Friday, April 9, 2010

Tales From An Ill-Equipped Kitchen: Jam

One of the left-over recipes from my April OAMC day was strawberry jam. I love this recipe! C took a break from studying to help with it. It took about 30 minutes start to finish and resulted in a lot of giggling. My sister, Jessica, is in culinary school. I'm 99.9% sure this post is going to make her cringe.

Sliced Strawberries.

It was C's job to mash the berries. The recipe said to use a potato masher for best results. I'm thinking they meant the old fashioned metal mashers. I doubt they even make those anymore. Our plastic one made a good effort, but was pretty pathetic and just slopped berries over the sides of the bowl. We actually found that the pizza cutter did some serious damage. The beater was it's right-hand man and the potato masher ran the anchor leg. We did end up with a really nice puree with fruit chunks. Yum.

We combined the pectin & everything and it was time to put the jam into jars. Do we have a funnel? no. In the past, we've rolled up a piece of paper, but we figured this needed something a little more sturdy. A while back, we found sobe lifewater for free. So now we have 30 of them. We cut open one of the empty bottles, rinsed it out & voila! funnel! [We'll wait while Jessica finishes crying. Sorry, Jess. At least you know now what I need in my stocking!]

However, right tools or not, the jam is delicious! We let it set on the counter over night & I made myself a sandwich with it for lunch today. Considering the cost benefit & how easy it was [no, really. Despite everything, it was super easy!] we probably won't be buying jam again, just looking for clearance berries.

I'm sorry for the poor quality photos. I'm still trying to figure out the settings on our new-to-us camera.

Here's the recipe for those interested:

Freezer Strawberry Jam

2 pints strawberries, hulled (2 cups crushed)
4 cups sugar
1 box fruit pectin (Sure Jell)
3/4 cup water

In a large bowl, crush one cup of strawberries at a time, use a potato masher for best results. If using a food processor, pulse to a very fine chop. Do not puree. Jam should have bits of fruit.

Measure exactly 2 cups of the prepared fruit. Place into a separate bowl. Measure exactly 4 cups of sugar into another bowl. Stir sugar into prepared fruit.
Mix well.

Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. In a small saucepan stir together one box of pectin and 3/4 cup water. Pectin may start out lumpy. Bring the mixture to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir the pectin mixture into the fruit mixture.

Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy, about 3 minutes. A few sugar crystals may remain.

Pour into prepared jars or containers, leaving a 1/2-inch space at the top for expansion during freezing. Cover with lids.

Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours.

— Source: Sure Jell recipe


  1. Mmm... that looks good! I was actually just looking at a recipe for making peach jam yesterday and thought that I should just try it and stop being intimidated by some weird thought I have that it's super hard! Time to find a steal on some fruit, I think!

  2. Lori it was super easy! Seriously, this was my first time & it's all set up and jam-y. Totally worth it. :)

  3. I got a metal potato masher at Ikea for just a couple dollars. So if you want a metal one you should look there.

  4. Looks delicious-the SOBE funnel made me smile. :) Perhaps you need a Happy Spring gift! That's sooner than Christmas.

  5. .... so I made it all the way til the funnel, I was even supportive of the masher :) haha I'm glad you're making jam, it really is cost effective and so much better for you than the processed stuff ! I just put my blackberries in my magic bullet.. super easy !


  6. lol. i was worried about that!