Summer is certainly winding down, and we only have a few weeks left to soak up all the bountiful summer produce that is available this time of year. One of the best ways to enjoy fresh produce all year round is to preserve it by canning. There’s nothing like making spaghetti sauce using tomatoes that you picked from your garden while there is 3 feet of snow on the ground!
If you are new to canning, strawberry jam is a great starting point. It is relatively quick to make, and very hard to screw up. Be sure to look over these canning posts before starting, there are specific steps you’ll want to follow to ensure a safe canning process. While canning is certainly a science, it’s not rocket science, so go ahead – give it a try!
If you are a fan of strawberry jam, you’ll love this homemade version. Yes, there is quite a bit of sugar in it, but that’s what makes it taste so good! Canning recipes have been tested to ensure safety, so it’s generally not recommended that you alter a canning recipe in any way. If you are looking for a lower sugar jam, you’ll have to search for a specific low sugar recipe.
Classic Strawberry Jam
Yields: 8 half-pint jars
5 cups mashed strawberries (about 2 pounds)
4 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons (or 1 box) powdered pectin
7 cups sugar
Pat of butter
Prepare your jars as outlined in Canning 101.
Measure out 5 cups of mashed strawberries and transfer to a large stockpot. Add the lemon juice and pectin to your strawberries, and stir well to combine. Add a small pat of butter to your jam, which will help decrease some of annoying foam that will develop, and subsequently need to be skimmed off the top.
Bring the strawberries to a boil over high heat, and stir continuously. When the strawberries are at a roaring boil (a boil that does not go away when stirred), add all the sugar into the pot. Allow the jam to come to a roaring boil once again, and boil for about 1 minute. Turn the heat off, then skim as much foam off the top that you can.
To can, fill your hot jars with jam leaving 1/4 inch of head space. Using a plastic knife or a wooden skewer, remove all the bubbles. Place a lid center on each jar, then screw a band on each jar until finger tight. Place the filled jars into the canner and process for 10 minutes. Remove from the hot water and place a kitchen towel on the counter. Allow them to sit for 24 hours. Remove the bands, check the seals then store and enjoy all winter long!