I have a lot of childhood memories related to strawberry jam. My parents owned a business that involved suppling lots of factories with nuts and bolts and stuff. For Christmas, my mother and I would give all the workers a basket full of cookies, candies and strawberry preserves. They had lots of customers and during the summer, we made LOTS of preserves. 20-30 cases I think. We would head out to the Mennonites at the beginning of Spring and get crates of strawberries. I was in charge of capping all the strawberries while mom would make batch upon batch of preserves. Strawberries have always been one of my favorite fruits, but I have distinct memory of walking in the house after school one day and being hit with the strong aroma of hot strawberries. That Spring I was sick of strawberries.
My great-grandmother was the one who taught my Mom how to make strawberry preserves. She used to have a huge strawberry patch behind her house and she would send all the grandkids out to pick berries. I think we ate as many as we put away, but we all looked forward to the jars of strawberry preserves, sealed with paraffin, that we would all get that Christmas.
So, to carry on the tradition, I took my kids to a U-pick place not far from here and let them have at it. 20 minutes later they had picked 5lbs of strawberries. They’re naturals. I couldn’t think of anything better to do than make some strawberry jam.
- 2 -3 quarts of fresh strawberries washed and capped
- 1 package of Jel-Ease
- 7 cups of sugar
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 9 jelly jars lids and rings
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and place jars in for 10 minutes to sterilize.
- Add in lids and rings.
- In a food processor, puree strawberries until you desired consistency.
- I like mine to be slightly chunky. In a large bowl combine enough berries to make 5 cups and lemon juice. If you are a little short, add in enough water to make 5 cups.
- Pour mixture into a 6-8qt. saucepan. Heat pan and stir in the packet of Jel-Ease.
- Stir continuously until fruit comes to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down.
- Gradually add in sugar.
- Keep stirring. Foam will rise to the top. Skim off as much as you can.
- Bring the mixture to a rolling boil that can't be stirred down again. Let boil for 2 minutes. Sit constantly.
- Kill the heat. Skim off remaining foam.
- Quickly ladle jam into hot jars leaving about a half inch of headspace .A canning funnel helps.
- Wipe the rim of each jar to ensure a good seal. Place a hot lid and ring on each jar and tightly secure. Flip the jars upside down and let sit like that for 5 minutes.
- Flip jars right side up and cover with a towel. Let sit undisturbed for 24 hours. Any jars that haven't sealed should be either reprocessed in a water bath or stored in the fridge.