One of the great joys of springtime is the sudden abundance of strawberries, but with any quantity of berries comes a challenge. How do you eat them all before they spoil? The Practical Cooks Junior are exceptionally fond of picking, and the Practical Cook reasons that they are both closer to the ground than she and have better endurance, so she lets them.
Three gallons later, it’s time to call for an intervention. This recipe is exceptionally timely, as I first made it with my mom, having just become a mom myself. We had no pectin, I barely had enough jars, and I’d never made jam before. It was still a success.
This recipe is simple, and the smell is mind-blowing. I make mine and freeze it, because I’ve yet to take on canning. Just try it once, you’ll thank me later.
Strawberry Jam Recipe
Adapted from Gourmet cookbook.
3 pounds very ripe strawberries in season, rinsed and hulled
4 cups of sugar (jam is not a health food people, it’s a condiment)
1/3 cup lemon juice
1. Chill 2 plates in the fridge.
2. Crush berries with sugar in a large heavy pot (at least 4 quarts) using a potato masher.
3. Bring the berry mixture to boil over moderate heat. Boil for 10 minutes, watching that it doesn’t boil over, skimming and discarding the scum, and stirring.
4. Add lemon juice, stir, and reduce heat to an easy boil. Cook for 20-40 minutes, testing the jam on chilled plates by dropping 1 spoonful, chilling for a minute in the fridge, then seeing if it’s firm enough for your taste.
5. When jam is done, let it cool a bit, then store in sterilized jars (run them through the dishwasher or pour boiling water over them) with clean lids. Freeze, use, or share!
Let me know if you give jam a chance. Drop a line to practical cook at gmail dot com. Or post a comment here, or connect on Facebook (The Practical Cook Blog).
Up tomorrow, One Celebration, Three Ways: Cinco de Mayo Edition.