Strawberries are one of my many favorite things about summer. Aside from eating them fresh, these sweet little red berries are perfect for pies, smoothies, jams and jellies, cheesecakes, shortcakes, and drizzled in chocolate! Due to critters (and a certain three year old) we were not blessed with much of a strawberry harvest this year. Fortunately we were able to pick up a few quarts of fresh picked berries at our local farmers market!
If you’ve never experienced the flavor of a strawberry from a local farm please go find some. There are no words to describe the difference between a store-bought berry and one grown locally on a small farm!
Fresh strawberries are delicate and spoil rapidly. As a method of preservation, we like to make strawberry jam and can it to use later in the year. There’s nothing like homemade strawberry jam on a piece of toast in the middle of winter!
- Strawberries – washed and hulled
- Sugar (you can also substitute honey or artificial sweetners if you prefer)
For this batch we used 4 quart baskets of fresh picked strawberries, about 3 cups of sugar, and one box of “no sugar added” pectin. This made 8 half pint jars of jam.
- Canning jars, bands and lids
- A large pot for cooking the jam
- A water bath canner
- Jar lifter
- Magnetic lid wand
- Potato masher, or similar utensil, to mash the strawberries.
- Start by sterilizing your jars. I do this directly in my canner by boiling my jars for about five minutes. I leave the jars in my canner until I am ready to use them, that way they are nice and hot. Sterilize your bands and lids in hot water as well.
- Using your large pot, begin cooking your strawberries over medium heat.
- Using a potato masher or similar utensil, mash up the strawberries.
- Add sugar and pectin. Continue mashing and stirring.
- Bring jam to a boil for 5-10 minutes, stirring often to prevent burning.
- Begin filling your jars. Use a funnel to help keep the rim of the jar clean. Fill each jar up to 1/4″ from the top and seal with a clean, dry lid and band.
- Carefully place your jars in the canner making sure they are covered with at least 2″ of water. Process the jars in boiling water for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the jars and place on a towel to cool. Make sure they are not touching each other and are away from drafts. Allow them to cool completely.
- Once cool, label your jars and remove the bands. If any of your jars did not seal, place it in the fridge and use immediately. Some people say you can reprocess the jar but I have never tried this.
My “go to” resource for all things canning is pickyourown.org. They have tons of great info, check them out!