I am not a food blogger and don't aspire to be one but here's a quick and easy way to make strawberry jam. I learned how to make it this past summer and we haven't bought jam since. We are all totally addicted to this and my kids think I'm a super-star for knowing how to make it myself. I've even heard them bragging about it and there's not a better feeling in the world than hearing your kids brag about you. :)
(I've tried to make sure I put in all the steps and haven't forgotten anything. As I said above, I am not a food blogger and I just hope that this makes sense. If not, feel free to let me know!)
5 cups crushed strawberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
7 cups sugar
1 1.75 oz package fruit pectin (or 1/3 cup if you have a larger package)
1/2 tsp. butter *see photo and note at the bottom
Large covered canner with inside rack
Canning jars (pint or half-pint)
Canning lids and bands
This recipe makes 5 - 6 pints of jam or 10 - 12 half-pints.
How To Make Strawberry Jam:
1. Wash and hull strawberries. Either crush the berries with a masher or put them in a food processor. Most recipes say not to puree the berries because jam should have fruit pieces in it. However, my kids like very smooth jam so I throw the berries into the blender and puree the heck out of them. :) It takes about 3 pounds of strawberries to make 5 cups of crushed strawberries.
2. After the berries are crushed or pureed, put aside for a few minutes while you prepare the canning supplies.
3. Put the rack in the canner and fill the canner with hot water, cover it, and put on high heat. You want the water to be boiling or close to boiling when you put the jars in it.
4. Wash and dry the canning jars and place aside.
5. Boil the canning lids for 30 seconds and then turn off the heat. Leave the lids in the hot water until you use them.
6. After your supplies are ready and the water in the canner is heating up, put the berries and the lemon juice in a large pot and stir together over medium heat.
7. As the berries and lemon juice are heating up, add the pectin and stir until completely combined. Stir constantly as it heats to a boil and add the butter to reduce foaming.
8. When the mixture reaches a full, rolling boil, add the sugar all at once and stir rapidly until the sugar is completely mixed in.
9. Stir the mixture often as it heats up. Bring it back to a full, rolling boil and allow it to boil for one minute only.
10. Remove from the heat and ladle it immediately into the jars.
11. Do not fill each jar all the way to the top - leave at least 1/2" of space in each jar.
12. Gently put a wooden spoon (never metal) into each jar, through the jam and run it around the inside edges to remove air bubbles.
13. Wipe the jar rims with a warm, wet cloth to remove all traces of jam.
14. Using the magnetic wand, take the canning lids out of the pan and place them on the jars.
15. Put the bands on the jars and screw them on but do NOT over-tighten them.
16. Using the jar lifter, gently lower the jars onto the rack in the canner.
17. Put the lid on the canner and bring back to a full boil.
18. Continue to boil for 10 minutes.
19. After 10 minutes, turn off the heat and, using the jar lifter, move the jars onto a dish towel. Allow to sit for 18 - 24 hours.
20. And the best part - listen for the pop! As you're moving the jars onto the dish towel, you should hear the lids pop. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for them to pop and that's just fine. Once they've popped, you know they are sealed!
21. If they don't pop, it's not a huge problem. Those jars will still keep in the refrigerator. The popped jars can be stored in a pantry until they have been opened.
And in case you've never seen canning supplies (as I had never seen them), here is a canner:
Here is the jar lifter and the magnetic wand. I bought my canner and all my canning supplies in a kit at Target. I've also seen them at Walmart and Kohl's.
Here are two different brands of pectin - it can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.
This is the jar lid. The band is the part that goes over the lid and screws on.
*Note about using butter: I made one batch with butter added to reduce the foaming and one batch without butter. You can clearly see the difference in appearance here. However, they taste exactly the same. The only difference is that you will need to stir the foam into the jam once you open the jar in the butterless version. There is no reason why I chose to leave out the butter, except perhaps laziness. ;)