Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Strawberry Jam

I had picked up some 4 oz canning jars on E-bay several months ago and as the summer is coming to an end we knew we had to use them before it was too late.  We've never made jam before and with strawberries on sale at the store it seemed like a perfect opportunity.  I used the recipe from the Pioneer Woman- she goes into much more detail so if this is your first time canning I would recommend checking out her posts.  Our only changes were to use less sugar and lime juice instead of lemon.  It was hard not to eat this by the spoonful while we were making it!  I can't wait to open a jar.

Ingredients: (we were able to fill twelve 4 oz jars and one 8 oz jar.
  • 4 cups hulled mashed strawberries (2 lbs)
  • 4 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1 49g package fruit pectin
  • 1 tablespoon butter
Prepare your jars and lids by simmering, and letting them sit in hot water until ready to use.
Hull your strawberries using a small spoon and place them in a bowl.  

 Begin to mash them with a potato masher until they are pretty fine (some chunks are okay).  They will release a ton of liquid.

Pour this mixture into your large pot (about 4 cups when measured) and add the lime or lemon juice.  Over low heat stir in the pectin until dissolved.  Next, bring to a boil and add the sugar.  Stir frequently- add the butter to the mix and this will greatly reduce the amount of foaming so you won't have to skim it off the top.  Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the jam mixture to a violent boil.  (Even when you're stirring quickly it should be bubbling).  After 2 minutes, remove from heat and begin to fill your jars.  This is where a funnel comes in handy, but we made do without one.  Leave 1/4 inch of air space at the top of each jar.

Once all jars have been filled, wipe the rims with a warm paper towel to make sure there is no sticky jam.  Place the sealed lids down and screw the tops on until just barely tight.  Heat your pot of water up to a boil and place the jars in for 10-12 minutes, boiling hard.  (We had to do two batches).  

When done, remove and let them cool for 24 hours.  Check the lids to make sure all seals are secure.  If any are not, place them in the fridge to eat first.  Otherwise, store in the pantry or give out as gifts!


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