When I was 5 years old, I remember sharing some strawberry ice cream with my grandmother. Much to my surprise, I broke out in a horrible case of hives. I developed an allergy to my favorite fruit! For years, I’d block out this delicious fruit from my vision. I feared strawberries, but was secretly jealous of my siblings who were able to happily enjoy them. In Louisiana, the strawberries are grown locally, so they are just amazingly flavorful and sweet.
By the time I was in high school, I grew tired of it. I remember holding a bowl of strawberries, lightly sweetened with sugar, in front of me. I told my Mom to have the first aid spray handy, because I wanted to see if my strawberry allergy was only a childhood allergy. I wolfed down the bowl, waited…waited…and the next day, I was still OK. Thank goodness!! I could eat strawberries again! I think I went through half a flat that day, just to make up for the years of lost opportunities with this tasty berry.
Every time April rolls around, I have to have a flat of them. This year, I decided to make some homemade jam. I wasn’t as intimidated this time, because I have canned before. This was easy to put together, and from the foamy jelly I skimmed off after cooking the jam up, I will say this stuff is REALLY tasty. Smuckers can’t touch this!
For canning, I use this kit. I find all of the tools in there almost essential for easy and safe canning.
Before you begin canning, I recommend this website, since this explains in detail how to can safely. The recipe below is considered “high acid canning”. I also purchased this book, which also has all of the directions for canning and bonus, has quite a few more recipes than their website provides.
Louisiana Strawberry Jam
Source: Ball Blue Book of Preserving
- 2 quarts fresh strawberries
- 1 package powdered pectin
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 7 cups sugar
- Wash strawberries and drain. Remove the stems and crush strawberries a few at a time (I place them on a cookie sheet and used a fork to mash).
- Combine strawberries, lemon juice and powdered pectin in a pot. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add in the sugar and stir until the mixture is dissolved. Bring this to a rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam, if there is any (I used a slotted spoon to do this).
- Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps, and process for 10 (for half pints)-15 (for pints) minutes in a boiling water canner.
Makes 4 pint or 8 half pint jars.