It is strawberry season!!!! This means a lot of picking and eating. Cohen and I have been twice already and plan to go again. I have been in vacation mod since I had a week on the beach….
With water that is that clear and warm sunny breezes it is hard to return from paradise to reality again. I have been procrastinating my strawberry jam making.
While driving home from the shop yesterday Cohen and I spontaneously decided to go pick strawberries. (Sorry Leslie). We picked 3 baskets full.
The strawberries are beautiful and I had a great helper! We do always pick at Rudd Farms http://www.ruddfarm.com/directions.html.
We then went home and got to work! I let Cohen use a knife and cut the hats off with me. He of course thought that was the coolest thing ever! Mom and dad don’t let him use a knife. He did a great job at it.
We worked the entire afternoon on making jam and I hope it is a memory that he will always remember. Yes it takes longer with Cohen but it is worth the memories!
He was also a great masher! We took turn cutting hats off and mashing.
He is a great helper! We also had to sterilize the jars and lids. I used some of my old jars and screw on lids but I had to buy the flat lids because you can only use them once.
I boiled them in a hot water bath and used tongs to touch them with so that I didn’t contaminate them. Bacteria is the worse when canning. It can spoil all your hard work so I was very careful. I did have to sanitize a few things twice due to my little helper.
Then off to the cooking of the strawberries.
I tried to have somewhat of a system.
4 cups smashed strawberries
4 cups fine white sugar
4 Tablespoon Pectin (You can buy at Wal-Mart or at a grocery store)
1/4 cup lemon juice
- In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, pectin and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch head space, and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don’t bother with processing, and just refrigerate.
I made 17 cups of strawberry mash from the 3 baskets I had which made 20/16 oz jars of jam. Most of you do not want to make that much so here is a smaller recipe:
1 cup strawberries mashed
1 cup fine sugar
1 TBS Pectin
1 TBS lemon juice
Just double, triple or whatever you need. I think you can back down on the sugar some. It was a lot of sugar.
I used a 1/2 cup measuring cup to put cooked strawberries in to the jars. It is a bit sticky and messy so make sure you have plenty of wet towels to wipe off jars.
Then off to the hot water bath…..
I used tongs to remove the hot cans but you can buy a tool for that.
You have to let the jam come to room temp before refrigerating. The jam will solidify over night. Store the extra cans in your pantry or give as gifts!
We ate it over ice cream for dessert when it was warm. We also ate if by the spoon because it was so yummy! So get those strawberries picked and make some jam…it is way better than store bought and it is made with love and memories!