Strawberry season is one of my favorite times of the year. We have a tradition where we go and pick strawberries as a family. A couple of years we went late and they were very picked over. We’ve learned and gone in late April or early May and have gotten the cream of the crop. This year we bought 3 boxes full. We weren’t sure if it would be too much but ended up being just perfect. There were enough to eat and snack on, some to freeze whole for smoothies, and then some for JAM! I have made it a few times with my mom and it’s a day long commitment. However, it’s well worth the work to have freezer jam instead of the store bought kind. Last year I made my own and I ran out. This year I made 9 Tupperware full. I think that should last us. Here’s what I do (it’s just from the recipe in the box and everyone does it a little differently).
1. Clean and Rinse your Strawberries.
2. Cut the stems off of each and place them in a large bowl (or pot).
3. It says in the directions to mash them one cup at a time. I did a MUCH larger amount because I didn’t want to be mashing all day. A potato masher works best but you can use a large fork or whatever you have on hand. When you mash your strawberries it’s ok to have chunks. Jam is SUPPOSED to have chunks of fruit in it.
4. Take your freshly mashed strawberries and measure out 2 cups. Then measure 4 cups of sugar (this may be too much for some… it IS a lot of sugar. Feel free to cut the sugar amount to make it more towards your liking.) Let it sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
*Depending on the type of pectin this next step may vary. If you use the powdered kind your measure 3/4 cup of water and combine with the pectin to a boil. Stir for a full minute while boiling and then add it to your sugar/strawberry combination.
*Liquid pectin does not require boiling. BUT you WILL NEED LEMON JUICE. It’s 2TBS of Lemon Juice and one liquid package of pectin. Combine. Add to your sugar/strawberry combination.
5. Set your timer for 3 minutes and stir constantly for the next 3 minutes (strawberries, pectin, and sugar combo). I usually taste mine the at the end to see if it’s still grainy. If it feels gritty keep stirring for an extra minute or so.
6. Once finished, pour into air tight containers. I use Tupperware, however, my mother in law saves different containers such as sour cream containers to store them in. Which is smart and cost effective. Either works just fine.
7. Let the jam sit out for 24 hours before freezing. DO NOT SKIP THE STEP.
8. Freeze and enjoy when ready!