Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Easiest Strawberry Jam Ever

With the smell of fall in the air, I start feeling all domestic. Maybe it's my inner pioneer wanting me to get ready for the dreaded winter. Whatever it is, the jars come out and the fruit gets stored.

If you are new to preserving food, freezer jam is a great place to start and strawberry is my favorite. 
I like to buy my strawberries from Costco. They have a super huge container for cheap. If you are into organic, even their organic version is usually similar priced to the normal small containers at the other stores.

Get your gear ready while you cut the strawberries. Your jars and the screw on portion of the lid should already be clean and dry. I use the small 8 oz jars for my jam, but if you are unsure on what size to use for what you are canning here is a site that will help.

The lids needs to be new (you cannot reuse the lid portion) and you need to sanitize them. Put the lids you need in a small pot on medium high heat. The moment it reaches a boil, pull the pan off. You do not want to boil the lids!

Cut the strawberries up in half. You'll need about double the amount of strawberries cut up compared to what the recipes calls for mashed.

I like to use my food processor to mash up the fruit. Don't think you need to go invest all this money in tools to do this. I bought this food processor at DI for two bucks and you can usually find jars there as well. You can find the lids at most stores. Ask where the canning or seasonal section is located.

You don't want your fruit to be totally pureed. Just slightly chunky is the perfect texture. One of the things I love about freezer jam is that is doesn't get as jelly like as normal jam. Imagine this gooey goodness on some hot french toast in the morning, YUM!

To me, the less sugar recipe is just as good as the normal one, so I buy the pink packet. I also don't mind skim milk though, so maybe my taste buds are a little off. If you are going to do the less sugar recipe, the pectin box has to be for less sugar. Don't try doing less sugar with the normal one or it will mess up the recipe and your jam won't set.

 Follow the instructions in the box and you are on your way.

Aren't they beautiful. I always feel so productive after I line up a shelf with my jars. The jam will last up to a year in the freezer and three weeks in the fridge. 

They make great new baby gifts with a loaf of bread or do the non freezer jam version as neighbor Christmas gifts.

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