It's Heaven, in a jar. And ridiculously easy to make.
My twenty-five poorly attended junebearing strawberry plants of the Sparkle variety have turned into a strawberry jungle. There are surely one thousand runners in there. But that's ok, because junebearers yield better on last year's runners anyway. So I am up to my eyeballs in strawberries. Every two days I get about 3 pints. They are just getting started!
Ava is in pure bliss. Strawberries are her favorite fruit and between the junebearers and the everbearers, we'll have strawberries most of the summer except for the hottest part. Ava won't help me pick them, but she likes to eat them. Think of the story "The Little Red Hen".
If you've never made strawberry freezer jam before, you should give it a try. It's very easy and it doesn't require any special canning equipment. I use wide mouth pint jars, but you can also use those plastic freezer containers.
The U-Pick strawberry farms will be opening here very soon and usually run for about a month. They also sell already picked berries by the pint or gallon, but you'll pay a little more than if you pick them yourself. Store bought strawberries will work too, but are not nearly as good as fresh picked berries.
This is a time tested recipe. It is included with any box of dry fruit pectin, but in case you don't have it, here's the recipe:
- 2 cups crushed strawberries
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 box of dry pectin
- 3/4 cup of water
1) Crush berries, one cup at a time, using a potato masher. (Do not puree.)
2) Measure exactly 2 cups of berries after crushing and pour into a large bowl.
3) Measure and add exactly 4 cups of sugar and stir well. Let sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Reducing the sugar or using sugar substitutes will result in failure of jam to set. (Try "Sure-Jell for Less or No Sugar Needed Recipes Fruit Pectin for no- or low-sugar jam.)
4) Meanwhile combine water and pectin in a small sauce pan. Heat over med-high and bring to a boil. Continue boiling for one minute.
5) Pour pectin mixture into strawberries and stir for 3 minutes until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Skim foam if needed.
6) Ladle into clean jars. Wipe rims clean with a damp cloth and put on the lids.
7) Allow jam to stand at room temperature for 24 hours until set. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a month or store in the freezer for up to a year and thaw in the refrigerator as needed. Yields 5 half-pints.
Don't say one word about all that sugar. It's worth every calorie. Just don't eat the whole jar and you'll be alright! (Although it's very likely you'll want to.)