Thursday, June 06, 2013

Strawberry Jam, Round Two

After my first, sugarless, way-too-tart-for-PBJ batch of strawberry jam, I staged a second attempt. This one was much better.

Step one: pick the strawberries on a warm, sunny day. Eat as many as you want, because you went overboard yet again. 

Step two: hull the strawberries and give them a good rinse. Hull, I have learned, is just a fancy word for cutting off their little green hats. Share the tops with your chickens.

Step three: mash the strawberries (five cups) and combine with 1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice. Bring to a boil.

Step four: While you're doing all of this, bring your canning jars and lids to a simmer. I do this in the same pot that I'll be processing the jars in, because why heat up two different pots of water?

Step five: Add 7 cups of sugar to the strawberry mixture, mix until it's dissolved. Bring to a rolling boil for one minute, then remove from heat. 

Step six: Fish the jars out of the water, and bring the water to a full boil. Funnel the jam into each jar, leaving 1/4 of room at the top. Screw on the lids until they are "finger tight." 

Step seven: Once the water is boiling, carefully put the jars in and boil for ten minutes. (These steps require a lot of moving parts, a lot of hot glass, and a big pot of boiling water - hence, I did not pause to take photos, because I did not want to scald myself.) 

Step eight: Remove jars from boiling water and place on a towel on the counter. Let them cool and set for 24 hours. Listen to the sound of the lids popping and sealing one by one, and realize that canning is not nearly as scary as you once thought. 

Next up: pickling!