All content copyright Katrina Hall 2008 through 2018

Monday, June 23, 2008

making strawberry jam

For years, strawberry jam making was a huge undertaking - I'd go to a farm, pick flats of berries, and come home to process two dozen jars for the family's PB&J sandwiches for the year. Now, I might make a few jars a year.
It always starts when I come across a fruity waft of strawberry - this time at the Farmer's Market. I grabbed the quart box of tiny, almost-wild strawberries and spirited them home. Fresh strawberries are so perishable - in a matter of hours they can turn brown and mushy, so I hulled them and stuck them in the freezer. Long ago, I read this tip from a grower, because it makes a juicier jam. This morning, my schedule was clear, the storms were coming and going, and I had plenty of time to make the recipe carefully. Since I make a country jam with no pectin added, it's important not to rush.
First, prepare your jars and lids. You want to simmer them in hot water, then, using clean tongs, turn them upside down on a very clean cloth.
Prepare your heavy stockpot and wash very well.
To make:
1 pound hulled strawberries ( about 2 1/2 cups)
juice from two lemons
1 3/4 cup sugar, warmed in an oven briefly
Mash the berries and simmer in the pot, along with the lemon juice. Since this is a small amount of jam, you need to watch the jam carefully- it burns quickly, and then it's ruined.
Simmer berries and lemon juice about 15 minutes.
Add the sugar and stir constantly .
Using your wooden stirring spoon, lift up a few drips of jam and watch carefully. You'll be able to tell the jam is almost done when it thickens and is slow to drip. This took about 20 minutes today.
Ladle the jam into jars, screw on tops, and let cool on a thick towel. I was making just one pot of jam that I planned to use immediately, so I used plastic wrap, then a paper cap tied with twine.
I find this a really useful recipe, because you can use small amounts of just-picked berries through the summer for a few jars of jam. The jam is heavenly - soft to spread, just the way I like it.

-Katrina Hall


Mama P said...

Katrina...I came across your blog and you inspired me to make some strawberry jam this weekend! We went to our local farmers market and picked up a 1/2 flat of locally picked strawberries and I spent a blissful afternoon making jam for my family. Thanks for the recipe! All the best from the Northwest, Penny

katrina said...

Hello Penny-in-Seattle! I'm so delighted the recipe worked for you! My lovely jar of jam is already gone, and the farmer's market was out of strawberries, so the hunt is on for strawberries, before the season is over. Thanks for visiting and best right back to you....