Monday, July 9, 2012

strawberry jam

We went strawberry picking about a month ago, strawberry season came so early this year!  We had a beautiful sunny morning, and came home with about 7lbs of bright red berries.  I usually end up freezing most of the berries for use in smoothies.  But this year, I decided to make jam...more specifically freezer jam, because it's quick & easy; no pectin, no boiling jars and lids...perfect.

(I'm always amazed by the brilliant red that strawberries create naturally.)

I used this great recipe.

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Jean's Strawberry Jam

This recipe for a cooked freezer jam, from Jean Copeland of Jean's Berry Patch in Apex, NC,  it uses no pectin products.

4 cups strawberries, hulled
4 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Mix the berries and 2 cups of the sugar in a large sauce pan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil for 2 minutes, continuing to stir. Add the remaining 2 cups of sugar. Return to boiling and stir while the mixture boils for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon juice. Pour int a large bowl and skim the top. Stir frequently, skimming the top. Cover the bowl and let stand overnight. Pour into jars, cover with lids, and freeze. Makes 2-3 pints. Store this jam in the freezer until ready to use. After opening, it keeps for up to 3 weeks in the refrigerator.
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I put together some strawberry jam labels, if you decide to whip up a batch of your own, you can find the printable file HERE. (The labels fit a standard canning lid & the date is blank for you to fill in as you wish!)

The jam is fantastic on toast, or with peanut butter, but this is by far my favorite way to use it!