Happy Monday Friends!
Hope you all had a great weekend! It was H. O. T. here in Northern California and I took full advantage! After sitting outside with my sister drinking few of these, we decided to mosey on down to get some frozen yogurt. To our surprise there was a super cool art and food festival going on on the same street as my favorite fro yo place! So, we picked up our frozen yogurt and wandered through the booths. We got some delicious artisan olives (habanero stuffed for Michael, blue cheese stuffed for me), and some Dave’s Killer bread (have you guys tried this?! It is amazing! I couldn’t get enough!). But I stopped in my tracks when I found this incredible organic strawberry stand and couldn’t resist! Bright red, plump, juicy, and ridiculously sweet, perfect for eating my the handful, and…for jam!
Strawberry jam is one of my all time favorites. I think from the ages of 4-6 I pretty much lived on a diet of french bread, strawberry jam, and watermelon – or so pictures would lead me to believe. Now I am not talking about store bought jam here, in fact, I don’t think I had store bough jam until college! My mom and Ginny always had homemade jam on hand, the good stuff. I used to pack my suitcase full of jam every time I made a trip home (and actually I rarely make a trip home without smuggling at least a jar or two back ) because it is about 1,000% better than anything you can buy in the store, but then I realized how easy it is to make and my suitcases started getting considerably lighter!
The key to good strawberry jam? Good strawberries, duh! You want ripe, bright red, juicy strawberries. If you use under ripe strawberries you’ll get underripe jam…or something like that. Mash up your strawberries with a potato masher, don’t pulverize them though! One of the best parts of homemade jam is getting the big hunks of strawberries in your spoonful! Also, the bigger the chunks, the easier they are to dig out and keep for yourself before anyone else can get to them (not that I would know from personal experience or anything).
Next add the sugar. 4 cups. And I mean 4 cups. This is not the time to skimp on the sugar. Not only will your jam not taste as good, but you need the sugar to help it set. There’s nothing worse than watery jam! Stir the sugar into the strawberries and let sit for about 10 minutes.
In the meantime dissolve one package store bought pectin in 3/4 cup water by bringing it to a boil over medium high heat. Make sure to stir constantly! It doesn’t take long, don’t worry. Let it boil one minute, and then remove from heat and let cool just about 3 minutes.
Pour the pectin into the strawberry/sugar mixture and stir well to combine. The pectin is heavy so it will sink to the bottom, make sure to stir well so it gets fully incorporated.
That’s it! All you have to do is ladle it into freezer safe jars and freeze for at least 24 hours. Take them out of the freezer as you are ready to use them, defrost in the fridge, and you will have better-than-you-can-imagine strawberry jam! All in about 20 minutes!
Get me a big crusty loaf of french bread and a giant spoonful of this jam and I’m transported back to being a kid again. Best. Feeling. Ever.
Enjoy! I know I will!
- 2 cups mashed strawberries
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 box pectin (for freezer jam)
- ¾ cup water
- Remove stems and wash strawberries
- Roughly mash strawberries with a potato masher
- Stir sugar into mashed strawberries, let sit 10 minutes
- Stir pectin and water together in a saucepan over medium high heat
- Stir constantly until mixture comes to a boil
- Boil 1 minute, stirring frequently
- Let mixture cool about 3 minutes
- Stir pectin into strawberry mixture, mix well
- Ladle into freezer safe jars and freeze at least 24 hours before using