Strawberry jam the essence of early summer condensed into lovely jars of sweet, sticky, delicious jam. Strawberry jam, ready to be eaten straight up with a spoon, spread on a piece of toast for breakfast (my favorite way to eat it), or used in, on, or with other foods. All the choices are delicious.
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The smell of strawberry jam is filling my kitchen and making me hungry for a piece of toast loaded up with fresh strawberry jam. Every year I make about 350 jars of jam. Blueberry, raspberry, and fresh strawberry jam are the favorites. I know that is a serious lot of jam! Why so much?? Well – I love to share it with family, friends, and staff in the ED where I work. Yup, everyone on my Christmas list gets a jar of homemade jam for Christmas. Somehow the list keeps growing. So now, I am up to 350 jars.
Jam is easy to make – thank goodness- with 350 jars on the list.
This recipe can be adjusted to make a big or small batch of strawberry jam. Today was a big batch day with 54 jars of Fresh Strawberry Jam from one kettle of berries. YUM!
Ripe berries, picked at their peak, are essential for fabulous jam! The thickener is fruit pectin which has no animal products so, the jam is vegan. Pectin can be purchased from most grocery stores. It comes in a box called SureJell Pectin or RealFruit Pectin. This recipe is for one box of pectin. The recipe makes 8 1/2 pint jars. Only have enough berries for half a batch? Use 4 Tbsp. of the pectin.
Here is how to make the jam.
1. Mash the berries or chop them up in a food processor. Measure the berries for the recipe after they are mashed or chopped. If you are a little short on berries, add water to make up the deficit.
2. Put the berries in a kettle. The berries should take up less than half the kettle. Add the Fruit Pectin to the berries and stir well
3. Stir constantly to prevent scorching and bring to a full rolling boil that can’t be stirred down. Boil for 1 minute.
4. Add the sugar all at once and stir in. Stir constantly to bring to a second rolling boil that can’t be stirred down. Boil a full minute again.
5. Remove from the heat. Fill the jam jars. Be sure to leave about 1/2 inch of space between the top of the jam and the top of the lid. Screw ring on tightly.
6. Put jars in water bath canner. A water bath canner has a jar rack in the bottom to keep the jars from sitting on the bottom of the kettle. If the jars sit on the bottom of the kettle, the direct heat of the burner can cause them to break. If you don’t have a kettle with a jar rack, wad up and then flatten a handful of aluminum foil. Put the jar on the flattened foil to keep the jar off the bottom of the kettle.
7. Cover the jars with water and bring to a boil. Boil the jars for 20 minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let them cool completely. Make sure they seal by pressing the middle of the lid on top of the jar. If the center of the lid can be depressed and then pops back up the jar is not sealed. Give the jar 12 hours more to seal. Retest, if not sealed remove the ring and lid. Check the glass rim of the jar to make sure there are no chips out of the rim. If the rim is chipped, discard the jar and put the jam in a different jar. Reprocess the jar again in the water bath.
Want to make a different kind of jam? Want to make a bigger batch of jam? Then hop over to my blog on Small or Large Batch of Jam Recipes.
- water bath canner
- 1/2 pint jam/jelly jars with lids and rings
- 5 cups strawberries washed, stems removed, and chopped
- 7 cups sugar granulated
- 4 tbsp fruit pectin
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice use bottled not fresh
- Add the crushed berries to a large kettle. The kettle shouldn't be more than 1/2 full.
- Add the lemon juice to the crushed berries. The lemon juice helps the jam jell and add acidity to lower the ph and prevent the growth of bacteria.
- Add the Fruit Pectin to the berries and stir well.
- Stir constantly to prevent scorching and bring to a full rolling boil that can't be stirred down. Boiling gives lots of bubbles on the top of the jam. A rolling boil that can't be stirred down means you can't make the bubbles go away by vigorous stirring. Boil for 1 minute.
- Add the sugar all at once and stir in. Stir constantly to bring to a second rolling boil that can't be stirred down. Boil a full minute again.
- Remove from the heat. Skim off the foam and discard. Fill the jam jars. Leave about 1/2 inch of space between the jam and the top of the jar.
- Put the jars in a water bath canner. Cover the jars with water and bring to a boil in a water bath canner. Boil the jars for 20 minutes. Remove the jars from the water and let them cool completely.
- 8. Once the jars have cooled test the lids to make sure the jars are sealed. Test for a seal by pressing down in the center of the lid with your finger. If the lid springs back up when you release your finger the jar isn't sealed. If the jar doesn't seal, take off the lid and check the jar rim to make sure it is not chipped. Discard the lid and put a new lid on the jar. Reheat the jar in the water batch
- Optional: a TBS. of butter or oil helps break up the surface tension of the jam and minimizes the foam you will have to skim and discard before you fill the jars.