Whether you are looking for a sweet gift to give or just hoping to wow your guests at Sunday brunch, homemade jam is the way to go. And once you master the basic technique, you’ll find it’s easy to create tasty variations.
To get started on basic homemade strawberry jam, you’ll need strawberries, lemon juice, pectin and sugar. This simple, traditional recipe delivers great results every time and is also easy to tweak when you’re ready to try new twists and flavors as you become more comfortable with canning.
You Will Need
· 5 cups crushed strawberries (about 5 lbs)
· 1/4 cup lemon juice
· 6 tablespoons pectin, such as Ball RealFruit Classic Pectin
· 7 cups granulated sugar
· 8 mason jars, such as Ball (8 oz) half pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands
1. PREPARE boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
2. COMBINE mashed strawberries and lemon juice in a 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
3. ADD sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
4. LADLE hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace.
Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band until fit is fingertip tight.
5. PROCESS in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.
DELICIOUS HOMEMADE STRAWBERRY JAM VARIATIONS
Vanilla Strawberry Jam:
Add half a vanilla bean, split lengthwise, to the crushed strawberries. Cook as directed and remove vanilla bean before ladling jam into jars. The resulting jam will be enhanced with subtle yet distinct vanilla overtones.
Strawberry Balsamic Jam:
Reduce the lemon juice to 1 tablespoons and add 3 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar. Balsamic vinegar accents the strawberry flavor and gives the jam a robust taste.
Lemony Strawberry Jam:
Add the grated zest of 1 large lemon to the crushed strawberries.
Peppered Strawberry Jam:
Stir 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper into the cooked jam just before ladling it into the jars. Pepper accents and compliments strawberries' sweet flavor. Be sure to use freshly ground pepper, which delivers a more vivid flavor than pre-ground.