Fresh flavors of the season just can’t be beat! I especially love this strawberry jam because it manages to maintain that fresh picked strawberry flavor that you lose when the strawberries are cooked. They’re still good, don’t get me wrong, but to me, when I want to taste springtime strawberries, cooked or store bought preserves don’t even hold a candle.
What is even better is that this is the lowest fuss, least maintenance way of making jam – requiring no cooking and no canning beyond pouring it into jars!
Today’s post is going to be a little on the short side because I just about used up my weekly allotment of words on a journal entry I posted last night entitled “The Black Pit : How to stop digging and learn to claw your way out” so if you’ve a mind to, you can go visit that post when you’re done here. There isn’t a recipe there, but there is a big part of my heart.
I’m thrilled to have little miss Katy Rose helping me with this post. My little talented ray of sunshine. I also have a fun video to share with you that she and I recorded last night towards the end of the post but for now, let’s get hopping!
You’re going to need three ingredients for this recipe and they are all pretty simple and straightforward.
First of all, Strawberries. Secondly, Sugar…
The other important thing you’ll need is some Instant Pectin. Not regular pectin, it needs to say “Instant”. You can do this with regular pectin but you’ll need to see the jar of that for instructions on how. This post is how I make it using Instant.
I get this Ball brand at the grocery store or Wal Mart. It is on the kitchen gadget aisle next to the canning jars. While you are there, pick up a case of 8 ounce jars if you want, for this recipe. You can put it in any size jar you like, though. I like to use smaller ones so I can keep a few jars and give a few away.
First of all you want to give all of your fresh juicy strawberries a bath.
That’s a Dum Dum sucker sticking out the side of Karo’s mouth 🙂
Just put them in a tub of water and give them a good swisharoo. Don’t let them soak too long , because strawberries actually absorb water. They’ll be fine in there in the amount of time it takes us to get them all chopped up for the jam though.
Cut the tops off and slice them up a bit.
As you slice them, add them to a mixing bowl. Once you get a decent sized layer, stop chopping and moosh them up real good.
During times like this, if you are having to deal with a particularly stressful person, you can imagine that these strawberries are their snide comments or bullying personality…
Not that I’d know anything about doing such a thing. I just smoosh strawberries 🙂
I’z innocent, y’all.
Now chop some more strawberries and add to the top of that.
Stop every now and then and moosh some more.
Until you have all of your strawberries done.
In a separate bowl, measure out sugar and instant pectin and stir those two together.
Pour that into your mooshed strawberries.
Stir for 3 minutes, or until it’s just really well mixed up and sugar is dissolved.
I have no idea who decided this would take place in exactly three minutes.
Now we are ready to scoop our jam into jars! Almost done! See how easy this is?
That lime green thing you see in the photo is a canning funnel. You don’t have to have one but it helps keep the sides and tops of your jars from getting all stickiefied. I store a lot of things in canning jars: Dried beans, pasta, rice, etc. Having a canning funnel just makes life easier and they only cost a few dollars.
Okay now check out this canning ladle. I am not normally a kitchen gadgety person. I just don’t have the space to have something unless it really proves useful. Having said that, THIS THING IS AMAZING and truly innovative! This canning ladle is really thick and well made, it can withstand the hot temperatures of canning syrups from traditional canning, it has a hook that lets it hang not he side of the pot (I have no idea how many times my spoons and ladles have fallen in the canning pot!) but the greatest two things about it? It is perfectly shaped to get every last bit of liquid from a pot AND it holds exactly enough to fill an 8 ounce jar.
Seriously. One scoop = jar filled.
I don’t know if it has something in the design to keep it from dripping, but I didn’t have any drips while filling my jars, either. And that pretty much never happens. Anyway, it is made by a company called Prepworks. I have never heard of them before I got this but I’m won over in a big way. You can read more about it and order yours online by clicking here. If you can at all, this ladle will make your life a lot easier!
Scoop it into jars.
Each of these jars was filled in exactly one scoop. Seriously, this thing is awesome.
Leave about 1/2 inch of head space to allow for expanding should you freeze some for long term use.
Now let this sit out for half an hour. It will thicken up during that time.
Then, put it in the refrigerator if you plan on using it within the next few weeks, otherwise place it in the freezer until ready to use or gift to some lucky person :).
See my little happy girl? Let me tell you a story about her. When Katy Rose was two, she had a little Winnie The Pooh book that had a small 8 or 10 key toy piano attached to it. She loved that little book and carried it everywhere, plunking away on that piano. My mother in law came one day and heard Katy playing some songs on it. She said “Christy, does that piano play automatically?” I responded with “Oh it must because she plays Mary Had A Little Lamb, Jesus Loves me, All sorts of other little songs, and even some Christmas songs…”
It had never occurred to me that a Winnie the Pooh book would not be playing Christmas songs or Jesus Loves me because the concept of a two year old being able to play them was too farfetched to even entertain.
My mother in law picked up the book and plunked a few keys then said “Christy, this doesn’t play automatically.”
I was stunned.
So Katy Rose plays piano by ear. It is really neat to see. She can hear anything and then sit down at a piano and play it. She can’t read music but has her own way of writing music for songs she comes up with. She doesn’t take piano lessons because I haven’t found a teacher who knows how to teach where she is and structured traditional lessons take the joy out of piano for her.
So last night, she was playing a song and I said “Katy Rose, we have to record this.” She asked if I’d put it on Youtube so I did and here we are 🙂 This is her plinking away with her version of Let It Go.
That’s my girl 🙂
Once your jam is cold, dive in 🙂
- 4 cups crushed strawberries (about a gallon uncrushed)
- 5 Tablespoons Instant Pectin
- 1+2/3 cup Sugar
- I ended up with about 7 - 8 ounce jars of Strawberry Freezer Jam
- Wash strawberries. Remove tops and slice into a bowl, pausing from time to time to crush with a potato masher.
- In a separate bowl, stir together instant pectin and sugar. Pour into strawberries and stir for three minutes, or until sugar is dissolved.
- Ladle into clean jars, leaving ½ inch headspace to allow for expansion during freezing. Cover with lids and allow to sit out for thirty minutes. Place in fridge if you will use within next few weeks, or freeze for longer term storage.
Don’t complain about the dark unless you are lighting a candle.
~Unknown. Submitted by Teresa Fears. Click here to submit your own.Yum