Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Saturday was all about Strawberry Jam

Saturday consisted of me picking strawberries, making 18 jars of jam, and preserving 6 cups of sliced strawberries.  Here is the recipe so you can make some if you would like.
Strawberry Jam

* 8 cups of strawberries
* 6-7 cups of sugar, preferably organic
* 1/2 tsp of butter

* One box of Sure-Gel

* Large saucepan
* Laddle
* Jar funnel
* Jelly jars
* Jar lids
* Jar rings
* Jar tongs

(Sorry the picture of the jelly jar is sideways)

Step One:
You need 8 cups/8 quarts/4 pints of strawberries.  I used freshly picked ones, you can use whatever you would like to use.  Freshly picked or store bought.  I would suggest that if you are going to use store bought, you buy organic.  Rinse and slice the strawberries. If you have small strawberries they can be sliced in half, if you are using large store bought strawberries, you should quarter them.   Before you start any on the cooking process you will need to put your jars, lids and rings through a hot water bath.  If your jelly jars are brand new than you should wash them with soap and water first. 

Hot Water Bath Directions:
Place jelly jars in a stockpot.  Fill each jar full of water and fill the pot full of water up to the lip of the jars.  But a lid on the stockpot and turn the burner on high until the water comes to a rolling boil, then you may turn the burner down to low and leave them be until they are ready to be filled.  For the lids and rings you may place them both in the same pan.  Fill the pan with water.  Turn the burner on high and allow the water to come to a rolling boil.  Once the water boils you may turn the burner down to low and leave them be until the filling process.

You don't need as many strawberries as I got.  Like I said in the begining I made 18 jars of jam along with 6 cups of frozen sliced stawberries and still had some left over for Josh to enjoy.  I also made stawberry short cake for an afternoon snack.  I will also attach that recipe. 

Step Two:
Puree Strawberries.  I use a food processor, if you do not have one you can use a blender.  This is what they should look like.

Step Three:
Dump the pureed strawberries, Sure-Gel and 1/2 tsp of butter into a large (6-8 qt) saucepan.  Combine the mixture well.  Cook on medium-high until the mixture comes to a rolling boil. Stir occasionally, if you do not stir enough the mixture will stick to the bottom of the pan.  I also included a picture of Sure-Gel so you can see what your are looking for, it is the aisle at Kroger by the canning jars and plastic zip-lock bags.
 Step Four:
Once the mixture has come to a rolling boil, add your six to seven cups of sugar.  If you are using organic sugar, it is sweeter than regular white cane sugar you only need to use six cups.  Mix well. Cook on medium-high heat.  Once the mixture starts a hard boil, set your kitchen timer for two mintues and stir the whole entire time.  Once your two minutes is over with.  Remove your jam from the stove and we will start the jar filling process.
 Step Five:
Before you begin the jar filling process you must skim the the light pink foamy top off.  You can do this with the ladle that you use to fill the jars with.  Just put the excess in a small bowl.  To begin the jar filling process use the jar tongs to remove the jar from the hot water bath.  Set the jar as close to the pan as you possibly can.  Put the jar funnel on top of the jar and fill to the top lip.  Put the lid and ring on the jar and place the jar upside down on the counter.  This allow the air to settle in the bottom of the jar instead of the top which will prevent mold. 
(this is what the the jam should look like once the foam is skimmed off)

From My Kitchen to Yours!

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