My poor canning jars. And lids. And pots. And magnetic lid-lifters. They’ve been collecting dust in my closet for almost two years now. Why, you ask?
It got busy. And I sort of forgot about canning.
Until they ripen, though ~ I’m kinda up a creek without a paddle.
Anyway, all of this brings me to my homemade, organic strawberry jam.
I am no longer growing impatient with our tomato plant, my sweet readers.
In fact, the tomatoes can wait.
Because I am about to embark on a NON-tomato jam/jelly/fruit/veggie/chutney canning extravaganza!!!
The crazy canning girl is back. In full force.
Here’s what you need:
4 cups crushed fresh organic strawberries (abt 3 pints), hulled
6-7 cups sugar (i know, it’s a lot. but hey - it’s jam.)
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 1.59-oz packages of real fruit pectin
*plus canning necessities: jars, lids, rims, 1 glass of ice water & a spoon (will explain that one later).
What to do:
First, you’ll want to get all your canning equipment out. Sterilized. Ready to go. Ingredients measured - ready to be added to the pot. You get the idea.
*put all your lids and rims into a small pot of water and boil for 10 mins. Then take off heat and keep them in the hot water until ready to use.*
Pour your crushed strawberries into a HIGH-rimmed pot (once boiling it will splatter all over the place, so the deeper the pot, the better off you & your kitchen will be.). Stir in pectin and lemon juice and turn stove on to high heat, stirring constantly.
Once mixture is brought to a boil for one full minute, slowly add/stir in allllll your sugar. This will bring the boil down, so just keep stirring until it reaches a boil again.
Let it boil for several minutes. This is where your ice water & spoon come in.
Place spoon in a cup of ice water and let it get very cold. This only takes 30 secs-1 min. Remove spoon and quickly scoop a small spoonful of jam from the boiling pot. Let the jam cool on your spoon for a few seconds; if you like the consistency of it (and taste), then you’re ready to take it off the heat and start canning. If the mixture is too watery on your spoon, then the jam hasn’t set yet and you’ll need to boil it longer. Just keep checking with an ice-cold spoon, until it reaches desired consistency.
Once it’s at the perfect jam-like consistency, take pot off the heat and stir continuously (off the heat) for 5 full minutes. This will prevent all those lovely seeds from sinking to the bottom and will give the jam a beautiful glaze-like appearance. Skim excess foam off the surface (the foam is normal & to be expected when making jam).
Now you’re ready to ladle your hot jam into jars. Carefully fill each jar, leaving 1/4-inch head space.
One by one, take the lids/rims out of the hot water and place onto cans.
Then turn all your jars upside down, cover with a dish towel and allow to cool. You will slowly start to hear that glorious popping noise, which indicates your jars are sealing. WOO-HOO!!!
(you could also give them a water bath and process for 10-15 mins, but that’s really not necessary with this recipe.)
Once all the jars have cooled (takes a couple hours) check for seals by pressing down on the center of each lid. If it pops back up, the jar did not seal. At this point you can process any unsealed jars in a water bath to salvage them & ensure they’re sealed properly. (or if it’s only a couple jars, just throw them in the fridge & start enjoying them! why prolong the wait?)
After the jars have cooled you can label your cans. I love getting creative and wrapping my jars in cool-patterned cloths tied gently with string and a cute tag ~ but for this batch, I kept it classic and simple.
It’s amazing what you can do with just a few pints of fresh fruit, isn’t it?
These beautiful organic strawberries…
…turned into this awesome, fresh, versatile, sweet jam!
There’s nothing in the world like fresh, homemade jam.
We spread it on our homemade buttermilk biscuits; stuff it inside freshly made danishes; pipe it into deep-fried donuts for a sweet surprise in the middle; and drizzle it over our pancakes.
Or my personal favorite: simply spreading it over some crackers for a quick treat/afternoon snack while standing in front of the fridge.
I really hope you enjoy my easy, simple recipe for organic strawberry jam!
(and stay tuned for more fun recipes that include all different kinds of fruit jams & chutneys!)