Strawberry Jam

The best time to make any jam is at the peak of that fruit’s season when it tastes the best. Where I live strawberries peak in June/July. Last year I made the mistake of trying to jam September strawberries and no matter what I did the preserves tasted mediocre and looked even worse. The quality of berries directly effects the flavor of the jam. When making the strawberry puree for this recipe you can either mash them with a potato masher or place them into a blender on the lowest setting. You want the puree to be chunky, it will smooth out a little more when it cooks. You can either preserve this jam in canning jars or put it in the fridge and use within a few weeks. If you "can" it make sure to use proper canning procedure, store the jars in cool, dark place and use within a year. A note about pectin: There are several kinds of pectin on the market. I find that the easiest to use is powdered pectin. I like jams that are rich in fruity flavor without being diluted by sugar (like in store-bought jams) so I use Ball RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin. Most pectins require you to use a ton of sugar to get the jam to set properly so make sure to buy low or no-sugar needed pectin if you want to make low-sugar jams. This following recipe will not set up properly with regular pectin. In fact, this recipe is customizable, you can add up to 1 cup of sugar or no sugar at all. It all depends on how sweet your strawberries are/how tart you like your jam.

Makes: 2.5 pints

Preparation time: 10m
Cooking time: 10m
Total time: 15m


Ingredients:

  • 0 - 1 cup granulated sugar (optional - use as much or as little as you want)
  • 10 cups puréed strawberries (about 1 1/2 pints strawberries)
  • 1 2/3 cup water
  • 7 1/2 tablespoons Ball RealFruit™ Low or No-Sugar Needed Pectin (available online)
  • 0 - 4 teaspoons citric acid (optional - this helps preserve the color of the jam as it ages)

Equipment: sauce pan, potato masher or blender


Instructions:

  1. If canning, prepare water bath and sterilize canning jars. If you are new to canning, follow the instructions on the INLINE-LINK-START title="Canning" href="http://www.freshpreserving.com/getting-started.aspx" target="_blank">Ball website INLINE-LINK-END.
  2. In a large saucepan combine puréed strawberries and water, and place over high heat.
  3. Add the pectin and citric acide: sprinkle in a little at a time then stir until it is dissolved, continue until it is all added.
  4. Bring to a full rolling boil, one that can not be stirred down. If you are adding sugar then add it now in the same way you added the pectin.
  5. Boil hard for 60 seconds then remove from heat.
  6. The jam is done, now make sure to get the hot jam into containers before it cools. Either store it in the fridge or proceed to preserve it by filling the sterilized jars, making sure to leave 1/4" headspace. Then place the jars in a water bath and boil for at least 10 minutes if altitude is less than 1000ft above sea level. Store canning jars in a cool, dark place and use within 1 year. Make sure to refridgerate after opening.