Saturday, March 21, 2009

Strawberry Jam

I made quite a few kinds of jam last summer as I stretched my canning-wings for the first time. This strawberry jam was one of my favorites! It has a nice bright flavor, and a loose set. The recipe is from the Herald- my grandmother clipped it for me last Summer. She loved to clip recipes- when I lived across the state from her, it wasn't uncommon to receive little envelopes containing a fist-full of newspaper clippings and a scribbled note "thought you might could make these- Grandma."

The recipe looks long, but here's the gist: roughly chop the strawberries and combine with the sugar and lemon juice and let macerate. Bring to a boil in a skillet with the butter, and boil 7 minutes. Then, process 10 minutes in a boiling water canner.

The author notes that this is a very soft-set jam, and the fruit will want to float to the top. If you see that happening a few hours after you can them (wait at least 3 hours), try turning the jars over every hour or so to disperse the fruit.

Exquisite Strawberry Jam

4 heaping cups washed and hulled strawberries (1 pound, 6 ounces; to ensure high pectin content, about a fifth of the berries should be slightly under-ripe)
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup strained fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon butter

Coarsely chop the berries by placing small batches of them into the work bowl of a food processor and hitting the "pulse" button several times (you can also do this by hand, of course, it it goes pretty slow.) You should have 3 1/2 cups coarsely chopped berries.

In a large bowl, combine the berries with the sugar and lemon juice. gently stir the mixture using a rubber spatula until the sugar is evenly distributed and the juices have begun to flow; let the mixture stand, stirring gently every 20 minutes or so, for at least 1 hour, but no longer than 2 hours.

Wash 4 half-pint jars. Keep hot until needed. Prepare lids as manufacturer directs.

Scrape the mixture into a 12-inch skillet or saute pan. Add the 2 tsp of butter (this controls the production of foam). Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring constantly with a straight-ended wooded or nylon spatula. Adjust the heat downsward to keep it from boiling over, and boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove the skillet from the burner and let the am settle for about 20 seconds; if any foam remans, skim it off. Ladle hot preserves into 1 hot jar at a time, leavine 1/4" headspace. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth. Attach lid. Fill and close remaining jars.

At this point, the jam may be stored in teh refrigerator or freezer for up to six months or longer without the quality suffering.

For long-term storage at rom temperature, you will need to process the jars in a boiling-water canner for 10 minutes (at 1,000 to 3,000 feet, process for 15 minutes; 3,000 to 6,000 feet, for 20 minutes; above 6,000 feet, for 25 minutes). Using a jar lifter, remove the processed jars from the boiling water and let cool on the counter, undisturbed, overnight.

Makes 4 half-pints.

1 comment:

  1. Made this again today, but used frozen berries and pureed it smooth to see if the kids liked a smooth texture.