Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Strawberry Jam 2011

Select ripe, red delicious fruit. They should be red all the way up past their "shoulders". Prepare your jars by sterilizing them.

Wash your fruit well.

Remove the stems and leaves from the top of the berries. Also if there are any bruised areas, remove those as well.

Slice the fruit using this wonderful strawberry slicer from Sur Le Table. Of course you can do it with a paring knife as well!

When you have enough berries cleaned and sliced, place them in a measuring bowl until you have 5 cups.

5 Cups of sliced fruit.

Add two tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice to the fruit.

Measure out exactly 7 cups of granulated sugar into a separate bowl in preparation for adding later.

Place fruit in large pan on stove, stir in one package Pectin and 1/2 teaspoon margarine or butter to help reduce foaming.

Turn your stove on medium high heat. Stir the strawberries and the pectin mixture until it comes to a rolling boil, that can not be stirred down. Add the sugar quickly and stir. Bring the berry mixture back up to a rolling boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from stove. Skim off any foam and discard the foam.

Place your funnel into the sterilized jar. Ladle the jam into your prepared jars. These jars, rings and seals must be sterilized ahead of time. Read Pectin package for sterilization procedures. Ladle enough jam so that it comes to 1/8 inch from the top of the jar. Make sure you clean the top edge of the jar by wiping off any jam that may of spilt onto it, before placing the seal and ring on the jar. This recipe will make 7 half pints of jam.

Invert your jars of jam for a few hours. Turn them back over and check the "button" in the middle to make sure that they have sealed properly. The button which is in the middle of the jar, should not pop back up. If any of them did not seal, those jars will have to be kept in the refrigerator not on your pantry shelf to be used immediately. Most people use the hot water bath method after the jam has been placed in the jars. There are directions for that on the package that comes with your canner. I choose not to use that method for myself , but that is up to you. Remember that there are principles of canning and they need to be followed carefully in order to ensure the quality of preservation of the food and safety for those who eat it. Ball Canning Book has a wonderful book on canning for those who would like a good resource.

This is my sister and I after spending the day jamming! We made 66 jars of strawberry jam, using 2 1/2 flats of berries, tons of sugar, multiple boxes of pectin 6 meyer lemons, and lots of love!

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