Saturday 26 December 2015

Strawberry jam!

Back in October I made strawberry jam for the first time. Full recipe at bottom.

We got our flat of strawberries from Heeman's (and picked up a jug of cider while we were there) then came the hulling and quartering. The jam called for the berries to be mashed before measuring to get accurate measures and to break them down before cooking. That poor plastic potato masher was barely up to the task, next time I'd probably look for a metal one.

Once mashed and measured, the berries, juice, pectin, and butter get boiled, then the pre-measured sugar gets added all at once and mixed in before bringing back to a boil.

After another minute boiling, the jam is set aside while the jars are brought up to temp. The warmed jars are filled with jam and then boiled in a big pot for 10 min to sterilize/seal.

I will admit, the first batch didn't set. I had put the sugar in at the beginning and apparently letting it boil first makes all the difference. It's still edible and we're calling it strawberry sauce because it is just far to mobile to be called jam. The second batch turned out perfectly though so just follow the directions and yours will be awesome too. :-)

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Strawberry Jam 
(yield eight 250ml jars)

5 cups Crushed strawberries (about 3 pints)
7 cups Sugar
1 pkg Bernardin Original Fruit Pectin
1/4 cup Lemon juice
1 pat Butter (to reduce foaming. You’ll need a MUCH bigger pot and will loose some of it to foam if not used. You'll also have separating jam because the bubbles cling to the fruit making it float. TL;DR=use the butter)


Hull, core, quarter, and crush strawberries with a potato masher one layer at a time. Measure after crushing and do NOT use a blender or food processor. The machines destroy the natural pectin. The idea is to demolish them gently. :-)

Get canning stuff ready. Pre-measure sugar but do not add yet.

Mix crushed berries, pectin, butter, and lemon juice in a big potato/pasta pot and heat to hard boil stirring frequently. 

Add sugar all at once, stirring to combine.

Bring it back to a boil, and boil hard for at least a minute.

Take off the heat and let sit while you finish prepping canning stuff(warm lids etc).

Skim off foam. Some can remain but you want most of it gone.

Ladle jam into jars, wipe rims, tighten to fingertip tight, process in water-bath canner for 10 minutes after boil starts. 

After 10 minutes turn off heat and remove lid. Let cool as is for 5 min before removing jars. 

Keep jars in a safe place overnight then check seal.