I don’t think that anythings says summer like the taste of fresh strawberry jam!
I knew when I moved back to Washington this last spring, if I did anything, it was going to be to make a batch of fresh strawberry jam with local strawberries! One of my favorite indulgences! So one of the first things I did when I stocked my pantry was to make sure that I had some pectin ready and waiting for those strawberries!
When I started looking at the canning sections of my local stores, I found that things had changed a little since I had been here (funny how nothing stays the same isn’t it?). I found that Ball (one of the oldest names in canning jars) had pectin on the shelves, and they had more than one kind. When I made jam before, there was your standard powdered pectin, and liquid pectin. So when I saw a little plastic jar that said that it was pectin for flex batches, well …. that peaked my curiosity. I read a little on the label, found that you could adjust the sugar content, vary the type of sugar that you used, and the amount of fruit that you used in each batch. I decided to give it a try. I must say, I love how the jam turned out! I did use sugar, but less than half of what the regular pectin recipes call for. That not only saves you calories, it save you money as well.
I am not going to post the exact recipe that I used, because I think that the ingredients, as far as sugar, lemon juice etc., is a matter of personal preference. I actually did a combination of old and new in my recipe. I suggest that you select the pectin and or recipe that you would like to use. Here I will outline the technique or process of making the jam, just to give you some direction. I just wanted to mention the option of using the flex pectin instead of the regular (which I now have 3 boxes/containers of in my pantry, lol!). It’s all up to you.
First step is to get your jars washed and sterilized, sealing lids into a pan of water to boil, and your water bath canner full of water and ready to go. Note: you only need to do this if you are going to seal your jars. If you are making a really small batch, or going to freeze your jam, follow the directions that come in your pectin box.
Next, get some really great strawberries……..
Then you want to clean and hull them…..
Next you need to mash them in a bowl, and measure the amount that you need for your particular recipe. You can usually double recipes when making jam if you’d like…..
When you have enough for your batch, pour them into a pan that you will be cooking them in. Use a jam making pan, or a heavy bottom pan. Make sure you have a pan large enough to handle the batch of jam once it starts to boil, and you can add the sugar.
This is my jam making pan, but I didn’t need one this size this time, because I had a small batch. After you add the strawberries to the pan, mix in the lemon juice and/or water if your recipe calls for it, and your pectin.
Next, bring the strawberry mixture to a rolling boil. My recipe said to boil it for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Note: it will scorch, so make sure you are keeping an eye on the strawberries. This is where you add in the sugar. I measure my sugar into a bowl ahead of time and have it ready to go.
Next, skim off any foam, using a metal spoon.
After your foam is skimmed off, fill your jars up to about 1/4″ from the rim. Then wipe off the rims, add the boiled canning lids and bands.
Now the jars are ready to place on the canning rack,. Lower the rack and jars into the water bath canner. Make sure that the water in the canner covers the jars 1″- 2″. Bring to a boil, and boil for about 10 minutes. Then remove the jars with a jar lifter, and place them on a wire rack to cool. I usually cover my jars with a dish towel. When you hear those lids pop, you know the jars are sealed!
Now your jars are ready to eat, or give as gifts! I made four batches this year. I know several people that are going to love to get a jar of fresh strawberry jam for Christmas this year!
Thanks for coming by!