Monday, June 14, 2010

Strawberry Jam

Strawberry jam is the first thing that I learned to can several years ago. Water bath canning, and strawberry jam is a good place to start, and it really isn't as difficult as you may think. Once you make your own homemade jam, you'll never buy store-bought again. Soon you'll be thinking of all kinds of fruits that you can turn into jam... the possibilities are endless. Then there's jellies and syrups...yum!!

It doesn't take much to get started, and most of the things you need are at the hardware store.A large water bath canner with rack, a jar lifter, magnetic wand, wide-mouth funnel, and a canning book. I really like this one.

5 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and mashed
7 cups sugar
4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 package (49 g) powdered fruit pectin
1/2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Place 8 or 9 8 ounce canning jars in the water bath canner, fill with water to cover jars, and bring to a simmer.
In a small sauce pan simmer the center lids.
In a large pot or dutch oven (at least 6 quart or larger) add mashed strawberries, lemon juice, pectin, and the butter. Bring to a full boil. Add the sugar all at once and stir to distribute sugar. Bring back to a full rolling boil, and boil for 1 minute, 15 seconds. Turn off heat and skim the foam off the top with a spoon.
Remove one jar at a time from the simmering water. Using the wide-mouth funnel, ladle jam into jar leaving 1/4 inch space at the top.
Run a knife down the side of the jar to remove any air bubbles.
Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp cloth to remove any residue.
Remove center lid from simmering water and place on jar. Put screw bands on jars being careful not to over tighten. Repeat with all the jars. If you end up with a portion of a jar you can use that jar right away (refrigerate). It does not need to go in the canner.
Once all jars are filled, place on canning rack and lower back into the water bathe canner. Cover with lid and bring to a full boil. Boil 10 to 12 minutes. Turn off heat and leave jars in the canner an additional 5 minutes. Remove jars using jar-lifter and leave jars undisturbed for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, remove screw bands and check the seal of the jars. The center lid should have no give. If there are, store those jars in the fridge.

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