All of my adult life I’ve been on the hunt for jam that tastes as good as what my mom made when I was growing up. It’s been a pretty fruitless (no pun intended) search. There’s a Polish brand of preserves that almost hits the mark, but doesn’t quite. I’ve also tried many farmer’s market homemade jams over the years and while they are good and often involved multiple flavors in one jar (jalapeno-pear say, or blueberry-rhubarb), they tend to be on the expensive side and sometimes all you want is simple strawberry jam for your toast.
My mom has told me for years that it is super simple to make but until last week I had never once attempted. How foolish I was! Once again, should have listened to my mom earlier. It’s one of the simplest things to put together and I have to admit I was kind of pumped picking up a pack of Ball jars for canning at the grocery store. Made me feel all resourceful and stuff.
One thing that I wasn’t wild about in this recipe: the amount of sugar required. I asked my mom if I could cut it down and she advised that you can skimp by about a 1/4 of a cup but don’t dare cut more than that or it won’t set properly. I heeded her advice and the jam came out great. Since a little goes a long ways and you don’t eat it by the cup-full the sugar isn’t such a big deal after all. Now I just need to get my mom’s bread recipe and I’ll totally be in business. Stay tuned…
Strawberry Freezer Jam (from Sure Jell packaging recipe)
- 2 pints of strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced in half
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 box Sure Jell fruit pectin
- ¾ cup water
Crush strawberries with a potato masher or place in a food processor and pulse to finely chop. Do not puree. Jam should have chunks of fruit.
Measure crushed strawberries (you want 2 cups exactly, discard any excess fruit) into large bowl. Pour 4 cups of sugar over strawberries and stir. Let stand 10 minutes; stir occasionally.
Stir 1 box of pectin and ¾ cup water into small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Stir pectin mixture into fruit mixture. Stir constantly until sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about 3 minutes.
Pour into five 8 oz. plastic or glass jelly jars, leaving a ½-inch space at top for expansion during freezing; cover.
Let stand at room temperature 24 hours until set. Refrigerate up to 3 weeks. Otherwise, store in freezer for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator.