Monday, April 1, 2013

Make your Own Strawberry Jam

This past weekend we took Josiah strawberry picking and when we came home with buckets of strawberries, I knew jam would need to be produced. After some google searching I found the recipe to use, modified it for my own purpose and got cooking. I share it here with you, so that you can make your own jam for your family.

  • 6 cups of chopped strawberries
  • 1.5 boxes of low sugar needed pectin (this is what thickens and jels the jam)
  • Sweetener (we used 2 cups of agave nectar but you can also 4 cups sugar or your sweetener of prefernce)
  • 6 bell jars including tops
  • funnel

  1. Sanitize your jars and lids in your dishwasher or in boiling water. Keep them in the heated dry until they are ready to use (or boiling water) so they are the right temperature and dont go to hot too fast and possibly crack.
  2. Pick or buy your strawberries. Wash them. Chop off the tops. Chop or food process them to your preferred consistency. The more they are crushed, the more natural pectin comes out in its own consistency. You want 6 cups of it after it is crushed so you will need 8-10 whole.
  3. Measure a quarter cup of sweetener with your pectin until it is blended well.
  4. Mix this sweetener/pectin blend in with your strawberries.
  5. Put the strawberry blend in a pot and bring slowly to a boil under medium/high heat.
    (If you do not use pectin you will need to take a much longer time over heat to get it to the right consistency, and double the sweetener. Pectin is a natural chemical extracted from apples - so nothing to worry about there)
  6. Once they have come to a complete boil, remove them from heat and add the remaining sugar.
  7. Bring to a boil again and let it boil for 1 minute. The slower you bring it to boiling the less foaming you will experience.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Skim the excessive foam and place in a bowl. You can microwave it for 60 seconds and throw it in the fridge for fresh jam.
  10. Here is where you get to test the JEL factor. Keep a cup of ice water with a spoon in it. Pull the cold spoon out and spoon out some jam. Let it cool to room temperature. Then see if it is the right JEL factor for you - if its not jelly enough add more pectin and reboil for one minute. Otherwise you are good to go.
  11. Let it stand for 5 minutes
  12. Stir completely
  13. Remove your jars from the dishwasher/hotwater and start funneling in the jam. Immediately place the tightly closed jar with jam in a pot of boiling water where the water covers the lid a couple inches.
  14. When the jars are all in the boiling water they should boil for about 10 minutes depending on your elevation.
  15. Remove carefully from the boiling water with tongs and place to set.
  16. After 24 hours they should be processed and set. You should be able to tell that the tops will no longer pop in or out. If they pop then store it in the fridge since it won't last as long before spoiling.
  17. Processing the jars like this ought to keep them in a cabinet for 6-12 months.
  18. Serve, share, and enjoy :)

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