Last week, Amy gave us a smooth introduction to our series on berries with her recipe for Mulberry Gin Fizz. Since berry season is in full swing, please stick around for more yummy recipes in the coming weeks.
We live on a berry farm so every June we have access to loads of strawberries. The best jam recipe I’ve tasted comes with Pomona’s Pectin. I like this pectin because it requires a lot less sugar than store-bought pectin (2 cups vs 7 cups), and according to it’s website, it’s also “100% pure citrus pectin. There are no additives, preservatives, sugar, or dextrose.” You can order Pomona’s Pectin online here.
The recipe is quite simple but if you’ve never canned before, leave yourself a few hours just to make sure everything is done right.
Utensils you’ll need:
Jars and lids
Tongs (to lift lids out of hot water), funnel, jar lifter
Here’s the recipe (one recipe usually yields about 2 pints or 4 half pints of jam) :
4 cups mashed berries (generally 2 quarts of strawberries = 4 cups mashed)
3/4 c to 2 cups sugar (if you use less sugar, you will lose the bright red color of the jam but the quality shouldn’t be affected).
2 tsp calcium water (this comes with the Pomona’s Pectin if you order it online. Mix well 1/2 cup water with 1/2 tsp of calcium and keep refrigerated for several months)
2 tsp pomona’s pectin
1. Pick or buy your berries from a local farm if possible. You might be surprised what you could save on buying berries or fruit in bulk for the year. They freeze too. We have Amish-Mennonite folks come and pick hundreds of pounds for the year for their whole family.
2. Wash and cap your berries (don’t leave them sitting in water too long because they’ll lose flavor).
3. Mash your berries (preferably with a friend…Natalie and my son are helping). The more you mash, the less chunky your jam will be.
4. When you reach this point, the recipe will go pretty fast so it’s best to make sure your jars and rings are sterilized in hot soapy water and your lids are sterilized over low-med heat in a few inches of water. You can keep your jars warm after washing by putting them into an oven that’s on it’s lowest heat (mine is 170 degrees). Also put water 3/4 up the sides of your canning pot and start heating it up to boiling.
5. Mix the mashed berries with calcium water.
6. Combine the pectin and sugar in a separate bowl and stir until well mixed (make sure your utensils and bowl that you mix the sugar and pectin in are dry).
7. Bring the mashed berries mix to a boil over the stove.
8. Once the berries are boiling add the pectin/sugar mix and stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to mix well.
9. Bring the whole mixture to a boil again.
10. Remove from heat and fill the hot jars up to 1/2 inch from the top. Wipe the rims with a clean damp cloth. Top each with lid and ring and twist tight.
11. Fill the canning pot with finished jars and boil (process) for five minutes. Processing strawberry jam in a canning pot isn’t absolutely necessary because they are hot enough to seal on their own and they’re acidic enough to be fine. However, if you’ve never canned before, it might be best to stay on the safe side and process them anyway.
12. Take out of the canner (be careful, they’re hot!) and leave for 24 hours to seal and cool.
Enjoy the popping sound of your jam jars sealing and yummy jam!
Christiana is the manager of this collaborative blog. She has postgrad degrees in theology and creative writing from St Andrews University in Scotland. She lives with her family in intentional Christian community in rural Illinois. While her husband farm manages, she writes, sings, gardens, cares for their two kiddos, cooks, preserves food and attempts to homemake. She also blogs atthebeautyofthishour.wordpress.com.