Every summer, when my children were small, we'd head to the strawberry fields near our house to pick sweetest, most beautiful strawberries. You were allowed to eat as you picked, and I'm sure my kiddos ate more than they actually picked - you could tell by the red stains around their mouths! That was OK because we headed home with several pounds of berries and I got right to work making jam - you can't get fresher than that!
These days, my children are grown and still want jam, so I buy my berries and get to work. Let me show you how I do it.
Gather what you need: a few pounds of strawberries, jars & lids, fruit pectin, and sugar - LOTS of sugar!
First you have to sterilize your jars and lids. If you have a dishwasher, send the jars through a wash and dry cycle. If you don't, boil them in a pot for at least 10 minutes. Put the lids and bands in another pot to boil, as well.
In one bowl, measure 7 cups of sugar - I told you it was a lot! Set that aside.
I like chunky jam, so I cut my berries up and mash them with a potato masher in a bowl. If you don't like chunks of berries you can put them in the blender or food processor. You'll need 5 cups.
Put the crushed berries in a pot with one package of fruit pectin. (You can add a tsp of butter to help with foaming.) Bring that mixture to a boil and boil for 1 minute.
Now, add the sugar and bring to a boil again.
Once you get there, boil again for 1 minute and remove from the heat and start filling your jars - like this:
I leave a little room at the top (1/4") wipe the top edge and thread, and put the lid and band on right away. I tighten the band as tight as I can get it and immediately turn the jar upside-down on a towel.
When all the jars are filled, I wait about 20 minutes and turn the jars right-side-up. That when I hear the 'ping' of the jars sealing. You will know they're sealed when you press on the lid and it doesn't move up and down.
Now, here are a couple of tips:
Wear your kitchen rubber gloves because those jars are HOT! Save your hands!
Use tongs to remove your jars and lids from boiling water - refer to Tip #1!
I'm sure many of you are saying, "Ann, you're supposed to put those jars in the canner and boil them again." I've heard that too, but, honestly, I've been making my jam like this for over 20 years and have never had a problem.
Now I'm not saying you have to use my method, and if you have any doubt, get yourself a canner and boil those jars.
What I will tell you is there is nothing like homemade jam on your toast or english muffin in January! 😉
So, do you make jam? Do you have a specialty? I'd love to hear about it!
Have a great week and thanks for stopping by - I hope you'll follow me and keep up with 'all the latest' at the Cottage!
Linking to:Over the Moon
Inspire Me Tuesday
Show & Share
Make It Pretty Monday
Wow Me Wednesday
Homemade & Handcrafted
Party In Your PJs
Home & Garden Thursday
Thursday Favorite Things
No Rules Weekend
Feathered Nest Friday
What To Do Weekends
Create, Bake, Grow & Gather
Friday at the Fire Station