May 21, 2012

Homemade Strawberry Jam {So Easy}

We took advantage of the early strawberry picking as a family.  (We also learned that another few days may have been much better for much easier picking.)  We brought home over five pounds of strawberries and intend to return again (without the children) to pick more.

In the past I made strawberry jam once and canned it.  It was pretty good, but my husband could taste the processed (cooked) taste.  Now that we have an upright freezer, I knew I would be making freezer jam from our strawberries.  (But really, this doesn't make so much that even I couldn't have found room in my freezer, especially if you share with others.)

We have enjoyed the homemade strawberry jam by Derek's grandma for years.  I consulted with her before making our jam.  We used Sure-Jell since that was what Grandma uses.  The other big change from the directions that come right inside the Sure-Jell box was that I used the blender to remove the fruit chunks and basically created a smooth sauce.  (The box's directions suggests having chunks within the sauce.  That is not our pleasure.)

I'm including the recipe here so you can see how simple it really is!

Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam
2 cups crushed strawberries (see below)
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin

{To make 2 cups of crushed strawberries, begin with 1 quart of lovely ripe strawberries.  You can use a potato masher.  However, I wanted really smooth strawberry jam, so I used my blender and removed all those chunks!!}

1. Place the crushed strawberries and sugars in a large bowl.
2. Let it sit for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Place the water and pectin in a saucepan.  Cook on high, stirring constantly.  Bring it to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute.
4. Stir water and pectin mixture into the strawberries.  Stir for 3 minutes.
5. Pour strawberry jam into prepared containers.  Clean rims and sides if there are any drips or spills.  Place lids on containers
6. Let sit at room temperature for 24 hours, undisturbed.  Then freeze or refrigerate.

Please Note:
~ Be sure to measure your ingredients exactly!
~ If you want to use less sugar or a sugar substitute, buy the pectin specifically for that.
~ Grandma says when she wants more jam, she just uses her strawberries from the freezer and puts them in the blender.  This may not work with a potato masher, but I wanted to share it.  Edited: I have done this now several times!
~ You can use canning jars or any freezable plastic containers.  I've heard the canning rings rust in the freezer, so I used my plastic lids designed for canning jars for the ones that would not be gifts.  Half cup or one cup containers work well for most people.  I actually use my pint size canning jars which hold two cups. The jam does not go bad for our family before it is eaten.  The strawberry jam will stay good in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks, according to SURE-JELL.
~ The Sure-Jell has lots recipes for lots of different fruits on the package directions.  They are not all the same, so do not just substitute blueberries (or other fruit) for strawberries without checking.
~ Kids can certainly help make jam.  Ours helped pick berries, placed them in the blender, measured, and stirred.  Their favorite part was cleaning the spoons and spatulas!
Strawberry jam makes a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich, even for grown-ups...even for those like me who don't like strawberries.  (It's a texture thing.)

What do you do with strawberries?  Do you ever pick them yourself? 
~ Annette {This Simple Mom}

8 comments:

  1. Yummy! Those strawberries look so good and the jam sounds so easy. I've only witnessed (notice I didn't say tried, lol) jam being made on the stove top. Never knew it could be made in the freezer! My favorite is strawberry shortcake, well only if it is a specific homemade shortcake recipe - not that I'm picky, ha, ha!

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  2. Not like strawberries? Sacrilege! Though I do understand the texture thing, I'm that way about other things.

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  3. I plan to pick and make freezer jam this week (I'm a newbie, so thanks for the advice.)

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  4. Our strawberries won't be ready until June or July. But we love strawberry season! Nothing beats homemade strawberry jam!!

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  5. I loooooooove fresh strawberries. Ours are still just blossoms right now though. I can't wait until they become berries! I'm pretty fond of strawberry jam - but strawberry muffins are pretty good, too.

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  6. wow I can't believe its that easy! yum!

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  7. LOVE homemade jam, and this one looks delicious! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

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  8. We love homemade strawberry jam, my daughter used to make it for us all the time. Thanks so much for sharing your easy recipe with Foodie Friends Friday party this week. I've pinned and shared.

    We look forward to seeing you again soon,
    A FFF co-host,
    Joanne/WineLady Cooks

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