I remember my mom and grandmother making jam when I was a kid. It seemed so complicated. Why all the fuss with boiling the jars to make sure they are sterilized?
Those memories actually kept me from making jam for years until I decided I wanted to learn how to make it myself. Apparently, canning the jam was not required and in less than 30 minutes I had 4 8oz cans of delicious Jam made.
After investigating, I learned that you don't have to sterilize the jars if you are going to keep the jam in the fridge for consumption within a few weeks or if you are going to keep it in the freezer for up to a year. You only need to sterize the containers if you are making a ton of jam that will last a long time, you want to store the jam at room temperature or you plan on giving it as a gift.
For my jam I used strawberries that were picked fresh at Sweet Berry Farms outside Austin, Texas and frozen until I had the time to cook. I followed this simple jam recipe, but halved it since I only wanted to make enought to last me a year or less.
Before getting anything else started, I washed the mason jars and laid them out on a towel so they were ready to be filled.
I started making the jam by mashing the strawberries until I had the 2.5 cups needed for ½ the recipe. I combined the lemon and pectin and brought the strawberries to a boil.
As I added the sugar, I realized I should have picked a larger pot, but made it work anyway. The mixture was brought to a strong boil for 75 seconds. It almost boiled over several times, but I managed to keep it down. Next time, I will use a larger pot so I don’t have to worry about that.
Once the mixture has boiled, skim the foam off the top. Now you are ready to fill the jars. You can use a wide mouth funnel as recommended online, but I simply transferred the jam from the pot to a glass measuring cup with a spout on it. This allowed me to poor without much mess at all.
Once all the jam is poured, wipe off the rims and side of the jars. Let cool for about a half an hour before putting the lids on. That’s it! In the last few days I have been enjoying strawberry jam on freshly baked croissants in the morning and loving it.
Here are a few more jam recipes you might enjoy.
Now that you have made all this jam, what are some of your favorite ways to use it?