One of my favorite things about summer is being able to work hard. That sounds funny because I would consider myself a hard worker every day (at least I try to be), but I love being able to do the things that summer brings- gardening, spring cleaning, picking, canning, and more. If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen me mention my many trips to the local berry farm with the kids. We have been quite a few times this year because we love to go out there so much. The farmer and his wife are so kind and generous and just let you roam their beautiful property. They have sheep and chickens for the kids to feed and we love to just make a day of it. Anyhow, we went out to pick strawberries and raspberries a few times, and I think the kids ate their bodyweight in berries. I managed to get enough to can a few batches of jam, sauce and syrup and I will be sharing a couple of those recipes with you in the next few days.
This Jam recipe is pretty standard, and it turns out delicious. If you have never canned before, I recommend starting with Jam. Whenever I make jam, I feel like I want to make and can a million more things because it is pretty simple and has such rewarding results. If you are new to canning, I recommend checking out these articles: Canning 101, Water Bath Canning and Canning Basics for Food Preserving. I will give you my process below, but for the real professionals, check out those websites.
To make strawberry Jam, I just use this recipe from the Sure Jell pectin box. You can also find recipes in the Ball Canning Book, and on the above websites. I really like the flavor of this particular recipe, so I use it almost every time I can strawberry jam. It is important to follow the instructions in the order they are given so the pectin sets up. If not, you may have jam that is runny or separates.
Before I begin preparing the strawberries, prepare my Water Bath as outlined here. To prepare the strawberries, I hull them with a paring knife, then place them in a gallon ziplock bag. I smash the strawberries with my fingers and then measure out what I need for the recipe.
Makes about 6, 12 oz. jars
1 box pectin
5 cups crushed strawberries (about 8 cups before crushing)
7 cups sugar
Pour crushed strawberries into a large saucepan. Sprinkle pectin on top and stir. Bring to a full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly (A full, rolling boil won’t stop bubbling when stirred). Boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add sugar and bring to full, rolling boil once again and boil for exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off any foam with a metal spoon and set aside (I put the foam on toast or a roll and eat it when I am finished canning. It is still really yummy.) Ladle immediately into prepared jars and process according to water bath instructions. I process mine for 15 minutes because of my altitude, but you will want to reference the altitude chart for your location. It starts at 10 minutes, and then you add time according to your altitude.
Once you make a batch all the way through, it gets easier and easier every time- and more addicting I think! I love making jam and my family loves to eat it :).