This is a
very simple recipe for strawberry jam. Strawberries and sugar.... that is it. Combine this jam
with other fruit jams for gourmet gift baskets. This is a small batch recipe. It only makes 5 - 1/2
pints. (that is 5 half pint jars)
It is VERY tempting to double this recipe for strawberry jam and make more. I almost always do. However it is difficult to make double batches of jam. If you want to make more at a time (I don't blame you) simply have two batches going at the same time in different pots.
This is what I always do. I just can't see running a canner for five - half pints. Strawberry Jam can be processed safely in a Water Bath Canner.
Start by preparing jars,and get water in your canner heating. You want your canner hot but not boiling when your jars are ready to process. (see Water Bath Canning for full directions)
Place a spoon in the freezer, you'll use this later.
Wash and core strawberries and remove any bruised portions. I use a strawberry corer(actually it is technically a tomato corer but it works perfectly for strawberries)
Place strawberries in a large pot. Crush with a potato masher to get the juices flowing.
Add sugar and heat while stirring constantly.
When sugar is dissolved bring to a boil. Boil rapidly until it thickens and reaches a jelling point. This may take 35-40 minutes. Stir frequently! Once it has started to thicken you will need to just stand there and continue stirring.
Take your cold spoon and scoop up a bit of jam. The jam will cool quickly and you can tilt the spoon to see if it has thickened or jelled. It should be thick as it drops off the spoon. This is referred to as 'sheeting'. If it is runny just cook a bit longer.
Another much easier way to tell if your jam is ready is by measuring temperature. First you’ll need to figure out the jelling point for your elevation.
When you are cooking your jam, place the candy thermometer right in the pot. When jam has reached your jelling point it is done. Remove the pot from the heat and continue with your recipe.
When jam has thickened skim off any foam with a large spoon. Another option is to add 1/4 tsp butter to your pot when you start cooking. This helps keep the foaming down.
Let your kids dip bread or crackers in the foam.... yum a great snack and treat if they have been helping you.