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Strawberry Jam

Traditional thick style strawberry jam

I’ve made many different recipes of strawberry jam over the years. This classic recipe fits the bill for thick and spreadable and not runny or sour.

Jam flavor is always dependent on the flavor and quality of your strawberries. Also if it’s rained a lot the berries will be more watery. Choose small berries that are perfectly ripe. Taste them before you buy them too!

This recipe is from America’s Test Kitchen. No powdered pectin is added to thicken the jam. Since apples contain lots of natural pectin, grated Granny Smitb apple is the thickener.

Bottled lemon juice is added because it has a more consistent acidity than fresh lemons. I have used fresh lemon which adds a real sour flavor.

To also insure the jam is the right thickness, the jam simmers until it reaches 217 degrees F. I love my Thermapen MK4 to get quick accurate reads!

All these techniques work to make a sweet flavorful thick jam

Preserving the jam is worthwhile. I boil my jars in a huge pot of water. After the jam is added I cover the jars with boiled lids. Then I place the covered jars of jam in the same large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. It’s not hard. But it takes planning and helps preserve your jam so you can give it as gifts for Christmas!

Over the 4th I topped Crust brand Oatmeal Blueberry Walnut Bread with Strawberry Jam
Mash strawberries with a potato masher
Mashed strawberries, sugar, grated apple and lemon juice

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in 1/2 inch pieces (10 cups)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled and grated Granny Smith apple (about 1 large apple) Use the large holes of a box grater to grate
  • 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice

Directions

  1. Fill an 8 quart or larger pot 3/4 full with water. Bring to a boil. Place six 8 ounce jars in the water and let simmer until ready to fill with jam.
  2. In a medium saucepan place 6 rings and lids. Cover with water. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer
  3. In a 5-6 quart pot add strawberries. Mash them with a potato masher
  4. Add apple, sugar, lemon juice. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to a low simmer
  5. After about 20 minutes of low simmering and stirring, check the jam temperature. Cook until it reaches 217 degrees F
  6. Remove jam from heat. Remove jars from water and place on a towel Fill jars using a soup ladle and a wide funnel
  7. Wipe off the jar rims. Place a jam jar flat top and ring that has been simmering in water on each jar
  8. To process the jam jars place a kitchen towel in the bottom of the large pot of water.
  9. Add the 6 jars. Make sure water covers jars by at least 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Then simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool on a towel or a rack.
  10. Voila! You’re done!
I don’t double the recipe. But I do make 2 batches of jam. First I make one batch and then I make another

Rhubarb Jam with Cayenne & Strawberry Jam

I have two recipes on this post. Rhubarb Jam and Strawberry Jam. You can find the Strawberry Jam recipe after the Rhubarb Jam.  The key to both recipes is to use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature of the Jam. Once it reaches 210 -218 degrees F the sugar will break down and cause the Jam to set and become thickened enough to be considered Jam. 

It’s a soft set Jam. Not a Jello like thick Jam you purchase at the grocery store. This soft set works as a topping over ice cream and cakes too!

Rhubarb comes in many varieties. My neighbor Ruth Clark has “strawberry rhubarb” plants which have more red color towards the interior of the stalks of rhubarb. Plus the strawberry variety retains its red color. Isn’t it pretty?


Here I spread my rhubarb jam on buttered toast and sprinkled it with flaked sea salt. I served it with a fried egg. The egg yolk was broken and melted with cheddar cheese. Then I sprinkled it with smoked paprika and flaked sea salt.


I’ve made many different jam recipes. Now I always use a candy thermometer! I cooked the jam to 210 degrees F. It turns out perfect every time! It took about 30 minutes of cooking.


4 pounds trimmed rhubarb, cut in small pieces

4 cups sugar

1 lemon, cut in half, and juiced and include the seeds which have lots of pectin to thicken the jam!

1 and 1/2 cups water

1/8 teaspoon or so cayenne pepper is optional. Combine it with the water for easy mixing if you want.

  • In a large bowl combine the rhubarb, sugar, lemon halves, juice and seeds, and water. Let sit 1 hour at room temperature 

  • Pour this colorful mix into a large cooking pot and bring it to a boil over medium high heat. Stir almost constantly to prevent sticking. Add the cayenne if you like a little kick!
  • After 15 minutes lower to a slower boil at medium heat. Boil another 15 minutes and use a candy thermometer to measure the temperature. Stir frequently! When it reaches 210 F, remove from the heat. Check my video to see what a slower boil looks like.

Here is the rhubarb jam simmering:


Here is the strawberry jam simmering:


My method of canning is to use boiling hot jars, boiling hot utensils and then process the filled jars for 5 minutes. Here’s how I do it.

  • In a large pot of boiling water place your 8 – 8 ounce canning jars for at least 5 minutes. Keep them in the hot water until you are ready to fill them.
  • In a small pan of hot, but not boiling water place your 8 canning lids.
  • Use utensils that have been boiled at least 5 minutes
  •  Use a funnel to fill the jars
  • Wipe off any spilled jam from jars with a clean paper towel
  • Cover with hot lids
  • In a large pot of boiling water place a kitchen towel to cover the bottom and help keep jars stable
  • Place 6-8 jars in the pot, making sure water covers lids by 2 inches
  • Boil 5-10 minutes
  • Remove from boiling water and cool on your counters.

  • Voila! This takes a day to set and it won’t be as thick as your store bought jam. 😉
  • I adapted this recipe from Leitesculinaria.com.
  • I follow this same procedure for strawberry jam. Except I don’t add water or let the mix sit at room temp an hour before cooking. The quantities needed are:  

8-10 cups or 4 quarts strawberries, washed, dried, stemmed and crushed to measure 6 cups

6 cups sugar

1 lemon, halved, juiced, seeded with seeds included

Optional is to add about 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper or 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper for a kick!

Lemony Strawberry Jam

Lemony Strawberry Jam

Lemony Strawberry Jam

At the local farmers market in Midland Michigan last weekend, I came across beautiful Michigan strawberries from Hart. I thought I lost my chance to make strawberry jam this year when the 4th of July came and went in a flurry. I found this recipe online. It’s a new style of jam recipe for me. I have always used the Sure-Jell pectin recipe included in their box. This new recipe uses more strawberries, less sugar and no pectin! Lemon juice and lemon rind are the extra sources of pectin. Strawberries contain pectin, but not enough to firm up the jam unless you reduce it to a pulp.

When I made this lemony strawberry jam this weekend, it made 4 8-ounce jars. The Pioneer Woman said her recipe made 6 jars. I am including pics from my cooking experience with this recipe. Also, the link to the recipe is below:

http://melissaknorris.com/2013/06/19/pioneering-today-how-to-make-low-sugar-no-pectin-strawberry-jam/

Mashed strawberries with lemon syrup

Mashed strawberries with lemon syrup


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Beautiful colorful antioxidants in the lemons and Michigan strawberries


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Grate the lemons directly into the cooking pot. I love the Microplane for grating


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Grated lemons ready for juicing in my Nigella Lawson citrus juicer


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The lemon syrup made of the lemon rind and juice plus sugar


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Fresh strawberries soaking in lemon syrup