Thursday, April 22, 2010

Canning: Strawberry Jam

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:

Strawberry Jam
(makes about 4 half-pints)

2 cups prepared strawberries (1 qt raw)
4 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 packet (box) CERTO Fruit Pectin

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


  1. I recently cleaned out my freezer, where I had an assortment of frozen berries. I made jelly and jam out of the forgotten assortment of fruit...I wish I'd thought to take photos! Yours are very well done, Margy! And the jam looks delish!

  2. Boy that sure looks tasty. I need to get my bum in gear and make some too. Last year I only did blueberry jam and the family kept wishing for strawberry. I heard lots of grumbling about Mom only making her favorite, so I guess I better put some strawberry jam up too.

  3. Oh Margy you make me hungry for the Ontario strawberrys. We'd go to the u pick and each as much as we picked but oh what fun....and that was as adults! Great post! Hope the weather has been stablizing a little better out there...beautiful here.

  4. It looks simply lucious and I can't wait for strawberry season!

  5. Looks wonderful. Strawberry jam is my fave, I hope to yeild a big crops in the coming years from the plants I put down this year.

  6. Thanks all for stopping by to sample my berry jam. Marion, yours sound interesting with a variety of fruit. That might have been a good idea for me with not enough fruit for a full batch. Margaret, I do hope you get a good crop. I had to put in new plants last year to replace a bed that the grubs destroyed. They had one good crop last year. Hopefully this year it will be more than one. - Margy


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy