Tuesday, July 12, 2016

strawberry jam

Homemade jam, it's my jam yo. 

Homemade jam, or jelly, or preserves...isn't hard to make. 

Strawberries are in peak season right now, that also means they are cheap! I mainly stick to organic fruits and veggies, and in the middle winter organic strawberries are $6 + a pint...I refuse to buy them. My kids rejoice when strawberries are in season. My family of 6 can eat through a pint in one sitting. So, when the strawberries are rip and handy...I take advantage of the market and prepare a few jars of jam for the winter months. 

The average organic strawberry jelly can run you $4-$8...if you make it yourself it cost right around $2 a jar.  

I enjoy making my own jam for a few reasons.

I can control the ingredients.
I can control how much sugar goes in the jam.
I can opt. out of using pectin.

Want to make jam? 

You'll need:
pounds of fresh strawberries (washed and hulled) 
1/4 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice
4 cups of sugar (yikes that is a lot of sugar-feel free to cut back to desired sweetness)

In a bowl smash berries until you have about 4 cups. In a saucepan mix strawberries, lemon juice, and sugar. Heat on low until sugar is dissolved, then turn the heat up to high. Bring mixture to a boil. STIR OFTEN, this needs to be babysat. This can thicken in 15mins or can take up to 45 mins...it just seems to depend on the batch for me. When this mixture starts to resemble jam, do the freezer test* on the berries. 

* place a few plates in the freezer // when berry mixture starts to thicken ( after about 15 mins of boiling ) place a teaspoon on the frozen plate and freeze for a minute // remove from freeze and run your finger through the strawberries...if the jam doesn't run together it's done...if it runs back together it isn't quite ready yet... cook the jam another 15mins and repeat the process until thicken.

Once jam is ready you can, jar it and give it a water bath to preserve freshness. If jam is going to be eaten right away no water bath is needed...just store in your fridge up to three months. 

Have you ever made your own jam? 
Would you ever try this? 

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