Strawberries in a Jam
In the summer, when strawberries are at their peak, I always buy a few extra pints to make fresh strawberry jam. This jam is so quick and easy, it shouldn’t take you more than 20 minutes from start to finish.
Because the berries aren’t cooked, the jam maintains an intense, fresh strawberry flavor. It’s perfect topping buttered bread or toast. But it’s also delicious mixed with yogurt, topping oatmeal or spooned on vanilla ice cream.
Always use good-quality fruit when preserving. Damaged fruit has a greater chance of spoiling later. Since this jam doesn’t go through the home canning process, always store the jam in the fridge; it will keep for 2 to 3 weeks. For longer storage, freeze the jam and defrost as needed.
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Freshest Strawberry Jam
About 5 cups fresh California strawberries, stemmed
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 box (1 3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
With a potato masher, crush enough strawberries to measure 2 cups, with the juices. You may need as many as 5 cups whole strawberries to make 2 cups crushed. Thoroughly mix in sugar. Combine water and pectin in saucepan. Bring to boil and boil 1 minute exactly, stirring constantly. Stir pectin mixture into strawberries; continue stirring 3 minutes. Ladle quickly into sterilized freezer jars or containers, allowing 1/4-inch headspace (space between the top of the jam and the cover). Cover lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Store in freezer. If jam is to be used with 2 or 3 weeks, store in refrigerator. Makes about 2 1/2 pints.
Note: If you have leftover crushed strawberries beyond the 2 cups for the jam, use it to top ice cream or add to other fruits and make a smoothie.
Tip: To sterilize jars, wash jars and lids thoroughly in hot, soapy water. Put jars and lids in a pot of hot (not boiling) water to cover by a few inches. Bring the water to a boil and boil jars for 10 minutes.
Or stand washed jars and lids (open side up) on a baking sheet and put in a preheated 175-degree F. oven for 25 minutes.
Recipe adapted from the California Strawberry Commission
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