More Than Herbs & Flowers
4 16-oz. pkgs. of strawberries
1/2 C. lemon juice
2 pkg. Sure Jell
7 C. sugar
First, Prepare the Jars:
- Place a cloth in the bottom of a large pot, and cover with about 2 inches water.
- Place 10 clean, empty, half-pint canning jars (or 5 one-pint jars) in the pot while the water is still cold.
- Heat the water and jars over high heat until it comes to a boil. (This heats the jars gradually, preventing them from breaking, as they would if boiling jam were to be added to cold jars.)
Next, Prepare the Lids and Rings:
- Place the lids and rings in another pot with water and bring to a simmer. Leave the lids and rings in this pot until jars are filled with jam.
- This prepares the sealing compound in the rubber seal of the lids. DO NOT let the water with the lids come to a boil, or the sealing compound will be activated, and the lids will be useless before you can use them.
Now, You’re Ready to Make Jam!
While the water is coming to a boil:
- Place strawberries in a blender or food processor, or crush them by hand with a potato masher.
- Pour blended berries into a large saucepan or a stockpot.
- Add lemon juice, then pectin. (I used Sure Jell, following the directions on the package.)
- Bring mixture to a full boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
- Add the sugar, stirring well until it is completely dissolved, and bring the mixture back to a boil.
- Remove the pan from heat, and skim off the foam, if desired.
- With the jars still in the hot water, ladle the hot jam into 5 hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace*. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp cloth. Place the lids on the jars, and carefully screw on the ring until it is fingertip tight. (Be sure to tighten more after they have cooled.)
- Leave the jam-filled jars the pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Then remove jars and allow to cool.As the jars cool, the vacuum seal will form and you will hear the lids “ping” when the seal is complete.
- Check the lids after 24 hours to make sure the lids do not flex up and down when the center is pressed.
- Headspace is the space from the top of the food to the top of the jar. With too little headspace, the food may boil over and prevent the lid from sealing. With too much headspace, the processing time will not be long enough to drive the air out of the jar, preventing a proper seal. Either way, without a good seal, the food is likely not safe to eat.
- If your jars do not seal, you can keep them in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks, but no longer. The tiny jar in the photo below was used to hold the last little bit of jam in the pan, so the headspace is far too large. We stored this one in the fridge.