EASY STRAWBERRY JAM
After the first few days
of enjoying whole strawberries
from your patch, you can
enjoy making a small batch
of fresh strawberry jam
with smaller, misshapen berries.
2 C. crushed fresh strawberries
¾ C. sugar
½ pkg. (1.59 oz.) fruit pectin
Bring in your strawberry harvest
daily. Don't refrigerate the berries, or rinse them, as those steps will
advance their ripening too fast. Rinse right before eating whole, or sneak a
few from the garden immediately after picking if you can see there's no dirt on
After the first week or so of
enjoying delicious whole berries, you might want to try this easy, no-cooking
recipe. It makes six 4-oz. jars of strawberry jam. They keep well in the
freezer for one year. Then you can enjoy the taste of fresh strawberries on
your toast or waffles from your own berry patch, year-round!
This recipe is easily doubled.
Since it makes six 4-oz. jam jars, you might want to buy a dozen jam jars and
either make this recipe twice, or double it so that all 12 jars can be filled
at once. It's a good idea to run the empty jars through the dishwasher first,
to make sure they are sterilized.
First, rinse each berry and cut
off the green top. Throw tops in the compost bin.
Slice berries in half, and place
in a glass pie plate. Take your potato masher, and mash, or crush, the berries.
It's OK to kind of crush any lumps that remain with the side of your spoon.
There will be a lot of liquid, but that's OK. Do this in a single layer in a
flat dish, rather than in a deep bowl, to make the job easy without destroying
the berries' natural pectin, or thickener.
Crush berries by hand, instead
of using a food processor, even though that sounds like the easy way to do it. But
food processing is too rough for the berries. You want the natural pectin in
the fruit to work with the pectin you add to set up a good batch of jam.
Now, in a medium bowl, mix the
sugar and the pectin with a spoon. With a spatula, add the crushed
strawberries. Stir for about three minutes, to get the natural pectin working
to get the berries to gel up into a jam.
Then spoon the jam into the
sterilized jam jars. Let sit out on the counter for a half-hour or so.
Be sure to label each jar with
today's date. Make a note that this jam will be fine in the refrigerator for 3
weeks, or it can be frozen and will keep well in the freezer for one year.
If you're giving any jam jars as
gifts, it's a great idea to tie a colorful ribbon around it.
-- Skyline Ranches
Kids Garden Club