Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Whats Being Canned: Strawberry Jam

Usually we do our jam in the summer, but this past summer was such a busy one for us, we never got around to it! That's alright, we made sure to freeze all of our berries knowing we would eventually get to it when we had the time. 

Last go-around we made blackberry and blueberry jam. This time we're making strawberry and raspberry, as well as blackberry again. I'm really excited....strawberry and raspberry are my two favorite jams! We haven't done the raspberry or blackberry yet, but we managed to get our strawberry jam done and it is mighty tasty! We made a triple batch and each batch made eight 8oz jars. 

We also used paraffin wax on one of the batches to try it out. Everything I've read says the preferred method of canning now a days is of course the hot water bath. Using paraffin wax is considered "risky" because of possible mold growth on your jam from air possibly leaking in. Still, we tried it out anyway. I'm thinking "risky" by today's standards or not, it must have worked pretty well overall since the human race has survived long enough to invent vacuum sealing! We will consume the jam that was sealed using the paraffin wax first. And of course, don't eat it if it looks suspicious and won't do it again if all of our paraffin wax sealed jams don't turn out. But in my mind, no harm in trying something new that was once the norm! 

Strawberry jam:

5 cups crushed strawberries
1 package regular fruit pectin
7 cups sugar

1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids. 
**If using paraffin wax, place wax in kettle....like an old percolator kettle. Heat low and slow. We put ours on simmer for about 45 minutes. 
2. In a large, deep stainless steel saucepan, combine berries and pectin using a whisk until pectin is all dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Add sugar all at once and return to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil hard, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Remove from heat and skim off foam.
3. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving ¼ inch head space. Remove air bubbles. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar and screw lid on. 
4. Place jars in a canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes then remove jars, cool, and store. 
**If using paraffin wax, let jam set for about 10 minutes. Wipe rim and inside of rim, making sure all is clean. Pour wax on top of jam, ensuring that jam gets covered completely, you can swirl the jar to make sure wax completely coats the jam and up the sides a bit. Let cool completely. DO NOT place in canner. Your jam with the paraffin wax will be good for 3-4 months. Store in the fridge for added freshness security if you'd like. You could also cut cloth to place on top and secure with band to pretty it up. 

Ok! Who wants a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich!?

With love,
Mama Hauck