How to Make Strawberry Jam

One of my favorite things at my house isn’t actually in my house at all.

strawberry plantsIt’s my strawberry patch. All year round, we look forward to the yummy month when the plants spring to life and are brimming over with tons of red berries. And it’s really true that home-grown strawberries are much better than store-bought. They’re red all the way through!

The downside is that the berries all come at once. Last night alone, I picked 4 pounds. As much as we love strawberries, we can’t consume them at that rate. What to do?

During this season, I make strawberry freezer jam. Tons and tons of it.

Wondering about the difference between jam, jelly, and preserves? Here’s the difference: jelly is made from juice, not fruit pieces, and is therefore clear; jam contains crushed fruit and is less stiff than jelly; and preserves contains chunks of fruit.

Here’s how to make strawberry jam. You will need berries, sugar, lemon juice, and fruit pectin.

I use Jel Ease pectin, although any type should be fine.

Jel Ease pectinYou can make a batch in about 10 minutes. It’s easy:

Wash, stem and crush 4 cups of strawberries, or enough to make 2 level cups of fruit puree. Place this into a larger bowl and mix in 4 cups sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Let this mixture sit for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix 3/4 cup water and a package of fruit pectin in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil. Boil hard for 1 minute and then immediately pour this mixture into the fruit. Stir for 3 minutes, and then pour into jars.

Let the jars sit, covered, at room temperature for 24 hours. Store jam in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 3 weeks, or in the freezer, where it will keep almost indefinitely (although I predict it won’t last too long).

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I try to make enough each summer to last til the next, although I’ve never been successful in that. I like to go to “bag sales” where churches and other organizations end their rummage sales with the option to fill a bag for $2. I’ve gotten lots of containers at these to store the jam in. Then I pack it into the freezer.

It’s an easy and delicious way to keep a little bit of June all year long!

 

6 thoughts on “How to Make Strawberry Jam

  1. Including a batch I made with Lydia at Boonville, I have made 14 batches of strawberry freezer jam in the past month. Be SURE you stir the sugar & berries very well! Also measure the ingredients very accurately. This year every batch was a success, but in the past I have had various times when it did not thicken right. That’s really OK, too, because just pour it over vanilla ice cream. I would not try to freeze this in glass jars. It might expand and break. Most of mine I store in old cottage cheese containers. My freezer is packed with them. The product Susan uses is much cheaper than Sure Jel. We buy it at Save-A-Lot for around one dollar a box. All year I buy up sugar when it is at a good price. I’ve gone through lots of bags of sugar and have not had to buy a single bag at full price.

  2. This is my favorite jam or jelly. Unfortunately, I rarely get it. When you have to buy the berries plus everything else, I don’t consider it to be cost effective. I’m practically salivating as I write this, thinking about what a delicious treat it is.

    Remind me next time you stop by and I’ll send some home with you 🙂

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