Last week we had spring break and did lot of fun stuff, one of them was picking strawberries at a local farm, check out our trip here at A Strawberry Pickin’ Good Time.
I decided to try my hand at making Jam. My 2 memories of this from childhood are my mom making it and having to seal with Wax which was a nightmare. The second my Paw Paw and some wonderful blackberry Jam which I still crave. I was soon to find this was really pretty simple.
So first you have to get some Ball Jars, I did 8 oz size. You can sterilize them by simply washing them in the dishwasher.
Then you will need the following items
- a potato masher
- measuring cups
- 3-4 cups of strawberries
- 4 cups of Sugar
- 1 soup pots
- one large stock pot
- A metal spoon
- A large mouth funnel
- A Jar Lifter
- Sure Gel Fruit Pectin (or whatever brand you want)
The last 3 items I bought with my jars at Walmart and they were about $6 for all 3 items.
Go ahead and put your large stockpot on the stove with enough water in it so that it will cover your jelly jars by 2 inches and bring the water to a boil, when it’s gets hot but not boiling ladle out a few spoonfuls into a bowl and put the lids of your Jelly Jars in it, this will help soften the seal on the lid so when you close them they will seal better, do not use boiling water for this or you will ruin the seal.
Cap your strawberries, wash them BEFORE you take the tops off or they will get watery and loose flavor. no need to cut them off just put them in a bowl or I used a 4 cup pyrex.
Then you take your potato masher and crush the strawberries so that you have 2-3 cups. Pour these in the soup pot and stir in one packet of Fruit Pectin, mix until it’s combined and bring to a boil, then pour in your sugar and stir. Some recipes will suggest you put in 1/2 tsp of butter to reduce foaming but I did not. Bring to a rolling boil, one that will not stop when you stir it and cook for another minute
Remove it from the heat and using a metal spoon, skim off any foam why you ask? Here is why from pickyourown.org
Foam contains a lot of air. In canning, the jars are not filled to the top of the jar. This gap between the lid and the food is called head space and it gives the canned food room to “breathe.” The food can expand during processing and form a vacuum as the jar cools. Foam in a jar of jam increases the head space. According to the Food Safety Information Service, this is not a problem if the jam is stored in a cool place and is eaten relatively soon. The extra head space does increase the chance of the jam molding after prolonged storage though.
Then you will ladle your Jam into jars, I used 5 for this recipe. This is why you need the wide mouth funnel! Fill till you have about 1/8″ left at the top of the jar, then take your lids out of the warm water and put on tight
Now you will put all your Jars into the pot of boiling water and leave them in for 10 minutes this will seal your jars, you can put them in and remove them with your Jar Lifter
Let them sit and cool down then you will want to test the tops by pressing down on the middle if it is tight and does not move you are golden, if it pops up and down then it did not seal then you will want to put it in the fridge and use it first. Don’t freak you will hear some popping as they cool this is OK it’s some of the jars sealing.
Sorry for the messy pic but hey it is homemade jam making! Matthew has loved this and asked for Jam everyday, we have had PBJ”s and Pancakes with Jam. Yummy!
Has anyone else tried to make other Jams or different processes I would love to share ideas!
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