Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam

Honey Strawberry Jam: Water bath canning

I’m actually not quite sure what to call this jam, jelly, preserves? I suppose what you’ll get is something between jam and preserves. You can more or less control the consistency by muddling the strawberries a lot for a smoother jam or less for a chunkier jam. I made mine somewhere in the middle because I still wanted it to spread but liked a bit of chunky strawberry for texture.

This jam is a little on the tart side since it is lightly sweetened with honey. The neat thing about this recipe is the apple. While you can hardly taste the flavor, it adds a little bit of sweetness as well as a natural pectin that helps the strawberry syrup to become more jelly like.

If you’re new to jam making I have a few tips and a list of tools that are helpful. Otherwise skip right down to the recipe!

Honey Strawberry Jam: Water bath canning

Canning 101

Sterilize everything! Your hands, the tools, the jars, the lids etc. My sister taught me how to can and she wouldn’t stop emphasizing “sterilize!” She scared it into me. Now I’m certain my jam won’t spoil. My tip is to lay out one clean tray to set the sanitized tools on.

I sanitize the lids first that way they can lay out to dry on a clean towel while you go through the rest of the steps.

Ladle the completed jam into sterilized hot jars.

Make sure the outside of the jars (especially the threaded part) is free from any moisture, or jam spillage. Use a clean wet paper towel to wipe the outside then dry with a clean dry paper towel.

What you’ll need:

Jars with canning lids* (two piece metal lids).

*You must use new lids or they won’t seal correctly and you could end up with spoiled jam.

Large pot. Essentially a ginormous pot that you’ll boil water in that will hold several sealed jars with 2 inches of water above. A large stock pot works, a canning pot is ideal.

Potato masher, muddler or immersion blender.

Jar lifter. This tool lifts the jars out of the water bath safely.

A ladle to scoop the jam into the jars.

Nice to have:

Canning pot with rack. You’ll need something to set your jars on that will hold them above the bottom of the pot. Laying extra jar bands down at the bottom of your pot can also work.

Canning funnel. Things get a little messy; this helps.

Honey Strawberry Jam: Water bath canning

Strawberry Jam

Makes about 8 pints of jam.

Ingredients:

8 lbs of strawberries
2 apples (skin on)
5 c. honey
2 tbsp. lemon juice

Instructions:

Place two small plates in the fridge or freezer.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Sterilize the lids to the jars by placing them in the water for at least 10 minutes. Remove and set on a clean dry towel.

Add your jars to the boiling water and leave them in the pot until you’re ready to fill them.

Meanwhile rinse the berries, chop off the leaves and slice in half. Set aside.

Grate the apple using the large size of a cheese grater.

Add the berries, apples, honey, and lemon juice to a large pot over high heat. Once the mixture comes to a rolling boil turn down the heat to a boil. Occasionally scrape the sides and bottom of the pot with a sanitized spoon. The mixture will end up thickening to the right consistency after about 45-60 minutes.

Once the fruit begins to soften, mash the fruit with a muddler or potato masher. An immersion blender works too!

Test to see if the jam is the right consistency by dropping a small spoonful (sanitized) onto the cold plate from the fridge. If it seems to set- it’s ready. If it’s not set you can turn the heat up slightly to speed up the last bit of the process. Test on a cold plate until the consistency is right.

Remove the first jar from the hot water bath and shake off any pools of water. Fill with jam up to the ledge of the jar. (about ½ inch from the top) Using a clean paper towel, wipe off any jam from the outside of the jar.

With clean hands carefully place the lid on top of the jar. Then screw the band onto the jar just enough so it doesn't feel wobbly on the grooves (finger tight.) Repeat until all jars are filled.

Process the jars by placing them on the canning rack and lowering them into the pot. Lower as many jars as will fit without overcrowding. Ensure that the water is covering the tops of the lids with at least 2 inches of space. When the water comes back up to a rolling boil, set a timer for 10 minutes.

Carefully remove the jars and place them on a clean towel on the counter. Place in a spot that will be undisturbed for 24 hours. The jars will pop meaning they’ve sealed. Refrain from checking to the seal until 24 hrs has passed. If any jars fail to seal, simply move them to the fridge and use those jars first. They will last for 3-4 weeks in the fridge. Sealed jars will last in a cool dry place for about a year.

Honey Strawberry Jam: Water bath canning
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