Monday, February 13, 2012

My Own Personal Jam Session

I have had an addiction to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches since I was a small child. Of course, this means that I go through a lot of peanut butter and jelly. Currently, my adult palate prefers natural peanut butter and strawberry jam. At this moment, we are out of jam and being the resourceful yet adventurous person that I am, I decided to make my own. :) I'm sure you knew that was coming.
Surprisingly from start to finish (minus the time to allow the jam to set), it took me about 30 minutes to make 4 jars of strawberry jam.

Here is how I did it:

Ingredients (mostly, anyway)
2 lbs of smashed strawberries
1/4 cup of lemon juice
3 cups of sugar
1/2 pkg of pectin
4 glass jars with self sealing lids

Wash jars, tops and lids.
Then place in a pot of hot water until ready for filling.

Clean, hull and cut your strawberries down into chunks. Using a potato masher, smash the berries to your desired consistency. Since I like texture, I left my a little on the chunky side. I let Makenzie mash the berries, so that I could move on to the next steps.

Combine the first 2 ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.

Add the pectin and continue to stir. Then add the sugar.
 Let the mixture come to a hard boil for 1 minute.
At this point, remove the the saucepan from the heat and skim any froth off the top.

Fill the jars with jam using a ladle, it will be a little loose at the point, no worries. Wipe the rim and sides of the jar before centering the top over the jar. Screw on each lid and return the jars to the pot of hot water to seal the jars. Be sure that the entire jar is underwater. Let the jars process for 10 minutes, covered. After the processing time, remove the lid, cut off the fire and let the jars stand for 5 minutes.

 Finally remove the jars from the pot and place on top of a towel to set for 12-24 hours.

Making jam was very simple and it didn't require much time. Heaven only knows what is in the stuff on the shelves at the store with artificial flavoring and a "real fruit" taste. I don't know about you, but I want to know what I am eating these days. Also, it is a great activity to do with kids. Kids are more likely going to try something if they helped with making it.

I plan to make some buttermilk biscuits to sample my creation. Enjoy!

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