2 pints strawberries
1 package fruit pectin (e.g., Sure-Jell or Ball)
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
containers (plastic or glass)
- Wash and rinse jam containers with tightly fitting lids. Good sizes to use are 1-2 cups.
- Wash strawberries and pat dry. Discard stems and crush enough strawberries to measure 2 cups. Use a potato masher and crush one layer of strawberries at a time. Note: Strawberries squirt juice quite readily. Wear an apron or shirt you do not mind getting stained.
If you use a food processor, pulse to finely chop. Do not puree. The jam should have bits of fruit in it.
- Measure exactly 2 cups of strawberries and pour into a large bowl. This bowl should have an 8-cup capacity, better if 10-12 cups.
- Measure exactly 4 cups of sugar into a separate bowl.
- Stir sugar into crushed strawberries. Mix well. Let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir 1 box of pectin into 3/4 cup of water in a small saucepan. (Pectin may start out lumpy.) Bring to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil the mixture for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Note: Wait to boil the water and pectin until there is only a minute left with the sugar-strawberry mixture. The pectin goes into solution quickly and boils in only a minute. If you start the pectin mix any sooner, it will boil too long and the pectin can break down when heated for longer than recommended.
- Stir the hot pectin mixture into the strawberry-sugar mixture. Stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved, ~3 minutes. A few sugar crystals may remain, but the mixture should not be grainy.
- Pour the jam mixture into the prepared containers, leaving a 1/2 inch space at the top for freezing expansion. Cover the containers. I used glass jars, 1-pint sizes and 1-cup sizes, which both worked well.
- Let the containers with the strawberry jam mixture at room temperature for 24 hours until set. Refrigerate jam for up to 3 weeks. Otherwise, store in the freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator.
Yield: 5 cups
Time investment: 30-45 minutes
I could barely wait until the jam was set, but I toasted some homemade bread, spread on some butter and then slathered on the strawberry jam. Delicious! I have jam and toast for breakfast and dinner every day for the last three days and do not regret it one bit. I estimated my cost for two batches of strawberry jam was $13, and the freshness and the taste are steps above anything purchased from the store.