Jam. We go through a lot of it. I have wanted to make jam for us for a while now. I was at Publix a week or so ago and the strawberries were super large and pretty cheap. Since I had missed my opportunity to do the You Pick It thing, with strawberries, this was my only option. Store bought. So I grabbed two large containers of strawberries, a pack of short cakes, some whipped cream, lemon juice, some 8 oz jelly jars, and a new bag of sugar. I came home, put my groceries away and forgot about it until the Things went to bed. Bed time for them means Mommy Time for me. Recipe in condense form located at the very bottom of this post.
Off to bed they went. The man came in the kitchen wondering what I was up to.
“Oh, I am just making strawberry jam.” I quickly peeked at him, waiting to see his face light up. There it was. “Awesome.”
I had hulled my strawberries, washed them and was grabbing the potato masher. “Do you like it chunky or creamy?” I am mashing away.
“I like little pieces of fruit in mine.” So I mashed it until it was a good mixture of chunks.
I had my jars sitting in hot water from boiling.
and my lids too.
I added my sugar. I went with 4.5 cups. I’ve made two batches of this now and I think the 6 that the original recipe calls for is too much for us.
Once I added my sugar and lemon juice, it really started creating some foam. When this happens, just scoop it out.
Now let it simmer for about 40 minutes. I found that 30 minutes just wasn’t long enough. You will need to stir it along the way.
It should look a little like this towards the end.
Now you are ready to fill your jars.
We didn’t use a ladle for this step. We found an easy short cut. We scooped the jam out of the pot with a spoon, and put it into a glass measuring cup to pour into the jars. A thousand times easier than using a ladle & funnel for such small jars.
Once all jars are filled, place your tops on. I got about 9 jars out of 2 large containers of strawberry.
I did this with tongs so I didn’t get burned.
Now screw the bands on. Make sure it’s finger tip tight.
Now it’s time for the final bath. This will take 15 minutes. Take a jar out of the batch and put it in the fridge, that jam is ready to use on your toast in the morning.
While that is going on, we opened a bottle of red wine, made some strawberry short-cake with a few strawberries I saved just for us, the whipped cream and short-cake. I like a little short-cake with my whipped cream.
We caught up on each other’s day and re-connected over quick late night snack and glass of wine.
By the time we were taking our last sip of wine it was time to take the jam out of the bath.
Listen for the pop!
If you don’t hear the pop, take your index finger and lightly touch the center of the top. If it’s tight and doesn’t give and go up and down then you were successful in canning some jam!! Great job! If it does go up and down, no big deal it just means you need to put in the refrigerator and eat it within a month. There are different shelf life’s for jam made without sugar. Be sure to look it up if you choose to skip adding sugar all together.
There’s no reason to keep your jam in the freezer or fridge. It can simply be stored on a shelf for up to one year. Go to the great website for other questions about your home-made jam.
The next morning, you will be so happy you took the time to make this! When you spread your home-made jam on your bread and take that first bite, it is pure satisfaction! Very rewarding.
I hope you like jammin’ Sorry. Every time I thinking about jammin’ this song pops in my head.
Here’s the breakdown of the recipe adapted from Intimate Weddings. They have free printable labels for your jars as well! Great gift ideas. You know, Christmas is only 6 months away! Start writing down the home-made gifts you plan to make now so you won’t forget!
4-5 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled, washed and ready
4.5 cups of sugar
1 cup of lemon juice
1 pack of Ball 8 oz jelly jars
3 large pots (1 for jars, 1 for lids, one for strawberries)
glass measuring cup
spoon for spooning jam into measuring cup
Mash strawberries in a pot to desired texture over medium heat. Add 4.5 cups of sugar, add 1 cup of lemon juice. As the jam simmers (for 40 minutes) remove any foam that will accumulate around the edge of your jam. Stir often. When jam does not run like syrup on your plate (approximately 40 minutes after simmering) it is ready to be canned. Place jam into jars using a ladle & wide mouth funnel or use alternate method by spooning into large glass measuring cup and slowing pouring into jars. Leave 1/4″ between the jam and the top of the jar. Place the lids on all the jars and screw the bands on- fingertip tight. Place the jam back into a warm bath for 15 minutes. Remove to cool.