One of my very favorite childhood memories is watching my Grandmother make jam. Every year at the end of summer, my Grandma would make several batches of homemade raspberry and strawberry freezer jam. She would collect mountains of fresh berries, wash them, and lovingly fill container after container of full of sweet scrumptiousness for us to enjoy throughout the year.
My Grandma always used little square white plastic containers for her jam, I’m content with the 1/2 pint mason jars that are available in just about every grocery store during the summer time. Even though I make it a little different (the pink box and not the full sugar version, and jars instead of plastic containers…) making jam reminds me of my Grandma.
Whether it was berry season or not, every month of the year there was always homemade jam in the fridge, with backups in the freezer. This is a tradition I love keeping with my family. There are very few things as wonderful or as satisfying as a slice of warm bread with homemade jam.
- 1.75 oz Pink Box Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin
- 4 pints strawberries (1 big double container is enough for 1 batch) 4 cups crushed/chopped
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
Wash 8 1/2 pint canning jars, lids, and rings or plastic containers.
Rinse the berries. Remove the green tops and mash or chop. (I like to use a food processor, it is quick and effective.)
Transfer the berries to a large batter bowl with measurements on the side so you can see when you have 4 cups of fruit. If the ratio of fruit-sugar-pectin is off, the jam won't set up properly.
In a large saucepan, combine 3 cups of sugar, the pectin, and 1 cup of water. Stir to combine. (Use a large saucepan because when the mixture comes to a boil it will bubble up, and you don't want hot sugar to boil over the sides of your pan.)
You know you have reached the right temperature when the mixture is transparent in color, and continues to boil even when you stir it. Cook the mixture at full boil for 1 minute.
Pour the hot pectin mixture directly into the berries and stir for 1 minute until the berries are thoroughly incorporated.
Pour the jam into your containers. Be sure to leave about 1/2" of room at the top of your jars to allow for expansion during freezing. Use a bubble releaser around the sides if desired. Place the lids and tighten the rings on each container.
Let the jam sit at room temperature for a full 24 hours. Then freeze for up to a year or refrigerate for two weeks.
This recipe is so simple to make, I encourage you to give it a try. Plus, making your own jam is not only cheaper than buying it, it tastes better too.
*Unless you buy Week’s freezer jam, they have pretty amazing stuff! (Love you Karen)
While you can find beautiful berries at a great price, pick up a box of pectin and start a new family tradition!