Over the weekend I tried my hand at making jam for the first time!
And I'd have to say... it was fun, exciting, and a definite success!
The wonderful Mr. Appleberry found a crazy sale on strawberries at a local gas station Friday night.... so he surprised me and came home with 8 lbs.!
So what does a girl do with 8 lbs. of strawberries you ask?!
Well, I made chocolate covered strawberries for dessert that night, kept one pound in the fridge, cut up and froze 2 lbs. and used the remaining 4 lbs to make strawberry jam!
I did not have any sort of pectin on hand when the "jam bug" hit Sunday afternoon so I googled no pectin recipes and
Read that recipe and some of the comments below it.
There were some great tips on how to seal your cans with out doing a hot water bath... and that is what I did and it worked out great!
So, just in case you want to make this no pectin strawberry jam, here is my picture slide show on how the whole thing went down!
Just to see if it worked I started out with the 2 lbs. of strawberries that the recipe called for.
(I later went back and made my second batch after the guarantee that the first batch worked.)
Cut the tops off your 2 lbs. of strawberries then put them in a blender or food processor to "puree" them. - although I just used my food processor and hit pulse a couple times. I like my jam to have a few chunks in it!
Dump your 2 lbs. of strawberries (or 4 cups) into a big pot...
The recipe called for 4 cups of sugar but all the comments said that it was too much and too sweet. So I cut it down and went with 3 cups of sugar...
Then I added 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice. It took about 2 lemons...
After the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice are in the pot... heat all of that on medium till the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar is dissolved crank it up to high and get it going at a rolling boiling.
One of the reader comments suggested throwing the rhine of one lemon in the boiling pot to help compensate for no pectin! It helps preserve the jam for longer.
Since I had one on hand from juicing I threw it in the pot as well!
Heat the jam at a rolling boiling for about 25 minutes!
Remember to keep stirring it.
The recipe talks about doing the freezer test with a plate?!
I found that I didn't need the test.... after about 25 minutes you will see that the sugar has come together to form a nice syrup-y texture and the jam has started to take shape!
Don't forget to take out those lemons!
Ok, here is the part of canning!
Since I have never canned anything before I was a bit leery. But I just followed the directions in some of the comments on the recipe page and I was fine.
While the jam was boiling I filled my sink up with hot, hot water, and put all of the jars and lids I was going to use in the water.
This cleaned and sanitized them.
After 5 - 10 minutes I pulled them out with tongs and placed them upside down on a clean kitchen towel to dry till I was ready to use them.
Once the jam was done I flipped the jars right side up and poured the hot jam in the jars.... leaving a little room at the top.
As soon as the jam is in the jars twist on the lids and flip them upside down immediately.
Let them stay upside down for about 10 minutes before you turn them right side up again.
This will cause them to seal with out needing the big canning pot and hot water bath! - Genius!!!
And here they are!
2 packs or 2 lbs. of strawberries made 2 jars of jam!
And let me tell you... this jam is to die for!
We have already had it on toast, made PB&J's with it, and the babes LOVE it!
Next time you find strawberries at a rock bottom price.... try whipping up a couple batches of
Homemade Strawberry Jam.
It is so much better than store bought!
Happy Canning and Happy Tuesday!