My daughter and I started a tradition of cooking together via The Pioneer Woman, and her cooking show on The Food Network. We began watching her show when it first came on, we would pick one of her recipes from the show and make it sometime during the week. This has been a great way to get in the kitchen with Emma, and also making a lot of new recipes.
Several weeks ago she made strawberry jam with her kids and Emma had never thought about canning, I have avoided canning as a scary overly complex process. Seeing how easy she made it look we became inspired. Since the boys are on a trip, and we have time we decided to take on the challenge so operation jam began.
Strawberries were on sale, and so strawberry jam it was, I also bought a large canning pot at Walmart for under $20, already had jars from zucchini relish made with my mom earlier this year so all I needed was pectin and a collar funnel also purchased at Walmart.
We re watched Ree’s show to see any tips and away we went. I discovered that the recipe is also in her new cookbook, so we had that to refer to as well.
7 1/2 cups mashed strawberries – we used 5 pints
6 Tbs. fresh lemon juice, strained
1 1/2 packages pectin – 49oz- I used 9 Tbs from a large jar.
10 1/2 cups sugar
* Fill your canning pot 2/3 full of water and bring to simmer. Place your jars in pot and let them simmer while you make jam. Place the lids in another post of simmering water and leave them in while preparing jam.
* Hull and chop the strawberries, place them in a dish or sheet and mash them, you can choose how big of pieces you want, I like very chunky jam.
* Measure the strawberries and place them in a LARGE pot.
* Add the lemon juice and stir.
*Bring the strawberries to a boil over high heat, keep stirring them.
* Then pour in the pectin and combine.
* Add all the sugar at once and stir to combine.
* Bring it to a hard boil, which means when you stir it it keeps boiling. At this point set a timer and allow to boil for 1 min 25 seconds. This is the point I realized my pot was not big enough and I got to watch it boil over for 1 min 25 seconds! Oh the lessons we learn!
* Turn off the heat, and skim off the excess foam from the top. I keep it in a bowl and use on toast it is yummy! This is also the point where I wiped done my stove before the jam hardend! Much easier to clean right away.
* Using tongs remove jars one at a time from the hot water. Put on the counter and insert the collar funnel.
* Using a metal measuring spoon or ladel, pour the jam through the funnel into the jar. Stop when it is 1/4 in. from the top of jar.
* Wipe outside of jar with damp towel, then run a knife around inside of jar to remove any air bubbles.
* Place a lid from the hot water onto the top of jar and screw the ring around the jar. Not tight just gently on.
* Repeat this until they are all filled.
* Turn your canning pot heat up to high, when water is boiling lower the rack, with jars in it, to the boiling water. Cover and boil the jam for 15 mins. When 15 mins is over, turn off heat , but keep in the pot for another 15 mins.
* Lift the rack out of the water and remove the jars to the counter. Leave them undisturbed for 24 hrs. This is why the foam is great to have, you can eat it right away! You should hear the lids pop as they seal during this time.
* Store the jars in the pantry, or deliver to friends and family! If any don’t seal – I had one that didn’t, store it in the fridge to use first.
We had a great time making this jam, and are all set to do it again with different fruit oh the combinations are endless! I will use a bigger pot to boil the fruit, and have more water in my canning pot, but other than that it went very smoothly! Our jam had some foam left in it so I will also try and skim more of it off the top next time.
Operation Jam complete, next stop Operation Pickling!!