Strawberry Jam – Review

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Growing up, my mother would make us go fruit picking every summer.  Looking back, I never fully appreciated how lucky I was to be able pick fresh fruit.  Many years later, I moved downtown and was living closer to my best friend.  We started crafting and attempting various do-it-yourself projects and eventually this led to home preserving.  This year we wanted to hit up as many seasonal fruit as possible and the first one up was strawberries.  So one sunny Sunday morning in June we decided to drive to Grimsby where we picked up a flat of juicy, ruby red berries.

Since we were new to canning, we decided to use tried and true recipes first before we start experimenting.  To preserve jam, there is a science to balancing the acidity in order to prevent spoilage and to ensure your jam sets properly.  For this reason we used the Bernardin strawberry jam recipe.  This jam uses liquid pectin, and I’ve found the best jams we’ve made so far were with liquid pectin. Straightforward and easy to work with, this type of pectin seems to set the best as well.

The result is the most definitive strawberry jam.  Sweet, exploding full of flavour and by no means healthy, it is decadent and heavenly.  I was going to give these jams away as Christmas gifts…but I think I’m going to save them all for myself!  Next year we will have to make a double batch for sure!

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Bernardin Strawberry Jam

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 7 x 250ml jars

Bernardin Strawberry Jam

Ingredients

  • 3 3/4 cups crushed strawberries
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 7 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pouch Bernardin liquid pectin

Instructions

  1. Place the mason jars on a rack in a boiling water canner.
  2. Fill canner with water until jars are covered.
  3. Heat water to a simmer and sanitize jars at 180F for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Set screw bands aside and heat snap lids in hot water (not boiling water).
  5. Keep jars and lids hot until ready to use.
  6. Wash, hull and crush strawberries, one layer at a time.
  7. Combine strawberries and lemon juice in a large, deep stainless steel saucepan.
  8. Stir sugar into strawberry mixture.
  9. Add butter to mixture (to reduce foaming)
  10. Over high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil. Stirring constantly, boil hard for 1 minute and remove from heat.
  11. Immediately stir in the liquid pectin and mix well. Skim foam from the top with a large metal spoon.
  12. Laddle jam into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top rim (headspace).
  13. Using a plastic jar stick or wooden chopstick, remove any air bubbles by sliding the stick along the inside of the jar.
  14. Wipe jar rim to remove any stickiness.
  15. Center snap lid on jar and apply screw band securely and firmly until resistance is met, but do no overtighten.
  16. Place jar in canner and repeat for remaining jam.
  17. Cover canner and bring water to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.
  18. Remove jars without tilting and cool upright, undisturbed for 24 hours.
  19. Do not re-tighten screw bands but check the jar seals after they have cooled. Sealed lids curve downward.
  20. Optional: remove screw bands.
  21. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place for up to one year.
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