Monday, September 1, 2014

Strawberry Jam

 Our local Acme just had a buy one get one free sale on strawberries. I decided that since my kids were obsessed with strawberries I would get 14lbs and make some jam and smoothies.

I sliced up 5 lbs for the freezer to use in smoothies, used 3lbs to make jam, and let the kids eat the last 6lbs of berries that day....yes they did eat 6lbs of berries in 12 hours. There are 6 of them so I guess 1 lb of berries per person isn't terrible. The last time we went to a pick your own farm for berries my oldest two daughters and I picked 15lbs in 10min and they were all eaten within 24 this was a little less extreme I guess.

My oldest daughter really REALLY wanted to help with making the jam so I took the opportunity to let her make it all by herself (I did the water bath canning). She was so proud of herself and I was thrilled not to have to stand there and stir!

Strawberry Jam

2 quarts of strawberries (3lbs)
6 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of water
3 Tbsp of pectin

Squish the berries up as much as possible with a potato masher before adding them to a large pot. I used my largest pot to leave room for the foaming that occurs with boiling.  Once squished add all other ingredients and boil stirring constantly till you reach gel point.

Fill your clean jars with the hot jam leaving 1/4in head space. Add your two piece lid and finger tighten your rings into place.

Process in a water bath canner for 10 min remembering to make sure there is 1-2in of water covering the top of the jar at all times.

Remove from water bath and place on a towel leaving several inches of space between jars. Allow to cool for 12-24 hours before moving them into storage. Remember to check your seals before storing. If the top of the jar lid has any motion when you push down on it the jar is not sealed. If a jar didn't seal store in the refrigerator instead of the pantry and use first.

 I managed to wait an entire 24 hours before I opened our first jar to use on homemade bread with butter. It was amazing! So amazing we are almost to the end of our second jar and it has only been a week!

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