Sunday, July 1, 2012

How to Make and Can Strawberry Jam

Ok I just finished my first batch of strawberry jam and hopefully the results will be fabulous. And from what I have tasted it will be great!

Here is a little visual on how I made it:

Here are some of the ingredients I used to make the strawberry jam. The lemon juice is not pictured.

First I rinsed the strawberries in a colander and then began chopping them into small pieces.

This is double the amount needed for one batch of this jam, I made two batches separately but chopped them all together.
After the strawberries were chopped I added them to my small food processor/chopper and pulsed them until the looked like the next picture. You can chop or process them to your liking, I just like mine less chunky than some people. 
I put the processed strawberries into another bowl and scooped them into the measuring cup to be sure I got exactly 5 cups into the pan.
After I added all the processed strawberries to the pan I then added 2 TBS of lemon juice and stirred.
I measured out 7 cups of sugar and set aside before I started cooking the strawberries.  
I filled this pan with water just under 3/4 of the way full and turned on just past medium until I got a gentle boil.
Since I don't have a canning rack for my pan, I added the jars I was going to use to this big pot before it started to boil and took them out after the water was boiling. So I could fill them with the jam when they were still hot and put them back in the water without them cracking.
I added boiling water to the lids and set them on a cool burner.
Before I turned on the burner I stirred in 1 packet of Sure Jell. 
Then I turned the burner on high, stirring it constantly until a rolling boil was reached.
When the mixture reached a rolling boil I added the sugar and brought to a rolling boil once again.
When the mixture reached a rolling boil after I added the sugar I set the timer for 1 minute and still continued to constantly stir the mixture until the minute was over then took the pan off of the burner.
This is what it looked like after I took the pan off the burner. I then scooped the foam off of the top of the jam and placed it into a small bowl. 
 After the foam was removed I filled my boiled/clean jars with the jam leaving 1/8 of an inch of space left at the top of the jar. Then I added the lids to the jars(you can retrieve the lids from the hot water with a magnet tool), I wiped the jars off with a damp cloth to remove any spilled jam and then I put the rings on the jars tightly. I then added the filled jars back to the big pot of boiling water. Placed the lid on the canning pan and let boil gently for 10 mins. 
Then I took the filled jars and placed them onto a towel on the counter where they will now sit for 24 hours to cool and setup.

Here is the full recipe for this strawberry jam:

4 pints of fresh strawberries (measured out to 5 cups when processed/crushed)
7 cups of white granulated sugar
1 packet of Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin
2  TBS of lemon juice

This recipe is to make 8 - 8 oz half pint jars but when I made it somehow filled 9 jars. 

1. Bring boiling-water canner, just below 3/4 full with water, to simmer.
2. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.
3. Prepare berries as I did above, chopping and processing or chopping and using a potato masher until the strawberries are to your liking.
4. Measure exactly 5 cups of the prepared strawberries and place them into a 5/6 qt saucepan. 
5. Add 2 TBS of lemon to the fruit in the saucepan and stir until mixed.
6. Measure the exact amount of sugar, 7 cups and place in a separate bowl for later use.
7. Stir in 1 box of Pectin (Sure Jell) to the fruit in the saucepan. You may wish to add 1/2 tsp of butter or margarine to reduce foaming, I did not do that but I will next time.
8. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.
9. Stir in sugar quickly. Return to a full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.
10. Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with two-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars on elevated rack in canner. Lower rack into canner. (OR you can follow my directions for that step above if you don't have a canning rack for your pot) Water must cover jars by 1-2 inches, add boiling water if necessary. Cover; bring water to a gentle boil. Process jam for 10 minutes. You may need to adjust that time according to altitude, visit the Sure Jell website for time adjustments. Remove jars from the canner and place on a towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. ( If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
11. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Store unopened jams in cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year. Refrigerate opened jars for up to 3 weeks.

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