Monday, June 9, 2014

Strawberry Jam

I made some yummy Strawberry Jam today!! A few summers ago a nice lady from my church taught me how to make jam, so I decided today would be the perfect day to try it on my own!! I don't have all of the necessary canning equipment, but it worked wonderfully!! Here are some tips and pictures, but the most important tip is to READ THE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY!! 

This is the package I bought. You can find fruit pectin either in the canning section or the section next to the Jello/Pudding. Remember READ THE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY!! 

 I placed my mason jars in a pot with room temperature water. I poured water inside the jars as well. I then turned on the stove to heat the mason jars. Remember you have to heat glass slowly or it will crack. If you don't heat your jars slowly beforehand, they will crack when you pour in the boiling jam. 

 Follow the directions on the package. My directions told me I needed 6 cups of mashed strawberries. I suggest using a potato masher. Do NOT use a blender or food processor. I know a potato masher sounds "old school" but it's the best method. I then mixed the strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar and the pectin package (your directions may be different). My directions then told me to bring the strawberries to a rolling boil. While I was waiting for the strawberries to boil I removed any foam (see picture above). Another way to reduce the amount of foam is to add a teaspoon butter to the strawberries. Once the strawberries were boiling I added the sugar (3 3/4 cups). Stir constantly!! Bring the jam back to a rolling boil, and boil for 1 minute (again following my directions). Remove the jam from the heat and you are ready to pour.

   Remove your mason jars from the hot water, where you were heating them. I used tongs to remove the jars, but they do sell Jar Lifters for $4 at Walmart. Once the jars are dry, use a funnel and ladle to pour the jam into the jar. I bought this canning funnel at Walmart for $1, definitely worth the investment.

Pour until you are between 1/2 and 1/4 inch from the top of the jar. I then wiped the top of the jar with a wet cloth. You need a clean top so the lid will seal properly.

Again I don't have the "proper" canning equipment, but I made do with what I had. Immediately after the jars have been sealed I placed them in my kitchen sink. I then poured really hot water in the sink. My directions told me to leave the jars in the water for 10 minutes. Afterwards, I placed the jars on the counter to cool for 24 hours. If the lids push down without popping back up, they are properly sealed!! YAY!! If they pop back up, you need to refrigerate the jam immediately. 

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