Home Canning – Your First Batch, Strawberry Jam

This is the final entry in my Home Canning series. I cannot stress how simple the whole process is, how little extra equipment you need, how much money you save on the end product, or how much better quality and taste is of the final product. I am able to only come up with one reason not to start canning – you are too lazy to give it a try.

I don’t eat jam very often, it has too much sugar in it for me, but I still make it as a trade item for favors. The same with my Candied Jalapeno recipe, or my Hickory Bark Syrup…they make fantastic trade/barter/gifts. When I get 30 or 40 requests a year for these items from casual friends, that should tell you just how good they are.

And if *I* can do it, you should have no problems either.

Start canning!

Ingredients for Making Jam
Ingredients for Making Jam-
Blueberries (they were for another recipe, sorry!), Strawberries,
sugar, pectin, butter.

So here we are with making some jam. Instead of stepping through it in my words, I’ve had my wife take the Sure Jell instruction sheet and type it all out for me. She is quite the trooper, and types about 5 times faster than I do. Thanks babe! She also included the amounts for Triple Berry Jam as well, it is a toss up between the two for our favorite jam.

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Sure-Jell Jam Recipe and Instruction

Before you start – important tips for success

  1. Use firm ripe fruit for best flavor and set.  Over-ripe fruit makes a soft set.  Under-ripe fruit makes a firm set.
  2. Buy new, flat jar lids for a good seal.
  3. Always use clean jars.  Thoroughly wash jars or containers before starting.
  4. Use only the Sure-Jell pectin product specified in the recipes to insure a proper set.  Pectin products are not interchangeable.
  5. Measure ingredients exactly.  Spoon sugar into dry (metal or plastic) measuring cups.  Scrape excess sugar from top of cup with a straight-edged knife.  Use liquid (glass or plastic) measuring cups with a pour spout to measure prepared fruit.  (Use amount of sugar specified in each recipe.  ALTERING RECIPES or INGREDIENTS could cause a set failure.)
  6. Some jams and jellies may take up to 2 weeks to set.
  7. To make homemade jam and jelly with less sugar, look for Sure-Jell for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes in the pink box.

Cooked jam and jelly directions

  1. Bring boiling-water canner, half-full with water, to simmer.
  2. Wash jars and screw bands in hot, soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat.  Let stand in hot water until ready to use.  Drain well before filling.
  3. Prepare fruit as directed in following charts.  For berries, crush 1 cup at a time, using a potato masher for best results.  If using food processor, pulse to chop. DO NOT PUREE.  Jam should have bits of fruit.
  4. Measure exact amount of prepared fruit (or juice for jelly) into 6-8 quart saucepot.  Stir in lemon juice and water (if required) as indicated in chart.
  5. Measure exact amount of sugar into separate bowl.  (REDUCING SUGAR OR USING SUGAR SUBSTITUTES WILL RESULT IN SET FAILURES.)  Try Sure-Jell for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes Fruit Pectin for no- or low-sugar jams and jellies.
  6. Stir 1 box pectin into fruit or juice in saucepot.  Add ½ teaspoon butter or margarine to reduce foaming, if desired.
  7. Bring mixture to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn’t stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.
  8. Stir in sugar quickly.  Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Skim off any foam.
  9. Ladle quickly into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops.  Wipe jar rims and threads.  Cover with two-piece lids.  Screw bands tightly (see note on reverse side?*.  Place jars on elevated rack in canner.  Lower rack into canner.  Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches; add boiling water if needed.  Cover; bring water to gentle boil.  Process jams 10 minutes; jelly 5 minutes.  Adjust processing time according to Altitude Chart on reverse side.  Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely.  After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger.  (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
  10. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours (or time indicated on recipe).  Store unopened jams and jellies in cool, dry, dark place up to 1 year.  Refrigerate opened jams and jellies up to 3 weeks.
Fruit (fully ripe) Amount How to prepare Fruit Ingredients Makes (about)
Strawberry 4 pints Discard stems and crush strawberries 5 cups crushed strawberries

7 cups sugar

8 cups
Triple Berry 3 pints strawberries

1 ½ pint raspberries

1 ½ pint blackberries

Stem and crush strawberries. Crush raspberries. Crush blackberries. 2 ½ cups crushed strawberries

1 ½ cups crushed raspberries

1 cup crushed blackberries

7 cups sugar

8 cups

 

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It really is very easy to do, so simple that buying store bought jams and jellies should be outlawed.

Strawberry Jam

So just in case it ever does, go make a batch of jam. It’s good to have skills like these in an emergency.

And if you have problems, don’t hesitate to contact me. And if you are interested in a canning class, check with your local extension agent, they should have information about class availability.

And if you know me personally, give me a call, the wife and I love showing folks how to do this stuff, in your own kitchen, with your own pots and pans.

We are also getting pressure from lots of folks that are close to us (RidgeRunner and Aunt Nan, for example)  about starting to offer public classes. We might try that some day soon.

As I sit here writing the close to this, I’m trying to think of a more important skill I want my readers to take away from my writings. Home canning is right up at the top for most important. This is one of the things that, in good times or bad, you get a wonderful return from. Home canning does nothing but improve your life.

Please give it a try.

Peace,
db

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2 comments:

  1. Carole’s Chatter is collecting links for jams, jellies and relishes today. This is a nice one. I do hope you pop over and link in. This is the link . Cheers

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