Homemade canned jam is now a household staple at least in our house. I made a pretty big batch last year and a month or so before my strawberries arrived for the 2011-2012 season and we ran out so we actually had to buy some. Let me tell you, after you’ve had homemade for so long anything store bought is barely tolerable. We couldn’t even finish the store bought container. I know, we’re spoiled. But homemade, canned jam is so yummy!
This pic is from our little ‘garden’ in the front yard. I’ve tried growing stuff in the back but with three huge trees and a sound barrier wall (we’re right next to the freeway, well, it’s one road away, but I’ve always liked it, sounds kind of like the ocean) it makes for a pretty shady yard. So we’ve decided to do strawberries and blueberries in the front because there is just a lot more sun. This year is our second year with them and they have taken off! They are producing a handful or so a day. Probably never enough to can or do much with, but we love to go out there to pick and eat them every day.
We finally got our two 30lb buckets of already picked, cut and washed berries from a group purchase we do through church and we were ready to go. Two of my amazing friends even came over to help. So with 6 crazy kids running around pulling out pretty much every toy we own, being distracted with Micky Mouse Clubhouse and generally wreaking havoc on my house, which actually a pretty normal occurrence around here, we were able to get about 45 pounds of strawberries made into jam. I don’t even know how many jars that made, but it was a lot. We finished it off with some homemade bread. Perfect.
Kid tested, mother approved. My how to.
Those who really know me, know I don’t like to follow directions. I’m more the “let-me-take-a-quick-look-and-I-can-figure-it-out-on-my-own” type of gal. When we got the instructions for the jam I was totally overwhelmed so we broke things down and actually wrote everything on paper plates which we stuck to the cupboard while we worked. It worked great and I thought I’d write it down for later use or for anyone who wants to know. And FYI I did a few batches of raspberry jam later using the same ‘recipe’ and it was amazing.
All this is made with reduced sugar because my kids don’t need more of it, trust me, and I think it’s just TOO sweet with all the sugar they require. I personally would rather taste more berry than sugar.
Canned Strawberry Jam
5 cups berries
1-3 cups sugar (for strawberries I did 2, raspberries 1 1/2)
1 packet of pectin
Put fruit in pan
Stir in pectin
Sit for 10 minutes
Bring to boil
Add sugar while boiling
Boil for 1 minute, stir consistently
Remove and skim foam (we didn’t have any….)
Ladle into hot jars, leave 1/4″ room
Put on lid and put into canner