It’s that time of year again for strawberry jam! Today, I went by the strawberry farm and picked up 4 baskets of strawberries! I am super pumped about making jam this year because I didn’t get to make jam last year due to the stores being out of canning jars. I have my jars and berries on this perfect jam making day.
I really enjoy my time in the kitchen being creative; so, to make jam is a pleasure to me. No one is home, the doors are open, and the birds are singing. What a perfect beautiful day!
I bought my jars at Wal-Mart. They didn’t have two cases of the same, so one jar is 16 ounces and the other is 12 ounces.
I started by finding a very large bowl, then cleaning and cutting the tops off the strawberries.
While I am cleaning my strawberries I also have a large pot of water on the stove top with boiling water to sanitize the glass jars before I fill them with jam. I left the jars to boil slowly for about 5 minutes.
Make sure to have several dish towels and paper towels available for grabbing when trying to lift the jars out of the hot water. This tip helped me from getting burned by just grabbing the jars with my hands. I used tongs to get mine out of the boiling water. Then, set the jars aside to air dry.
Now that I have the strawberries cleaned and am ready to start. I take a potato masher and mash the strawberries in my bowl. This did take me a little time because I made so much.
After mashing for a while the strawberries became a little syrupy. I didn’t want large chunks of strawberries in my jam so I used my mixer to finish the smashing job.
Now, we are going to move the strawberries to the heat and add the pectin, sugar, and lemon. And I mean a lot of sugar.
Mix all ingredients well. You must keep a close eye on the strawberry mixture at this point so it doesn’t boil over on the stove.
The mixture has to reach a temperature of 220*. As the strawberries cook, they produce a light pink froth on top. The froth needs to be scraped off. Stir your strawberry mixture often as it slowly heats up to 220 degrees. When you can stir the mixture without interrupting the boil, set a timer for 1 minute and 30 seconds. I had my gas stove on 5-6 which is a medium-high setting.
After the temperature reaches the 220 degree mark, you can turn the heat off. We are ready to fill the jars. I use a half cup measuring cup to fill the jars. Fill jars leaving about 1/4-1/2 in head space and add tops for sealing. Screw lids on pretty tight so water doesn’t get inside them during the water bath at the end.
If you are going to store your jam you will need to process the jam in a water bath. Boil water in a large pot. Make sure the jar and lid are fully submerged and boil for 5 minutes. When you remove the jam from the hot water bath, set them aside to seal. You will hear a pop from each jar as it seals.
If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don’t bother with this step and just refrigerate.
I used 3 large baskets of berries, which made 11 cups of mashed strawberries.
3 boxes of pectin or 16 TBS – I bought pectin at Walmart
11 cups of sugar
juice from 4 fresh lemons
I made twelve-12 ounce jars and six-16 ounce jars from my 3 baskets of strawberries.
I have used this jam in a homemade strawberry cake, on pancakes and waffles or just with good ole peanut butter. You could also use the jam as a house warming gift for a new neighbor or to give to a hostess of a dinner party. I love having the jam available for whatever use I have!
Making jam was quite easy and fun! If you make a good amount, you can share with your family and friends. If you would like to make a small batch, here is that recipe:
1 cup mashed strawberries
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 TBS pectin
juice from 1/2 of a lemon
From here, you would follow all of the same instructions.
I hope you enjoy your jam making as much as I did!