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Follow my family in year 3 of our homesteading journey. Along the way we try to answer the question ," What can one small family do to change their lives on little more than 1/10th of an acre?" Let's Find Out!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Strawberry Jam

In light of my recent apricot jam making session, I decided to follow suit with a batch of homemade strawberry jam. Strawberries are coming into season here in Ohio, but for this purpose I went with Driscoll strawberries from California.  Driscoll berries have a reputation for being fairly consistent as far as flavor is concerned. I still intend to go berry picking, but those will be for the freezer.

Strawberry Jam
makes about 9 half pints

4 cups hulled and crushed ripe strawberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
7 cups of sugar
1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 (3 ounce) pouch liquid pectin

In a pan combine strawberries, lemon juice and sugar. Cover and let stand two hours.

Remove the cover. Over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, heat until all the sugar is dissolved.
Stir in the butter. Increase heat to medium-high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Stir in the pectin. Return the mixture to a full boil, stirring constantly. Boil one minute. Remove the pan from heat. Skim off any foam.

To prevent the jam from separating in the jars, allow to cool 5 minutes before filling prepared jars. Stir every minute or so to distribute the fruit.

Ladle the hot jam into hot jars. Following proper canning procedures, process in a 200F water bath for 10 minutes for half pints and 15 minutes for pints.

When I made my batch of jam, I ended up with two problems. One, my jam separated. Two, my jam never jelled up as it should. I ended up reprocessing my jam. I added a second pectin pouch, and left the jam to cool 10-15 minutes before ladling into jars. The end result is considerably thicker (and more distributed) than previous, but still not a fully jelled jam as I would like. The moral of the story is: pay attention to your fruit to sugar to pectin ratio. Carefully measure everything. Somewhere I miscalculated and my jam didn't become the consistency I wanted. It may not be as thick, but its far from being a failure. It will still serve the purpose satisfactorily.

                                                        Cheers! ~ Mama Homesteader

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