Chloe's Strawberry Jam
Big Mill B&B, Williamston, NC
"At Big Mill B&B, we have always tried to 'Eat Local’ by growing our own food and shopping at farmer’s markets and local vegetable and fruit stands. We hope you will join us in this effort to support our local farmers. You can find a farmer’s market near you on Local Harvest. This jam won best of show at our Farm Heritage Fair."
4 pints ripe, very fresh strawberries (fresher is better)
7 cups sugar
½ teaspoon butter, optional (to reduce foaming)
1 pouch liquid pectin* like Certo (make sure you check the expiration date)
8 half-pint jars
8 new flat jar lids. You will need 8 rings, but they don’t need to be new.
Hot water bath canner
Gently wash the berries. Remove the hulls and chop the berries into large chunks. Place half of these chopped berries into a bowl and mash them using a potato masher or wooden spoon, leaving the other berries in large chunks. You will need 4 cups of chopped and mashed berries. I like to leave some big pieces of berries in my jam.
Measure 7 cups of sugar into a separate bowl. Jam requires exact measuring.
Put the berries into a large pot (6-8 quart size or larger.) Stir in sugar and butter. On high heat bring this mixture to a serious, full rolling boil, a boil that cannot be stirred down. Quickly add the liquid pectin and return to a full rolling boil. Stir this often.
Boil for EXACTLY one minute. I count one-one thousand, two-one thousand, etc. Don’t answer the doorbell or the phone. Pay attention or else all your hard work could fail. (The voice of experience is speaking.)
Remove from heat and skim off any foam. You can eat this, so save it.
Ladle the jam into sterilized jars, filling to 1/8 inch of the top. Using a damp, clean cloth, wipe the rim and the threads of the jar. Seal with new, sterilized jar lids.
Process the jars in a hot-water bath for five minutes.
Hot water processing
Using jar tongs, place the jars in the canner of simmering water, enough to cover the tops of the jars. Bring to a boil and process for 5 minutes. Gently remove the jars from the canner and allow the jam to cool. Lay a towel loosely over the jars. Do NOT move them again until they are totally cool and sealed. You will hear them “pop” as they seal.
After you eat the jam, be sure to save the jars and jar rings as they can be used over and over again (green, huh?). Unfortunately, the flat lids can only be used once to seal a jar.
8 half-pints plus a wee bit for tasting
* Note: There is some Sure Jell Pectin that uses less or no sugar, but in my opinion, it will produce results that are rubbery and not as good for this particular jam. This jam could also be made using its own pectin, but more sugar is needed as well as more cooking.
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