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Friday, May 24, 2013

Cook-Strawberry Freezer Jam

I've been learning lately that there are many things in our daily lives that we use or consume that we don't realize how simple it is to make it ourselves!



One of these things is strawberry jam (or any jam, really). Yes, jam! It only requires 3 ingredients and takes maybe 15 minutes to make a 6-8 cup batch that will last you months!

Why haven't I been doing this for years?!

Oh and for anyone wondering, jam is made with the FRUIT, jelly is made with the JUICE! I learned that maybe a year ago and it blew my mind. It's the little things, right?

Moving on.

Brian and I went strawberry picking this past weekend and had over 10 quarts (about 15lbs) of strawberries to eat and use!

We've been eating strawberries since we headed home from the strawberry farm! We also prepared and froze a gallon and a half of them, made smoothies and now, freezer jam!

I always thought if you made things like jam you had to can them but that's not true! This recipe is so simple and easy and after the jam sets, you can pop it into the freezer until you need it!

Ingredients:

  • Pectin (I used Sure-Jell but there are other brands that are good)
  • 4 cups of sugar (raw, unbleached, organic is best!)
  • 2 cups of mashed strawberries (over 4 cups whole)
  • 1/4 cup of water

Directions:


Gather and prepare your ingredients. Sure-Jell has a great insert in the box with directions for many kinds of jams and jellies. Sure-Jell has one packet in the box and you use the entire thing. 


Wash your strawberries. 


Hull them. 



Mash them! The fun part! I used my potato masher but I'm sure something like an immersion blender would work as well. Mash them but don't puree them because jam is best with chunks of fruit!


Mine measured at a little over 2 cups. 


 Pour your sugar into another bowl. I know, 4 cups of sugar is A LOT of sugar. I read from many sources that you can't use any more or less because the pectin won't set correctly. Sure-Jell also makes a low-sugar/no-sugar pectin as well which I plan to try soon!


Pour the strawberries into the sugar and mix well.


Mix the water and pectin together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil for about a minute, stirring constantly. Don't let it get away from you!


When it's done boiling, pour the pectin/water mixture into the strawberry/sugar mixture and stir constantly until the sugar is well dissolved.


Now pour it into cups, bowls, jars, Pyrex or whatever you want to store it in. Be sure they have been washed thoroughly to keep any bacteria out. This is especially crucial if you are canning this recipe. Leave about an inch or more of space between the jam and the top of the jars to allow for expansion. 


I used two 2-cup size plastic containers (Ziploc brand?) and two small jars that previously had jam in them. I estimate they hold about a cup each.


Be sure to leave the lids off or just resting on top for 24 hours to let the jam set properly. 


If you're putting them in the freezer right away, leave the lids off until they're fully frozen, ESPECIALLY if you're using glass! 


Once it's fully set, spread on some toast, have a PB&J or just eat it by the spoonful! This stuff is awesome! 


Best PB&J on the block! On homemade bread, of course! 

Have you ever made your own homemade jam or jelly? What's your favorite combo of fruit? I want to try triple berry!

Till next time,
Catherine


2 comments:

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