin product that you use, to ensure success. And do NOT try to double the recipe. Make a single batch at a time, or it will not gel. Strawberry season is almost over in my area for picking them yourself, so hurry!!! Make sure you plan for enough extra strawberries to make a fresh pie, serve over shortcake or simply with whipped cream! And enjoy!
5 cups prepared fruit (about 2 quarts fully ripe strawberries)
1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin
½ tsp. butter or margarine (optional)
7 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
Bring boiling-water canner, half full with water or enough water to cover jars by at least 2 inches, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Add jars to the canner to santize. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling. Make sure you have all your utensils handy.
Stem and crush or chop strawberries. Measure exactly 5 cups of prepared fruit into 6- or 8-quart pot. Stir pectin into prepared fruit in sauce pot. Add butter to reduce foaming, if desired. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar.
Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads with a damp clean cloth or paper towel. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches.
Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process for 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals and tighten screw rings, if necessary. Allow to set -up for 24 hours. Once sealed and set, the screw rings can be removed and the jars stored. Recipe makes eight 1/2 pint (8 oz) jars or four pint (16 oz) jars.