It is getting to the end of strawberry season here in Louisiana.
What? The end, you say?
Yes, I thought the same thing. It isn't even the beginning of strawberry season anywhere else I've ever lived…. thank goodness for my southern pal or I'd never get anything right down here! So, in my usual nature of taking on just a wee bit too much, who me? I picked up 3 flats of strawberries on the way home from dropping the daddy off at the airport for training yesterday. A mere $10 a piece from a little local road side stand. Did you know 3 flats weigh about 36 pounds. I swear it didn't look like that many strawberries when I bought them…… but then I got them home…. and began the washing and the Eldest said "I don't think you have enough strawberries mom." That's teenage humor for those of you who don't know!
Well, I put that funny teenager to work! And there was a lot of slicing……
Both big kids helped enormously with the entire project. And by 6:30 there were 28 jars of Strawberry Jam, 28!! 4 double batches of that recipe below…..
This jam is so good that we all voted to make another couple of batches so we could gift it this winter. Don't you think in season satsumas and local strawberry jam would make a lovely gift? A loaf of bread and it would be a perfect breakfast. Speaking of bread I made Soulemama's WHO bread and it is delicious with the jam….. yum, yum, yum!
Gypsy Family's Strawberry Jam::
(adapted from Gourmet Preserves, a favorite of mine)
8 cups (about 2 pounds) capped and quartered
1/2 cup of water
2 TBSP cup lemon or lime juice
1.5 – 2 cups sugar
1 box low/no sugar needed pectin (optional, I usually do not use it)
Wash & sterilize 6 jam jars. 2 cup size. Place them in the oven to keep them warm, as hot as you can still comfortably touch. Place your lids/tops in a shallow pan. (dishwasher or oven)
Mix pectin with 1/2 cup of the sugar and set aside. If you don't care about having a loose jam, you can skip the pectin all together. (The result will be a softer set jam that jells a bit when refrigerated.)
Cut the strawberry tops off and cut them into quarters. Add strawberries and water to a LARGE stockpot. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 10 minutes, stirring often. Be careful it does not boil over or the mess will surely cause you to hate me forever and give up jam making entirely. Okay, maybe not, because I have done this and I still love to make jam. As the berries are boiling bring a teakettle of water to boil. Pour it over the lids/tops in a pan and let them sit.
After the ten minutes of boiling the berries, stir in the lemon/lime juice. Then add the remaining sugar 1/2 cup at a time returning the berries to a rolling boil after each addition. Stir and boil for 5 more minutes. Stir in the pectin sugar mixture and boil another minute. Test the jell of the jam by dropping a spoonful onto a cold plate, put the plate in the freezer for 2 minutes and the jam should be slightly set and wrinkle on the top when you push it with your finger, if it is still runny, simmer 5 more minutes & test again… repeat until desired thickness is achieved. Remove from the heat and skim off any foam. The kids love to eat this.
Fill your jars with hot jam leaving 1/4 inch headspace at the top. Wipe the rim with a clean cloth. Top with a lid from the pan of water. Screw a ring on finger tight & process in a 10 minute hot water bath. Good Instructions and Info Here
This recipe makes about five or six jars, 2 cup capacity, of not too sweet soft set jam…. just the way we like it around here 🙂
I often skip the pectin and double or triple this recipe in a HUGE pot with fine results. (You will have to boil it longer to achieve a thick jam consistency of you double or triple it)