Soooooo I guess I should mention that I’ve never canned fruit jam before. This was my first time, y’all. And let me tell you…
It’s a good time.
I mean, I’ve only been canning since January, but I’ve never even tasted home-canned fruit jam. I ended up trying three different concoctions for this month’s Tigress Can Jam. First I made a blackberry jelly (a recipe will come, don’t worry), but I found it too sweet. Way, WAY too sweet for me. I tasted sugar rather than fruit, and what’s the point of that?
Having striked out on that first run, I was all about trying a low-sugar jam for the second round. I had to do a little research but I really liked the low-sugar. I hadn’t seen a ton of low-sugar recipes, but after a little searching, I found some low-sugar pectin at the store. It depends on which pectin you choose to use (I ended up using both Sure-Jell in one batch and Pomona in another) as to how exactly you’ll need to add the pectin.
I’ve mostly just given these away to friends, but I’m thinking this, with cream cheese… on toast. Sigh. Yummy.
Fresh Strawberry Jam
From The Kitchenette
Makes 3 half-pint jars or 6 4-oz jars
4 pounds strawberries, washed, hulled, and quartered
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
1 packet low-sugar pectin
Toss strawberries with sugar and let macerate overnight.
The next morning, put a small (non-plastic) plate in the freezer. Bring a hot-water bath canner (or very large pot) to boil and sterilize jars by boiling glass jars for at least 10 minutes. Let stand in hot water until ready to fill with jam.
Bring a small pot of water to boil over high heat (this will be used to sterilize the lids for the jars.)
Add macerated strawberries to a heavy pot and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Mix pectin and 2 tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl. Once strawberries come to boil, add pectin/sugar mixture and stir to dissolve. Bring back to boil, and then reduce to heat to medium.
Add lids to boiling water. Boil for at least 5 minutes to soften the rubber seal.
Begin testing the jam for a proper “set” as it begins to thicken, or after approximately 15 minutes of cooking the jam. To test the jam, drop a small spoonful onto the frozen plate, wait 10 seconds, and then run your finger through the jam. If the top of the jam wrinkles, your jam has set. If the jam is still runny, cook for 5 more minutes, and test again.
When your jam is ready to can, pull the jars out of the hot water, and carefully ladle jam into each jar until there is 1/4 inch space between the top of the jar and the top of the jam. Run a knife around the inside of the jar to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the lid of the jar to clean off any jam that may have been spilled, and top the jar with a lid from the hot water, and twist on a ring. Repeat with other jars.
Boil the jars in a pot for 10 minutes (if at sea level; use an altitude-adjustment chart if you’re more than 1000 feet above sea level).
After the jars have been boiled, for 10 minutes, remove the jars from the canner and let stand on a towel for up to 24 hours. Check the seals (the lids will depress, you may hear a “pop” when they do). Remove the rings and store in a cool place.