By: Kitch Coquette
I doubt many of you can your own homemade strawberry jam. If you are like me, you remember your mother gathering macerated fruit in a cheese cloth, which she then hung above a large aluminum pan. The juice would drip, drip, drip all day long. Around dinner time, the seeds would remain in the cheesecloth, and the lovely juice would be in the pan. But it took all day long! What modern woman has time for that nonsense?
So I found an easier way to make strawberry jam, and it actually tastes better. Instant freezer jam! Freezer jams have been around for a long time, but I thought it was about time that the younger generation was exposed to this easy process. If you can cut strawberries, mash them, and stir – you can make homemade strawberry jam. Once you try this, you’ll never eat store-bought jams again.
The best part about this jam is that it takes such a short time to make, and it doesn’t require you to cook your fruit. This means that all of the fresh flavors of the strawberries are still maintained. Think about how ripe strawberries taste with sugar on them. Or think about a fresh strawberry pie. That is exactly how this jam tastes. I make a large quantity during spring and summer, but I freeze most of the jars. Then, all winter long I pull out my little mason jars filled with fresh spring taste. It’s like having a jar full of sunshine just waiting for you on those cold winter mornings.
This is great on toast, yogurt, ice cream, crepes, waffles, Dutch babies, blintzes, and much, much more.
What You Need:
4 lbs of fresh strawberries
1 ½ cups of sugar or Splenda
1 sachet of Balls instant pectin
5 – 8 oz jelly or jam jars (make sure to run them through the dishwasher before using them)
What You Do:
1) Remove all of the strawberry stems and cut out the center white part of each strawberry.
2) Wash the strawberries.
3) Slice the strawberries and place in a large bowl.
4) Use a potato masher to mash the strawberries. Mash until approximately half of your strawberries are macerated, and the other half are still intact.
5) In a separate bowl, combine the pectin with the sugar (or Splenda).
6) Add pectin mixture gradually to prevent clumping. Stir between additions of the pectin. Stir until well incorporated.
7) Ladle the strawberry jam into the clean jelly/jam jars. Close tops.
8) Place one of the jars in the refrigerator and the others in the freezer. The one in the refrigerator will be ready to eat in 30 minutes. When you want to use the ones in the freezer, just take out of the freezer and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours.
Want more cooking ideas from Kitch? Try her Chocolate & Salted Caramel Matzoh Brittle, Pin-Up Pot Stickers, Blueberry White Chocolate Chip Cookies, Braised Corned Beef, Bacon Mashed Potatoes, Farmer’s Wife Avocado Salad, Kahlua Chocolate Pecan Pie Bars, Ribs or Sponge Cake