Kate Donavon loves the outdoors, home cooking, O. Henry stories, and many, many other pleasures of life.
Homemade Strawberry Jam Tastes Better
My family has been making this jam for a long time, and it never seems to go out of style. When it was all gone, even though several other varieties of jam and jelly still graced the pantry and refrigerator shelves, my dad would exclaim, "Don't we have any real jam around here?"
My husband is the same way. Recently we used up the last of the homemade jam I had made some time ago, but we still had some sandhill plum jelly (which is supposed to be a real delicacy). He thought we could just use that up first. A few days later, however, he was asking me if we could make some more strawberry jam. It just tastes better!
No Canning Necessary!
This jam is simple to make since it does not require canning. It needs to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. I usually keep one jar in the fridge and freeze the rest, since we don't use it really fast, but when I was still living with my parents, we kept it all in the fridge, since it went pretty rapidly with seven kids in the house!
- 4 cups strawberries, fresh or frozen (I use a 32-ounce bag of frozen berries)
- 6 cups sugar
- 1 (6-ounce) box or 6 tablespoons pectin
- 1 tablespoon butter
Step 1: Mash the berries to the desired consistency for the jam. I use a pastry blender to chop up my strawberries, but you can use a biscuit cutter or something similar.
Step 2: In a large kettle, combine the strawberries, pectin, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
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Step 3: As soon as the strawberry mixture is boiling, add the sugar all at once, stirring constantly.
Step 4: Stir the mixture well to dissolve all the sugar. Continue to stir constantly as you bring it back to a boil. It takes a while to get the jam to boiling point again, so be patient and resist the urge to crank up the heat. You don't want to scorch this precious jam!
Step 5: When the jam reaches a rolling boil (the bubbling does not stop while you are stirring), set the timer or watch the clock for one minute. Continue to stir the jam briskly. As soon as the minute is up, turn off the heat and remove the jam pot from the burner. If you cook the jam longer than a minute on a rolling boil, it will get too thick and not spread nicely on the bread.
Step 6: Make sure you have clean, pint or half-pint jars or containers ready to fill with the jam. A canning funnel is a big help to keep from making a great sticky mess.
Step 7: Ladle the hot jam into the jars. Make sure the jars are sitting on a heat-proof surface, such as a wooden cutting board. Fill the jars to within about a half inch to an inch of the top.
Step 8: Allow the jam to cool to room temperature before capping and storing. The jam needs to be refrigerated or frozen because you got to skip the canning process! This jam recipe makes about four pints of delicious jam.
Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor
Be sure to reward yourself with a slice of homemade bread and butter, topped with a thick layer of fresh strawberry jam. Mmmm!