Nothing quite signals the start of canning season like strawberry jam. Many may argue that rhubarb is the start, but I typically just freeze it for use later, so it is strawberries for me. To top it off, strawberry jam is easy to make, a great beginner canning project and nothing quite tastes like a jar of homemade strawberry jam. I love always having it available in the larder.
So I wait for that magical sale every year, the one where you can buy a few flats for a few bucks and this year the magical price was $5.88 for four pounds of berries. I left with 16 pounds and the canning commenced.
In the end I finished up with 34 jars of luscious, slightly runny, delicious and RED strawberry jam. Two were gifted and two were immediately eaten. You can eliminate the runny issue by cooking them longer.
Pectin Free Strawberry Jam (makes +/- 8 half pints)
5 pounds of strawberries
5-7 cups of sugar. Less will make runnier jam, but that is OK.
¼ cup lemon Juice
8 canning jars and lids.
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees, place jars without lids on a cookie sheet and put into the oven to sterilize.
- Place lids and rings in a pot of water and set on a burner turned to medium.
- Top your strawberries and place into a large bowl with the full amount of sugar.
- Allow berries to macerate overnight if possible, but this is not a necessary step.
- Move berries to a jam pan or other heavy pan that will hold at least 10 -12 quarts, add the lemon juice, and cook on the stove at high heat until they are boiling. Stir constantly.
- When they start boiling turn heat to medium/medium high and continue boil and stirring.
- Stir until just under soft candy temperature (210-215 degrees) or until it begins to thicken. Use the spoon test to check for readiness.
- When berries are ready remove them from the heat, pull your jars from the oven and ladle the hot berries into the hot jars using a canning funnel.
- Place the lids on the jars using a lid lifter, add the rings, tighten to hand tight, place the jars on the cookie sheet and back into the 225 degree oven for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes remove the jars from the cookie sheet and place them on a cooling rack for 8 hours or overnight. Check for a seal. If they do not seal, refrigerate and use within a few weeks.
- Double batches take forever.
- Smaller batches will be done quicker.
- Blend fruits and flavors.
- Add herbs
- Have fun!