Wednesday, July 6, 2011

strawberry jam

strawberry jam

for me, the best part of june in new england is strawberry season. there is about a 2-3 week window to get your pick on and that timeline all depends on miss mother nature.

this year she gave us about 2 weeks and i just made it.

my mom earned the official "top strawberry picker" of the year award- she picked those berries like it was nobodys business; yeah i've said it before, she is the best.




strawberry jam

between the two of use we picked 17lbs of berries

justin already thinks i am a food hoarder - this practically proved his point

but i had a plan- a plan that ended up including a pot too small for the jam causing a berry sugar overflow all over the stove- piece of advice, use a big pan don't skimp. you don't want to find out what hot sugar does to your stove & digits

second piece of advice- slow down, take your time with the boiling water bath. hot water pouring down you leg, under no circumstance ever feels good or is sexy even if someone tries to convince you it is.


strawberry jam

nothing beats freshly picked berries- the smell is intoxicating

quote: "i could just roll around in the berry field all day and be happy" - me

"well we're here, go on and start rolling, be careful of the cow poop though" -mom

 


strawberry jam103_0213
 
ever made your own jam before? no.
 
well it is super easy
 
you must be tired of hearing this from me "super" & "easy" , its is a common theme on this blog
 
but i wouldn't lie to you - we're friends right?
 
this jam has 3 ingredients:
strawberries
sugar
lemon
 
wanna get all fancy and really impress your friends- add in 5 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. they will think you are a cooking genius!
 
if you are not thrilled about canning you can certainly make this jam and just store it in the fridge or keep a few and make someones day by giving them a jar of local goodness
 
the best part of this jam is mid winter you pop open a jar and it brings you right back to rollin' in the strawberry fields

strawberry jam

strawberry jam

makes 9 - 8oz jam jars

you will need:
  • 8 cups crushed strawberries- leave some whole for a chunky jam
  • 7 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • * sterilized lids, bands & jars
assembly:
  • hull strawberries ( a strawberry huller comes in very handy for this)
  • cut, crush and leave whole until you measure 8 cups
  • in a very large stock pot ( I used a lobster pot, but a large stock pot will work) add strawberries, sugar & lemon
  • bring to a boil and stir continuously (think stirring like risotto stirring) for about 25-30 minutes, keep at a low boil
  • in order to see if your jam has reached the "gel" stage, toss a small plate in the freezer, when you are ready to test the jam, pour a small amount (teaspoon size) onto the plate and place back into the freezer for 1 minute. Take back out and run your finger down the center, if the jam crinkles it is ready, if not cook for five minutes and test again
  • once your jam is ready ladle into sterilized jars leaving about a 1/4 - 1/2 inch of head space (space between the top of jar and jam
  • cover with lids and bands and process in a water bath (boiling water) for 10 minutes, letting rest in the hot water for 5 minutes after the initial 10 are up
  • remove from bath and let sit on counter- check jars after about 20-30 minutes to ensure they have processed. you check this by pushing down on the top of the lid, if there is no give it worked! if there is give and the center clicks when you push down you must store the jam in the fridge (only the ones that did not process)
*To sterilize the jars, bands & lids, after washing with warm soapy water place the lids and bands in a small pot of boiling water, turn down to a low simmer until you are ready to use. in a separate canning pot add the washed jars to the boiling water ensuring each jar is submerged in the water and bring to a boil. keep at a low simmer until ready to use

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