Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Strawberry Jam

I have always wanted to make Jam...I don't know why I just have.  Since the holidays are right around the corner I decided to try it out.  I thought ...what a great gift, homemade Strawberry Jam.

How nice would it be to wake up Christmas morning and make some home made scones or biscuits and smear some homemade strawberry Jam on them.  So, I made a batch and wrapped them up in pretty little cellophane bags and tied them off with some white twine, threw on a pretty label and there you have a very thoughtful and yummy gift.  The more I think about it, this could be a great favor for a bridal shower or a birthday party.

Here is what you'll need:

  • 3 lbs of fresh strawberries, cleaned and hulled
  • 6 cups of sugar, yes I said 6 cups of sugar (what do you think makes this so yummy)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  • 3/4 package of fruit pectin (can be found where any canning supplies are sold)
Clean and hull the strawberries.

This is a hulled strawberry, just take a knife and core the center of the strawberry to look like this.

Now that's a lot of strawberries!

Now with a masher, mash all the strawberries.  Put some elbow grease into it!

This is a masher!

When the strawberries look like this you can stop mashing!

In the meantime I took my jars that I was going to place the jam in and sterilized them. I just added them to boiling water and let them boil in a covered pot for 15 minutes.

***I have never officially canned before so I just sterilized the jars which means the jam will stay good in the jars, in the fridge for 6 months***  
***Canning will allow the jam to stay good for up to 5 years in the pantry as long as you don't open it***

Now place the strawberries into a large pot.  Pour in the sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest.

Bring the mixture to a rolling boil and slowly add the fruit pectin.

This is fruit pectin, it comes in powder form.  
This is what allows the Jam to become a gel consistency.   
Trust me it is very necessary, I tried not to use it and it was a disaster. I am not even going to get into that fiasco.

It will start to foam, if you want to avoid the foam you can add a little less than a 1/2 tsp of butter.  
I did not do this...see all the foam!

Once the strawberries have boiled for 5 minutes stirring constantly, you can shut off the flame.  With a spoon you can take off the foam.

You will know that the jam is finished when you take a frozen plate (that was in the freezer for 10 mins before) add a small amount of the jam and place it back in the freezer for 1 minute.  If the jam turns to gel then it is done. I ran my finger through the jam and it did not run back together.

I let the jam cool for a few minutes before placing them in the sterilized jars.

Then I added the jam to the jars, made some labels with the name of the jam and the expiration date.  

Then I placed them in the fridge. 
If you don't officially can the Jam it will have to be stored in the fridge and will be good for 6 months

I then placed them in cellophane bags and wrapped them with some white twine and added a pretty label and there you have a great little gift!


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