Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Canning With Kids: Strawberry Jam

Waaaaay back before we started having any sort of homesteading plans, we got inspired by Ma Ingalls and decided to try putting up jam. We had pounds and pounds of strawberries to use up... How hard could it be, after all?

Read the rest at Ginny's, then come back here for a supply list and recipes!





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For one batch of strawberry jam, you'll need:

12 half-pint jars (you might not use them all - you should be able to find these easily at your local grocery store, they're expensive to buy online)
7 cups sugar
1 package pectin (or you can buy it in bulk - you'll use about 4 tbsp)
2 quarts (approximately 5 cups crushed) of strawberries
1-2 lemons (zest + 1/4 cup lemon juice)

Waterbath canner & rack, or large stockpot with insert (if you're planning on processing your jam so it's shelf-stable - this set comes with a canner, rack, funnel, jar lifter, really everything you need)
Canning funnel (a really handy tool!)

You might also want..

Zester (to add a little zip to your jam - I love the added lemon flavor)
Juicer (so you don't have to squeeze those lemons by hand)



Instructions:

1. Wash, hull, and crush 5 cups of strawberries (frozen is okay if that's what you have!). Wash and sterilize jars, lids, and rings. Fill jars with warm or hot water and set aside.

2. Juice lemons until you have 1/4 cup juice.

3. Mix strawberries, lemon juice, and pectin in a large pot. Add the zest from 1-2 lemons if you'd like a "strawberry lemonade" flavor, or omit for a sweeter jam.

4. Heat mixture over medium-high heat until boiling.

5. When mixture begins to boil, add entire measure of sugar at once, stirring until dissolved. Bring back to a boil, stirring frequently, and allow to boil hard one minute while stirring.

6. Remove mixture from heat and ladle into warm jars (pour water out and immediately fill using the canning funnel, making sure to leave enough headroom at the top, about 1/2").

7. Add lids and rings and set aside to cool, then refrigerate or freeze, or immerse immediately in a waterbath canner and boil for 10 minutes to seal for shelf storage.

This makes 8+ half-pint jars of jam, although it's made as many as 11 for me, depending on how carefully I measure the strawberries... So be ready with extra jars just in case.





Try your hand at different types of jams! We love raspberry, black raspberry, and keep meaning to try Theresa's strawberry basil lime recipe. And now that you're a canning pro, give applesauce, canned peaches, or refrigerator pickles a try! I'll try to add some tried and true recipes over the summer as we continue harvesting our fruit, and hopefully you'll be inspired to try something new.
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