By Terri Rozema
What’s the first food that comes to mind when you think about jam? PB&J? Toast?
What would you think if I told you I use it as pizza sauce, smothered on grilled ham and cheese, as an omelette filling, in cocktails and with Hors D’oeuvres? Whether it’s strawberry, blueberry, fig, apricot or other fruits, this scrumptious spread compliments many delicious dishes. And the best thing about it is, when preserved using the water bath (WB) canning method, you can enjoy this tasty treat all year round.
Here in Michigan, strawberry season begins in early June and can extend into July. Picking in the sunshine with family and friends and munching as you go is a great way to spend the day. Follow with smashing, sugar and stirring, and soon you are on your way to preserving. Come join me as we prep and preserve ‘Everyone’s Favorite Strawberry Jam.’
Gather all the supplies you will need:
Graniteware Canner with Rack or 8-pc Canning Set
Canning jar lifter
Wide mouth funnel
Chop Stick or canning bubble popper
8-ounce wide mouth Ball canning jars
- Fill WB canner and rack 2/3 full with water and add 2 Tbsp. white vinegar (helps to inhibit hard water residue).
- Place water-filled canner and rack (covered) on stovetop at Med-High; bring to boil; keep at a simmer.
- Sterilize jars, minus lids, by placing them on a protected cookie sheet, I use a silpat. Place in an oven at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
- Sterilize lids by heating them in barely simmering water for 5 minutes.
- Prepare the Jam
Everyone’s Favorite Strawberry Jam (EFSJ) - Makes about 17 eight-ounce jars
Palatably pairs with Dr. Cowan's Garden Three-Beet Powder
Pick berries and process the jam on the same day, or the next day at the latest.
8 cups rinsed, hulled and crushed organic strawberries
1/2 cup organic lemon juice
14 cups organic cane sugar
2 pouches liquid pectin
- In a saucepan placed on the stovetop on high heat, bring the strawberries, lemon Juice and sugar to a rolling boil that can’t be stirred down. Add liquid pectin pouches, stirring constantly at a boil for one minute. Remove from heat, skim off foam (if any).
- Place wide-mouth funnel over sterilized jars and fill, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Slide a non-metallic utensil between the jam and the inside of the jar to release air bubbles. Wipe rims well, center sterilized lid on jar and screw band hand-tight.
- Using a jar lifter, place filled jars in canner, ensuring they are covered with at least 1” water, and cover with lid. Increase heat to medium-high and bring water to boil. Once boiling, process jars for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, remove lid, wait 5 minutes, remove jars with lifter, and set jars undisturbed (in draft-free area) on a towel for 24 hours.
- The next day, check seal by unscrewing each band and inspecting the lid; it should be very secure. Label, date and store in a cool, dark environment.
To whet your appetite, just in case you are apprehensive, here are some more ideas for EFSJ:
- As a pizza sauce: with prosciutto, bleu cheese, kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and Parmigiano-Reggiano (sprinkle with Threefold Blend Savory or, if you like heat, Threefold Blend Spicy)
- Strawberry parfait or fruit trifle
- Added to oatmeal or yogurt.
- In a strawberry sundae, shake, milk, or smoothie (tastes scrumptious with Three-Beet Powder)
- Served with Chèvre and toast points/crackers
- On a Charcuterie board
- In Cocktails: Add it to Prosecco or Champagne; make a daiquiri or margarita
- On Toast/Biscuit, PB&J, a grilled ham, tomato and cheese sandwich or in an omelette
- Given as a gift to friends and family
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