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Delicious & Quick Homemade Strawberry Jam

June 18, 2009

I tried a new recipe for jam the other day. I didn’t want to can any strawberry jam and didn’t want to make alot of it. It is not the big flavor in our house. I will wait for my raspberries to come in and make raspberry jam.

Which reminds me to sign up for the MSU extension food preservation workshops today. It has been a long time since I tried canning. I usually freeze or store. Last year, I tried to can refrigerator pickles (six month life in fridge) and ALL of those failed. Fizzing bubbles in the cans and bad smell. Canning makes me nervous, but I want to tackle it.

This homemade organic strawberry jam is so delicious I have begun inventing excuses to have some. It tastes like jam used to taste when I was a child in the 1970’s. We usually don’t eat jam that has sugar in it, so I lessened the amount of sugar the recipe called for and then further lessened it when I made a second batch. The recipe takes about an hour from start to finish and produces about one cup of strawberry jam that will sit in the fridge for two weeks. This is a good way to use imperfect strawberries. Slice off the imperfections and tops into a container for the chickens and rabbits and slice the good parts into your measuring cup.

From The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook:

4 cups sliced thin strawberries

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (yes, I squeezed a fresh lemon)

3/4 cup sugar (but I reduced this down to less than 1/2)

Put these ingredients in a stainless steel skillet for faster cooking or a pot for slower cooking. On medium heat, stir nearly continuously and keep on a simmer. When strawberries have cooked down to about half their original amount and the concoction looks syrupy and is thickening, take a small spoonful out and put into a bowl that sits on top of ice water in another bowl. If after 30 seconds, the jam doesn’t run when you tip the bowl, the jam is finished. Keep cooking if it is too runny. I cooked my jam much longer than the recipe called for, as I’m not interested in runny jam.

I made a couple of extra batches of this jam out of another bucket of strawberries I just picked for Father’s Day presents.

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