Even though it isn't strawberry season up the lake, it is in sunny Southern California. Our market had quarts of ripe berries on sale for $1.98. I picked up two. One we enjoyed fresh, the other I made into strawberry jam.
I used Certo fruit pectin and the quick cook method. I didn't use all of the fruit called for in the recipe so I cut everything in half. I know you have to be very careful doing that. My jam didn't jell the first time, so I had to reprocess it. I'm not sure if it was because I cooked it too long after the pectin was added or if it just needed more pectin. But after I reprocessed the batch with the remaining half packet of pectin, it it jelled fine. Here is the recipe I ended up with:
While I prepared the fruit, I brought water in my canning pot to a boil. To sterilize everything, I put clean half-pint (250ml) jars in the boiling water and the screw bands and lids in a separate pan covered with the boiled water.
To make it easier to mash the berries, I diced them after washing and hulling. Then I used my wire whisk to lightly crush them to get the juices flowing. The berries went into a large cooking pot along with the sugar. I brought them to a rolling boil, stirring constantly over high heat. Next I added the lemon juice followed by the pectin, still stirring.
Once it came back to a rolling boil I cooked it for exactly one minute. At this point, the jam will still be very liquid. I removed it from the heat and let it stand for 5 minutes before skimming the scum that forms on top. It isn't bad for you, it just doesn't look nice.
I got my canning jars out of the hot water and let them drain. They need to be hot for the filling process. I filled the jars to 1/8" from the top and wiped the rims and sides clean. I covered them with the self-sealing snap lids. Then the screw bands went on until finger tight. The jam filled four half pint (250 ml) jars with a little bit extra for the fridge.
All four sealed jars went into the hot water bath covered by 2" of water. After it got back up to a rolling boil (with the lid on) I timed it for 10 minutes. When done, the jars came out of the water bath to cool. I heard the four distinctive snapping sounds as the seals set. Now we have an alternative to the blackberry jam I made last summer.
Speaking of Southern California, they had a "jamming session" down on the Little Homestead in the City. Check out their wonderful blog and website. They have turned a city lot in Pasadena, California, into an urban homestead. As a part of their outreach program they went to a local school to teach students how to make strawberry jam. What a wonderful experience! Head on over to their blog and check it out. -- Margy