The summer sun warming fields of berries makes for only a few weeks a year where the strawberries are at the peak of sweetness. The richness of flavor may be fleeting in the fresh berries, but if you snap up a bunch you can capture it in these preserves for the rest of the year.
I like to make a natural strawberry jam, with lots of berries and very little sugar so a traditional canning recipe is out of the question. I figure that the less I add to those perfect berries the more I will preserve the taste of summer. Freezing my summer jam is really the safest way to preserve it. And the great news is that this recipe is so simple that it leaves plenty of time for getting outside to enjoy that sunshine!
Strawberry Freezer Jam
This recipe makes 15 x 250ml (half pint) jars.
• 8-9 cups fresh strawberries
• 3 cups sugar
• 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1. Put a few small plates in the freezer.
2. Wash and hull the strawberries and add them to a large pot. Mash the berries with a potato masher so that you have a thick pulp. This should yield about 6 cups when mashed.
3.Add sugar and lemon juice to the mash and stir over medium high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
4. Let jam boil for one minute, then check for how thick the jam is by spooning some onto a plate from the freezer and running your finger through the center of the jam. If the line that your finger made quickly disappears, you will want to cook your jam a bit longer to thicken it further. If the jam stays on either side of the line, your jam is ready. Every jam will be a bit different depending on how much water and pectin there is in the berries. You can also choose how thick you like it to be based on personal preference. I try to cook it as little as possible to keep the cleanest flavor.
5. Remove from heat and skim off the foam. Then ladle jam into clean, sterilized jars. You can also use plastic jars for freezer jam, but ensure that the jam is cooled down before filling them.
6. Once cooled jam can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks and in the freezer for a year.
More homemade gift ideas from Stephanie:
Pickled Golden Beets Herb Infused Vinegars Olive and Fig Tapenade Infused Sugars
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