Ever thought of making your own jam or jelly? I know I didn’t. To me making my own jam seemed like it would be a process that would take all day and then I would be really pissed if didn’t come out right…after putting all that hard work into it. But I was wrong…very wrong…jam is so easy to make…really easy. I could probably teach CoolKid or better yet my sister (who claims she can cook ….I said that with love… ;)).
Over the weekend I tried a recipe for Whole Strawberry Jam, that I found out of this book. It required three ingredients, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and a jar (self sealing)…stuff that I already had in my house. Excited and hesitant I got to work.
I started with washing, draining, then hulling my strawberries (hulling is a fancy word for cutting the tops off of strawberries…go here to see this video).
Then I put my strawberries in a stainless steel pot (you need non-reactive pots) and mixed them with sugar over low heat (this part was annoying cause I kept flinging sugar all over the place).
Once the juices started flowing it was time to turn the heat up and let my berries boil for 15 minutes…and no stirring.
After 15 minutes my jam was set and it needed to cool before I poured it into my sterilized jar (you have to sterilize your jars before adding your jam or jelly…go here for instructions).
At this point I become a little worried, cause my jam seemed a little runny, but as it cooled it started to stiffen up a bit. By the next morning it looked good enough to eat.
So I popped the top open…got a nice whiff of my jam and put some on a bagel with cream cheese and had no desire to share it with anyone…it was delicious! This would be great on ice cream or pancakes too!
I plan to make more jam and try some jelly too and maybe share it with my family and some friends. But for now I will share the recipe, so you can make it yourself.
Whole Strawberry Jam
adapted from Lip Smackin’ Jams & Jellies
4 cups strawberries
3 cups sugar (if you want it sweeter add 1 more cup of sugar)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Wash, drain, hull and measure the strawberries (I used a liquid measuring cup). In a large non-reactive pot mix together the sugar and berries. Over low heat, mix the berries until the juices are released. Raise the temperature. Stop stirring and allow the mixture to boil for 15 minutes. Do not stir; but check to make sure the mixture is not sticking to the bottom of the pot, by taking a wooden spoon and drag it through the mixture. After 15 minutes, the mixture should be set. Pour lemon juice over the top of berries. When cool, stir in lemon juice, pour mixture into sterilized jars and seal. Store your jam in a cool, dry anddark place until ready to use.
* It can take up to two weeks for jam to set. If you want to eat it the next day, it might be a little soft and runny…but its all about your preference. I noticed that once I opened my jar of jam and put it in the fridge it stiffened up a little more.