Saturday, May 14, 2011

Homemade Strawberry Jam

If you've been to the grocery store lately you know that strawberries are abundant and very reasonably priced.  This is a great time to take advantage of  "in season" fruits and make some jams, jellies etc. 
Today was Strawberry Jam Day!!
If you've never attempted to make jam/jelly at home it really is quite easy.  There are just a few steps to be sure to follow and within an hour or so you've got some sweet goodness to enjoy throughout the year!

Strawberry Jam

4 C. crushed strawberries
4 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. fresh lemon juice
Place a large pot (big enough to hold 4 pint jars (or 8 half pints) on stove and fill 1/2 way with boiling water.  (You want enough water to cover the tops of the jelly jars once placed in the pot.) Bring water to a boil.

Put crushed strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a large heavy bottomed pan
Bring jam to a boil over medium heat until temperature reaches 220F.  Stir often to prevent burning.

Meanwhile, sterilize jars (in dishwasher if you have a "sanitize" option)or by rinsing with boiling water.
Place lids and rings in a pan and cover with boiling water. (do not boil)
Place sterilized jars in a pan filled with very hot water.  This will keep the jars from cracking by when filled with hot jam.  It also will help keep drips contained to an easy to clean up area!
When jam has reached 220F fill jars to within 1/2 - 3/4 inch from top of jar.  (This is called leaving "headspace".)  Wipe the rims of each jar to clean off any syrup to allow for a clean seal.
Place lids and rings on jars and screw down firmly.  Do not over tighten lids.  Place jars in pot with boiling water.  Ensure that tops of jars are covered with water.  Cover pot.  Boil gently for 8-10 minutes.  Turn off heat and remove jam jars from pot.  Place on two layers of  dishtowels.  Cover with another dishtowel.  Allow to cool.  You should hear little "pops" as the jars seal.  To ensure that sealing has occurred wait until completely cooled and then gently press center of lid.  If there is no "give' in the lid your jars have sealed.  If there is a little "give" your jars did not seal. Simply place them in the refrigerator and use within a month.
See?  Now wasn't that easy?
 Hmmmm.... I wonder who  might get one of these?  ;-)


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