Thursday, June 23, 2005

Strawberry Jam

It’s funny how trying a new recipe or kitchen technique sometimes has a steep learning curve. Even the simplest things take so much longer the first time around. I’ve never made jam before, but my mother always did when I was a kid, so I was determined to try it.

Everything about making strawberry jam seemed perfect. The memories from childhood wafted through my mind as I browsed through the produce, trinkets, and gifts at our local pick-your-own berry farm. As I hemmed and hawed over how many berries to buy, I thought about my mom making and canning her own jam. She always bought multiple flats, so like her; I opted for full flat of strawberries instead of just a basket.

A whole flat of berries is really a lot. It left my husband in a temporary state of giddiness. As I inspected and read how to use my new canning jars, home canning tool set, and CERTO fruit pectin, my husband belted out the Beatles’ song Strawberry Fields Forever.

Unlike my mother, who had an enormous stock pot, I managed to sterilize the jars and make the jam with a single Dutch oven. I really could have used an extra big pot, but I’m determined to keep my kitchen uncluttered so I have limited things. I did buy a potato masher to crush the berries as the directions warn against using a food processor.

After mixing together three quarts of hulled berries, an unbelievable mound sugar, and lots of boiling, I have made jam—four whole 500 ml jars worth. I still have five quarts of berries left, and with a little more confidence under my belt, I intend to make another batch of jam to can, decorate, and give away as housewarming gifts.


4 ½ cups of hulled and crushed strawberries
7 cups of sugar
1 package of CERTO Fruit Pectin

  1. Hull about three quarts of strawberries.
  2. In a bowl, crush one layer of strawberries with a potato masher and pour the juice and pulp into a glass measuring cup. Repeat, until the crushed berries measures 4 ½ cups.
  3. In a large pot, mix crushed berries and fruit pectin together. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add in sugar and boil rapidly for one minute.
  5. Remove from heat and stir and skim for five minutes.
  6. Pour into warm, sterilized jars. Then, screw on the lids and rings tightly.
  7. After the jars cool, check that the lids indented slightly creating a tight seal.
Makes four 500 ml jars. Nutritional Opinion: Strawberries are good source of antioxidants which are known to inhibit inflammation, cancerous cells, brain aging, macular degeneration, and more. But the high-sugar content of this jam probably erases all the good effects from the strawberries.

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