Thursday, July 15, 2010

Strawberry Jam

This week organic strawberries were on sale, so I thought now would be a perfect time to make some strawberry jam.  They were half price, making them cheaper then conventional strawberries if you can believe it. Strawberries are a part of that dirty dozen, so getting organic here is a must.

For this recipe you need about three packages of strawberries (there will be some left over for munching).  You will need canning tools, a stock pot, a large pot to sterilize clean glass mason jars, pectin, and lemon juice.  I took plenty of pictures because I'm still playing with my new toy, so enjoy. ;)

Start off by washing and draining your organic strawberries. Pictured here is about two and a half packages of strawberries.  You'll want to cut the stem out and cut them in half.  Then if you have kids, put them to work with the mashing.  I highly suggest hand mashing these with a potato smasher, and not putting them in the food processor.  I love finding little chunks of strawberry in my jam, it's like a little yummy treasure on your toast in the morning.  So, don't think you need to be perfect here, chunks are ok.

Both of my children helped smash this morning, but my son is pictured here. If you recruit your kids to help, be prepared to tell them not to eat the berries.  They both took quite a few while mashing.  Kids love to help out though, and such a sense of pride they feel when they eat what they've helped make.

Pour your mashed strawberries into a cold stock pot.  Add your lemon juice, and pectin while everything is cold.  Stir it together before turning on the heat.  Once it's well blended, turn the heat on medium and slowly add in your first cup of sugar (we use organic).  Slowly pour in the sugar stirring it in while your pour.  As the jam heats up, add in your second cup, again slowly as your stir.  The third cup is optional, and it won't change the safety of your jam, however it will gel up better the more sugar you add.  I personally add three cups to my strawberry jam.  Typical recipes call for 5 to 8 cups, but that's just way too sweet for me.  Because of that, my jam turns out less stiff, but then you can give it fancy names like "spreadable fruit."  It's still jam, and it's just the way we like it.

Once the jam begins to constantly boil, set the timer for about ten minutes and stir constantly.  Use a funnel to pour the jam in sterilized mason jars.  Wipe the edge of the jars with a clean towel before securing the lids.  Then set the jars back in the large pot of water for processing.  Here in the suburbs of Boulder, I have to add time to the processing because I'm a mile up from sea level.  So I left them going for about 25 minutes.  You should check your altitude to make sure you don't have to make any adjustments.

There is my finished product.  I ended up with two half pint jars, and two jelly jars, and then a half a jelly jar that got put in the fridge immediately.  Here is my final recipe. 

  • Four cups of mashed strawberries.

  • 2 tablespoons of organic lemon juice.

  • One box of pectin

  • 3 cups of sugar

  • Enjoy!!


    1. I've always wanted to try making jams (even though I don't eat them) but the only kind my family likes is grape.

    2. You know, I have an easy peasy grape jelly recipe here.

    3. That looks so good! I really want to go strawberry picking!



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