Sunday, June 10, 2012

JAM-boree!

It's jam-boree time, y'all!  Photo props to my brother, Grayson. 

Strawberry jam is super simple and oh-so delicious.  For the jam, you'll need:
  • 4 pints of strawberries
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 2 lemons
To make your own jam, you'll also need jam jars, lids, and bands.  These will need to be sterilized.  The simplest way to sterilize jars, bands, and lids is to place them on a baking sheet {I cover mine with a tea towel} and place your jars, bands, and lids neatly on top.  Place the baking sheet into a cold oven and turn the heat to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  Allow this to bake for at least twenty minutes. 

In the meantime, you can get started on your jam!  Before you do anything else, put a plate {a real plate} in the freezer.  Trust me.

Your key ingredients:  strawberries, sugar, and lemons.  You'll also need a microplane grater and a sharp knife.
 Begin by zesting both lemons into your designated jam-making pot. 
 Then, slice your lemons in half.
 And juice, juice, juice!  Be certain you catch the seeds with your fingers.

 Then, add four cups of sugar.  I know this seems excessive, but the sugar is the ingredient that keeps the strawberries from spoiling.
 Then mix, mix, mix. 
 Once your sugar-lemon juice-lemon zest mixture is nice and clumpy, place it over medium-low heat.  Continue stirring until it's a paste and then leave for 10 minutes {stirring occasionally}.
 Now it's time to remove your strawberry tops and give them a quick slice.  In all honesty, it doesn't matter how you choose to slice or dice your strawberries.  Just be certain that they are all approximately the same size. 
 Then, dump all four pints of sliced strawberries into the sugar-lemon juice-lemon zest mixture.
 Mix, mix, mix.

 Allow your mixture to cook for 25 minutes.  Once it comes to a boil {on high heat} reduce it to medium-low heat.  It will begin to get nice and foamy.   
 Dip a bit of your jam on the plate that you previously placed in your freezer and let the jam "set" for a moment.  Then, push the mixture about on your plate.  If it has a jam-like consistency, you're ready to can your jam.  Put a large stockpot of water on to boil.
 For me, the easiest way to transfer the jam from the pot to the jar is with a Pyrex measuring cup.  Carefully ladle your strawberry jam into the pitcher. 
 And then carefully {because it's still hot}, pour the jam into the jam jars.
 And immediately place the lids on top.
 Then, place the bands on loosely.  And yes...you'll need an oven mitt. 
 And submerge the jars into boiling water for 10 to 12 minutes.
 After you remove the jars, place them on a flat surface and wait for the delightful little POP that lets you know that the jars sealed properly.  If a jar doesn't seal after five minutes or so, place it back into the boiling water for another ten minutes. 
 Allow your jam jars to cool and then place in a dry storage space.
 And enjoy!
Bon appetite, y'all!

1 comment:

  1. This makes me want to make jam, even though it'd take years to eat it all!

    ReplyDelete

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