Hello everyone. Things in this world just seem to be getting more and more out of our realm of explanation, don’t they? One day we’re trying to wrap our heads around a renegade virus that is attempting to bring the whole world to her knees, and the next we’re trying to fathom another heartbreaking and dangerous threat to all of us – senseless violence and killing of our fellow human beings. We will conquor both of these threats because together the vast majority of humans on this planet are strong of spirit, generous and kind. We take care of others who are not well, and we protect and stand for those who need our help. It’s hard work, I know, so let’s do what we can when we can, and in all of this remember to be kind to ourselves. What brings you peace? What brings you joy? As an added bonus, how can you share that peace and joy with others? We’ll all have a different answer to these questions, but it should be no big shock to anyone who reads this blog that cooking and baking bring me peace and joy, and it’s something I often share with those I care about. If you’re in the mood for a little break from all that is happening around us, take a moment to enjoy the beginning of summer. Maybe find a strawberry patch, and if it sounds like a good idea, whip up a batch or two of strawberry jam to share with others. Here’s my favorite way of doing just that….
I cannot bring myself to tell you how many eons I have been making strawberry jam, but it wasn’t until the last few years that I figured out how to make jam in a way that its guaranteed to tasteslike 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”, and that’s what I did. It’s a whole lot less mess and effort, and a whole lot more flavor to boot. Come on along with me and check it out.The recipe I use is modified from the instruction sheet from Sure Jell Fruit Pectin. I use more fruit because a) I like more fruit, and b) I like the jam to have enough texture to be perfectly spreadable but not so firm as to be able to allow a fork to stand up in it, and c) Because I like Sure Jell. I have used many other types of pectin and always come back to Sure Jell. The consistency is great, and it delivers on a crystal clear jam without the cloudy ugh factor of many others who shall remain nameless.
See what I mean about clarity? Just makes you want to jump right in, doesn’t it?
Speaking of jumping in, my favorite way to gobble this stuff up is with fresh, homemade English Muffins.I’m still tweaking the English Muffin recipe, but once I get it nailed down, will be happy to share with you. Suffice it to say, these trial efforts were devoured in short order.
If you are a Strawberry Jam fan, I hope you check this out. Happy summer, and thanks so much for reading!! xoxoxo
I’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to send any comments, questions, or suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org I promise to reply to each and every one.
- 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
- First off, get your jars washed, and keep them hot until ready to use. I just keep them in the dishwasher.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the butter and cook mixture until it reaches a full, rolling boil. Boil for one minute and remove from heat.
- Get those jars out and drain the water off the rings and lids.
- 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.
- 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.
- Screw on the rings and lids and let sit out on the counter until the jam comes to room temperature.
- Place in the freezer until ready to use.