Strawberry jams may be either freezer jams, generally using uncooked berries, or traditional cooked jams. Freezer jams using uncooked berries have a lovely fresh taste, but don’t keep as long..
Freezer Strawberry Jam
(a standard recipe, from many sources)
2 cups washed, crushed strawberries (start with about 1 qt whole berries)
4 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 box powdered fruit pectin (1 3/4 oz.)
Place crushed berries into a large bowl. Add the sugar to the fruit, mix well, and let stand for 10 minutes. Mix water and pectin in a small saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil, and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from meat and stir the pectin into the fruit. Continue stirring for 3 minutes. Ladel quickly into serilized freezable jars, leaving ï¿½ inch of headroom. Seal immediately with sterilized tight-fitting lids. Let jars stand at room temperature until the jam is set. Freeze. Makes 5-6 8-ounce jars.
Sugarless Strawberry Freezer Jam
Good for diabetics.
1 1/2 tsp. unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 Tbsp. cold water
3 cups washed and hulled fresh strawberries, mashed
1 1/2 Tbsp. liquid sweetener
1/4 tsp. ascorbic acid powder
Red food coloring if desired
In a cup, soften gelatin with water and set aside. Combine mashed strawberries and sweetener in a medium saucepan. Place over high heat, stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Add softened gelatin. Return to heat and continue to cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Blend in ascorbic acid powder and food coloring. Pour into freezer containers. Cover. Store in refrigerator or freezer.
From “Strawberry Eats & Treats” a cookbook by the North American Strawberry Growers Association, www.nasga.org.
Strawberry Jam advice
From The Vollmer Farm, in Bunn, NC:
People always ask about jam recipes, and although we’d love to elaborate on an age-old, handed-down family recipe, we can’t. Everyone we know uses the recipes on the inside of the Sure-Jell box. We can, however, give you a few critical tips:
You can use either regular Sure-Jell or Sure-Jell Light for strawberry jam. Both can be found in the supermarket. We like to use Sure-Jell Light. It uses much less sugar and the jam is equally as good.
Check the expiration date on the Sure-Jell box. Do not purchase if dated the same year you are making the jam, or you waste a lot of time for nothing.
A “rolling boil” means really bubbling. Juice is flying everywhere. Wear your apron!
Follow the directions precisely.
Jean’s Strawberry Jam
This recipe for a cooked freezer jam, from Jean Copeland of Jean’s Berry Patch in Apex, NC, uses no pectin products.
4 cups strawberries, hulled
4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Mix the berries and 2 cups of the sugar in a large sauce pan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, continuing to stir. Add the remaining 2 cups of sugar. Return to boiling and stir while the mixture boils for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice. Pour int a large bowl and skim the top. Stir frequently, skimming the top. Cover the bowl and let stand overnight. Pour into jars, cover with lids, and freeze. Makes 2-3 pints. Store this jam in the freezer until ready to use. After opening, it keeps for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
Traditional Strawberry Jam (cooked)
5 cups crushed berries (start with 2 qts. whole berries)
7 cups sugar
1 box powdered fruit pectin
Stir powdered pectin into the berries. Bring berries and pectin to a boil and add sugar all at once. Again, bring the mixture to a boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and fill jars.
Old Fashioned Whole Berry Preserves
This recipe comes from Rudd’s Farm, in Greensboro, NC (www.ruddfarm.com).
6 cups fresh small fully ripe whole strawberries,washed and hulled
Boiling water to cover strawberries
1/2 cup lemon juice
6 cups sugar, divided
In a large saucepan, cover berries with boiling water; let stand 3 minutes to soften. Drain water and discard. Combine berries and 3 cups of the sugar in a 6 to 8 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; continue to boil slowly on medium heat 8 minutes, stirring constantly. Add remaining 3 cups sugar and lemon juice. Boil 10 minutes more, stirring constantly. Using a candy thermometer, bring to the gelling stage of 220-225 degrees. Remove from heat. Stir and skim off foam with metal spoon for 2 minutes. Pour jam into shallow baking dish to cool completely. When cold, put in sterilized jars and freeze or process.
If your jam doesn’t jam:
Don’t despair! It will still be delicious. Use it as a sauce for pancakes, waffles, yogurt, ice cream, pound cake, etc.