Raise your hand if you have never made jam.
Cooked or freezer.
You've never made jam?
This post is about to change your life. A happy life. You can have it. Once you have made your own jam. And it's sitting on your counter. Every time you walk by, it will make you smile. It will make you feel like you have accomplished something. Tuck it away in your freezer. Take a new jar out every few weeks. Smile again. You are worth it. Your family is worth it. Happiness in a jar.
Have I convinced you yet?
Here it is, step by step instructions. This is simple. Takes about an hour start to finish to make about 6 pint jars*. Six months worth of smiles.
You'll never go back to store bought.
Start with fresh, ripe strawberries. Two pints of strawberries. Wash, hull and cut in half. Set aside. Prepare jars too. Wash and dry 1-2 cup jars or plastic containers. Make sure to have tight fitting lids.
Crush the strawberries with a food masher, food processor or blender. Don't puree too much, the jam should have bits of fruit. Pour berries into a measuring cup. You will need two cups of crushed berries.
Stir pectin mixture into fruit mixture. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about 3 minutes. A few sugar crystals may remain.
Pour the jam into prepared containers, leaving about 1/2 inch space at the top for expansion during freezing. I like to use a funnel made for canning as shown above. It fits into any size jar, and makes it easy to fill jars with liquids. I think I paid about $1 for it about 20 years ago.
Screw on the lids tightly. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set. Refrigerate up to three weeks, or store in freezer for up to one year. Thaw in refrigerator.
PS - I left that jar opened on the left for ahhhem, testing purposes.
Strawberry Freezer Jam
Sure Jell Pectin recipe
2 cups crushed fresh strawberries (about 2 pints)
4 cups sugar
1 (1.75 ounce) package Sure Jell 100% Natural Premium Fruit Pectin
3/4 cup water
Mix crushed strawberries with sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the pectin into the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 1 minute. Stir the boiling water/pectin into the strawberries. Mix well.
Ladle the jam into clean jars or other plastic containers.
Place tops on the containers, and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours.
Place into freezer, and store frozen until ready to use.
Yield 3 pints
-It's always a temptation to double the recipe in one bowl. I did this for several years to save time, against the warnings from experienced jam makers. After batches of runny or not quite right jam, I have learned to stick with one batch at a time in a bowl. I still make more than one batch at a time, just use a separate bowl for each batch.
-*I always make a double batch.
-Four cups sounds like a lot of sugar, and it is! If you want to cut the amount of sugar, look for the low-sugar box of pectin. It works well. If you cut the sugar in this recipe, and use the Sure Jell pectin I used, your jam will turn out runny. Follow directions, choose the right pectin while at the grocery.
-I have used various types of pectin, and like Sure Jell the best. Some brands require using Corn Syrup in addition to sugar. With the Sure Jell freezer recipe, it's just fruit, sugar, water and pectin.