I'm so excited about this jam! It was my first attempt at canning, and all went very well. Oh, and it tastes soooo delicious!! It's so good that I ate that spoon full of jam all by itself after I took the picture above. Yum!
I used a recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook as a starting point. I also found a version of the recipe on their website here. On a side note, if you don't have that cookbook, I'd run out and buy it. It not only has a lot of recipes but lots of tips, tricks and techniques to help you along the way. I got mine a couple years ago and LOVE it! And no one's paying me to say that :-)
Here's my version of the recipe:
This recipe makes 4 pint jars or 8 half pints.
- About 2 quarts strawberries. I think this turned out to be about 3 pounds of strawberries.
- 1 1 3/4 ounce package of powdered fruit pectin (I found mine in the baking aisle at Target along with my jars)
- 1/2 teaspoon butter or margarine
- 7 cups sugar (yes, 7!)
Hull your strawberries.
I pureed my strawberries in my blender until I had 5 cups of pureed strawberries. Looking back, a food processor may work better for this. I had to do a cup or two of strawberries at a time. You'd probably be able to do more than that at a time with a food processor.
Place your puree in a heavy bottomed large pot. Mine was 5 quarts. Stir in pectin and butter.
Heat on high until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. You've got a rolling boil when you can't stir it down. Be sure to constantly stir the mixture or it will scorch.
Add your sugar all at once. I measured out all my sugar and had it in a bowl waiting before I started the puree mixture boiling, so I could be sure to continue stirring. Return the mixture to boiling and boil for 1 minute, again stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and skim off the foam with a metal spoon.
Ladle immediately into hot, sterilized jars (the original recipe says to use half pint jars but I used pint jars). Be sure to leave a little room (about 1/4 of an inch) at the top in case the jam expands. Wipe the rims of your jars clean before fastening the lids.
Process your jars in a boiling water bath. I don't have a water canner, so I just used a very large stockpot (I got the idea here), and it worked just fine. The original recipe called for a processing/boiling time of 5 minutes, but I processed the jam for 20 minutes since our elevation is above 6,000 feet. You'll start the time once your water returns to a boil (if it stops boiling when you put the jars in the water-mine didn't stop boiling). There was a conversion chart included with the jars I bought. You can see a conversion chart here.
Once the processing time is complete, remove the jars and let them cool. It takes quite a while for them to cool. I just let them sit for about a day before moving them. They will seal as they cool.
It is quite a bit a work but not quite as difficult as I thought it would be. I plan on doing it again sometime!
Oh! I have one more little tip. If you need something to store your cans in, try a Costco milk box.
It's the perfect size for 8 pint sized jars...
I'm having a blast at these lovely linking parties.