Fresh Strawberry Jam
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Serves: 10 cups
I cannot bring myself to tell you how many eons I have been making strawberry jam, but it wasn’t until the last three years that I figured out how to make it so that it tastes like fresh strawberries for the entire year. I’m talking about the cooked jam recipes, which I’ve always preferred over the less ‘set’ freezer jams. The secret? First of all, play a little fast and loose with the amount of fruit you use, and secondly – don’t use a canner if you are making cooked jam. Here’s the thing….canning jam does make it ‘shelf stable’, but after a few short months both the color and flavor start to deteriorate in a big way. Freezer jam always tastes like fresh berries, so I figured, “what the heck? Let’s make the best of both worlds”, so that’s what I did. It’s a whole lot less mess and effort, and a whole lot more flavor to boot. Check it out.
  • 6 cups mashed, fresh strawberries (preferably Hoods) – this might be around 10 cups of whole berries or in that neighborhood
  • 1 package Sure Jell Fruit Pectin (I’ve used other brands before and regretted it each time, so highly recommend Sure Jell
  • 7 cups granulated sugar (yes, this is a lot of sugar, but you really don’t eat that much jam all at one sitting unless you happen to me and have a stack of homemade buttermilk pancakes in front of you.
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  1. First off, get your jars washed, and keep them hot until ready to use. I just keep them in the dishwasher.
  2. Count out the number of jar lids and rings you’ll need (this recipe makes around 10 cups of jam), put them in a pan of water, and bring to a simmer on the stove. Turn off heat and let them sit in there after they get to a simmer.
  3. In a large pan, bring the berries and package of Sure Jell to a full, rolling boil. A full, rolling boil is one that you can’t make stop boiling if you stir it. Kind of looks like a volcano getting ready to blow.
  4. Once the fruit mixture gets to the full boil, add the sugar all at once and start stirring. Make sure all of the sugar is dissolved.
  5. Add the butter and cook mixture until it reaches a full, rolling boil. Boil for one minute and remove from heat.
  6. Get those jars out and drain the water off the rings and lids.
  7. Here’s my favorite part: Using a large metal spoon if you’ve got one, skim off any foam and huge berries that rise to the top of the cooking pot. Put this in a bow, and HIDE IT FOR YOURSELF. Seriously – you will swoon over it.
  8. Ladle the jam into the jars. Using a funnel makes it a lot easier and less messy and you will be less likely to get your entire self covered in jam.
  9. Screw on the rings and lids and let sit out on the counter until the jam comes to room temperature.
  10. Place in the freezer until ready to use.
Recipe by Bird's Nest Bites at