A few weeks ago we were in
The best part was the
All the while we were in
If you are picking or buying already picked strawberries, make sure to look for firm, fully ripened strawberries like the ones in the picture above. They should be a nice red colour with bright green stems, which is a very good indication of their freshness.
Not having the heart to throw out perfectly good tasting strawberries, I turned them into a jam. Very simple recipe and great tasting jam.
Jams can be made with just about any fruit as long as you have the right setting agents and ingredients in the right quantities. Pectin is the primary gelling agent used in jams and jellies, which is available in large grocery store.
You will need:
5 cups fresh strawberries hulled, rinsed
3 tbsp Pectin
3 ½ cups Sugar (see note below)
¼ cup fresh Lemon juice
4oz or 8oz glass jars with lids and rings
First wash the glass jars with hot soapy water. Place washed jars in boiling water for 10 minutes to sterilize them. Put the lids into hot water (not boiling) and let sit for 5 minutes.
Remove jars and lids from the water and set aside. These glass jars are available online or in stores.
Mix the pectin with ¼ cup of sugar and set aside.
Partially crush the strawberries using a potato masher; you can leave small pieces if you want your jam to be chunky. Crushing the berries partially releases the natural pectin in them. Measure the crushed strawberries, you should have about 3- 3 ½ cups. Pour into a deep Teflon coated pan. Stir in the lemon juice and the pectin sugar mix; bring the fruit to a boil on medium high heat. Once it reaches a full boil, add the remaining sugar and bring to a boil. Boil for a whole minute.
At this point you can see a lot of foam on the surface of the jam, skim it with a spoon.
Testing the consistency of the Jam:
Have a metal spoon sitting in ice cold water while you make the jam. Once you skim the foam, take a little bit of the jam in the spoon and let cool to room temperature. Move the spoon, if the jam is still runny, then add some more pectin and continue to boil. The jam should set when at room temp, that’s when it is ready.
Ladle the jam into the sterilized jars, place the lid on top and screw on the rings. Immediately place the sealed jars in a hot water bath. Make sure the jars are covered with atleast 2 inches of water on top. Let them sit in the bath for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside in a cool draft free place and let the jars come to room temp. The jam is then ready to use.
I gave some of these jars to a couple of friends and saved the rest for us to use. My husband was in Visalia again this weekend, and he came back with twice as many strawberries compared to last time. I am still deciding what to do with all those gorgeous berries.
One last look at Home-made Strawberry Jam...