Food

Old-fashioned strawberry jam recipe

Canadian Living
Food

Old-fashioned strawberry jam recipe

I'm a bit old fashioned. Well, when it comes to cooking, anyway. I love making jam, not only because I enjoy eating it -- although I do -- but also because I really like the ritual of canning and preserving. I feel like I'm paying homage to all the home-cooks throughout our history who have preserved summer's best produce before the short window of opportunity closes. And, really... having already gone on about the superiority of local produce, I really want to preserve those sweet little strawberries while they're still available! Strawberry jam is really easy to make. I like to make at least one batch a year without pectin because, as I've mentioned, I like doing things in an old-timey way, just for the fun of it. I like taking the time to simmer it, infusing my kitchen with the smell of 10,000 exploding strawberries. But if you want, you can absolutely speed up the process and get a nice thick set jam by using pectin. Know the Rules: The general rule for making jam is to have equal parts sugar and fruit, by weight. I find you can usually get away with less sugar than that. The amount of sugar can also vary, depending on the pectin content of the fruit. But that's the ballpark amount. Here's how I made mine: In a large shallow Dutch oven, I combined:
  • 10 cups halved hulled strawberries
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
[caption id="attachment_2077" align="aligncenter" width="462" caption="Throw everything in the pot."] Throw everything in the pot.[/caption] If you like your jam pulpy and thick, then crush your berries. If you like big berry pieces suspended in a strawberry syrup (like me!), then leave them halved. Like a mixture of the two? Crush half of the berries. See? Very complicated. Stir the mixture over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high; bring to a full rolling boil, stirring often. [caption id="attachment_2070" align="aligncenter" width="474" caption="Whatever you do, don't stick your finger in there. Boiling sugar is no joke."] Whatever you do, don't stick your finger in there. Boiling sugar is scortching hot![/caption] Boil hard, stirring almost constantly with a long wooden spoon (so your hand is nice and far away from any potential spatters), until setting point is reached, about 15 minutes. How do you know you've reached the setting point? Chill a small plate in the freezer and spoon a little of the hot jam onto the plate and let it stand for a few seconds to cool. When you run your finger through the syrup it should hold a firm line that doesn't fill in. If you're making the thick pulpy kind, when you push your finger in, the jam should wrinkle. [caption id="attachment_2080" align="aligncenter" width="533" caption="You can touch it now. You also may choose to lick the jam off your finger. No judgment here."] You can touch it now. You also may choose to lick the jam off your finger. No judgment here.[/caption] Let cool for 5 minutes and skim off any foam. Using sterilized metal funnel and measure, pour into hot sterilized 1-cup (250 mL) canning jars, leaving 1/4-inch (5 mm) headspace. Cover with prepared lids; screw on bands fingertip tight. Process in boiling water canner for 5 minutes. Transfer jars to rack; let cool, undisturbed, for 24 hours. The lids should pop inward as they cool -- then you know you have a good seal. The jam should last unopened for up to a year. Or you can use freezer-safe containers and freeze the jam, rather than go through the hullabaloo of canning. Totally up to you. [caption id="attachment_2089" align="aligncenter" width="460" caption="10,000 exploding strawberries later..."] One thousand exploding strawberries later...[/caption] Oh and if you're hungering for more strawberry ideas, check out our video on how to make these flaky, sweet Strawberry Cheesecake Turnovers. These are so good and so ridiculously easy. Seriously -- make them. Do you do any home preserving? What's your favourite fruit jam?
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Food

Old-fashioned strawberry jam recipe

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