I brought home a 4-pound package of strawberries. Four pounds. Like Victor and I could possibly eat four pounds of strawberries before they turned to mold. It was one of those I know I shouldn’t do this but they look too good to pass up moments.
It wasn’t exactly a rare occurrence – I’m often an impulse-food-shopper. It’s what makes me creative in the kitchen because once it’s purchased, it has to be used. There’s no such thing as throwing food away in our house.
I think that strawberry jam started weaving its way into my psyche before I made it home because when I did get home, it was the first thing I decided to make.
Jams are really not difficult to make and since they’re canned in a water-bath and not pressure canned, anyone can do it at home with pots already in the house.
They’re also really easy to play with and make your own.
A fairly basic ratio is merely equal weights of sugar and fruit, along with some lemon juice and pectin, depending upon the type of fruit you’re using. The recipe on the back of the pectin box will give you excellent results.
But you can play… I switched out half of my lemon juice for balsamic vinegar. Not enough to really change the flavor – but enough to go hmmmmm…
Peach brandy added to peach jam, prosecco added to grape jelly… It’s yours. You get to play – or keep it simple.
- 3 lbs crushed strawberries
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
- 1 pkg Pectin
- 3 1/2 lbs granulated sugar
Prepare your jars – I used 6 pint jars.
Crush strawberries with a potato masher. Do not use a food processor as it breaks down the natural pectin.
Place in a heavy pot and stir in the pectin, lemon juice, and balsamic. Bring to a rolling boil.
Add sugar all at once, stir to dissolve, and bring back to a rolling boil – stirring often. Boil hard for one minute – keep stirring!
Fill your hot, prepared jars and process in a water bath for about 15 minutes.
And if you’re a bit unsure about canning… here’s a great sheet from the University of Georgia giving you the basics.
Have fun – and buy those berries!