Strawberry Jam Time

This year the east coast strawberry crop was late coming in, and didn’t last very long.  A wet spring coupled with cool days, meant the strawberries were about 3 weeks late ripening and the season ended a week early.  Rule of thumb is Mothers day to Fathers day is the strawberry season.  Most local u-pick farms didn’t open until early June, and ended within three weeks!

 How do you make strawberry jam?
Jam requires a lot of fresh fruit, the fresher the better, sugar and time.  We generally go out and pick the strawberries in the fields and either tat day or the next I turn those berries into jam.

The process itself is simple:

  1. Clean and hull the strawberries
  2. Place strawberries in a pot and mash them
  3. Add sugar to taste.  Recipes call for “specific” quantities of sugar, but I find using ripe, farm fresh fruit, means I only use 25-35% of the sugar.
  4. Cook, stirring to prevent burning, until the mixture “gels” or turns into jam which happens at around 218-220 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Ladle jam into jars and place jars in a water bath for 5-10 minutes and let jars cool

So what takes so long?  Cleaning the fruit can take time, but depending on how many berries you are cooking it may take 1-1.5 hours to turn those strawberries into jam!


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