Saturday, October 9, 2010

Canning 101- Strawberry Jam

The last time I tried making strawberry jam was a failure but this time I tried a new recipe and it turned out much better! You can see the full recipe I used this time at the very bottom.

I began with 2 flats of strawberries. I got these as left-overs from a local food bank. They were *very* past their due date and about half of them went out the door.

I was left with this nice bowl full though! I put these in the frig over night because I ran out of time to make the jam and can it.

The next day I prepared my equipment. The clean jars were put in my water bath canner and heated up and the lids were put in a little sauce pan to heat up. It's important to not boil the water, especially the lids as it'll ruin the seal, just heat it up so it's steamy.

While the lids and jars are heating up, Ian and I got to work on the strawberries. We crushed 8 cups of strawberries. To measure them properly, mash them then measure them and pour them into your cook pot.

After that we mixed in 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1 package of powdered pectin. We then brought the strawberry mixture to a boil.

Once the strawberries are boiling pour in 7 cups of sugar and stir until dissolved. We pre-measured what we needed. Sure is a lot!

Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil once more. Once it has reached a rolling boil, one that you can't stir down again, cook for 1 minute. Turn the heat off and skim the foam.


Once the foam is skimmed you or your helper might like to taste test it. This is one of the best parts.


Now that the jelly is ready and still hot, lift out 1 jar at a time from the water bath canner, fill them- leaving 1/4 inch headspace, clean the jar rims with a clean damp wash cloth, place the lids on, screw the band on until fingertip tight, and replace back in the water bath canner.

Lower the jars into the water, make sure you have 1 to 2 inches of water covering the jars. Place the lid on the canner and bring to a full boil. Begin processing time once it's reached a full rolling boil. Process of 10 minutes.

When processing is done turn the heat off and let stand for a few minutes. Then remove the jars to a clean dry towel and let sit for 12 to 24 hours to cool. Once cool remove the rings and clean any sticky off. Check for a good seal by pressing on the center of each lid if the lid is pulled down and doesn't flex then the seal is good. If not, the jars needs to be used immediately or put in the freezer. Store the jars in a cool, dry place. Don’t forget to label and date your yummy new strawberry jam too!


Strawberry Jam (from the Ball Blue Book guide to preserving)

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts crushed strawberries (8 cups)
  • 1 package powdered pectin
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 7 cups sugar

Directions:

Wash strawberries; drain. Remove stems. Crush strawberries one layer at a time. Combine strawberries, powdered pectin and lemon juice in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 10 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

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