It’s nearly the most wonderful time of the year! Strawberry Time!!
Making Homemade Strawberry Jam is less following a recipe and more following a process. Any kind of home canning is a process rather than a recipe. If you’re a beginner to home preserving, start here.
How to Make Homemade Strawberry Jam
Since I use Weck jars, the instructions for making jam will only include the use of Weck jars. The biggest difference is in the lids. Mason jar lids are to be boiled, then lifted out of the boiling water with a lid lifting magnet and placed on the jar, then the metal band is screwed on tightened with your hand and then the jar is placed in the water bath canner. This recipe makes about 5 half-liter jars of jam.
First, fill your canner with enough water to cover empty jars, rings, and lids. Boil the jars for about 5 minutes to sterilize them. Then leave them in the hot water while you make the jam.
- You need 8 cups of fresh or frozen whole strawberries. Wash them, remove the stems and caps, and in a large bowl crush the fruit. I use a stick blender to smash and chop up the strawberries. A food processor does a nice job as well.
I like to crush my strawberries and then measure 5 cups into a freezer bag. Then I freeze the frozen strawberry liquid until I’m ready to make jam. That way I don’t have to make all the jam at once when the strawberries are ripening.
- Once the strawberries are pulverized, measure 5 cups of crushed strawberries into a large cooking pot.
- Add to the crushed strawberries 7 cups of white sugar and about a teaspoon of real butter (the butter cuts down on the foaming when the mixture boils).
- Have 1 pouch of liquid pectin (I use Certo) open and standing in a coffee mug ready to use.
- With the burner on high, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for exactly 1 minute stirring constantly.
- Quickly stir in the pectin and continue boiling for exactly 1 more minute stirring constantly. When 1 minute is up, remove the pot from the heat. Skim off any foam with a spoon.Ladle immediately into hot, sterilized jars. Place the lids on the jars and seal according to manufacturer’s directions.
- With the jar lifter, place the jars on an elevated rack in the canner that contains enough boiling water to cover the jars by 1-2 inches. Add boiling water if needed to completely cover the jars of hot jam.
- Process the jars in boiling water (the water must be at a rolling boil, not a simmer) for 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude according to the Altitude Chart.
- Once the time is up, turn off the heat and let the pot cool for about 5 minutes. Then carefully, using the jar lifter, remove the jars from the canner and place them upright on a towel. Cool completely.
- Once the jars are cool, check the seals. For Mason jars, the seal is good when the lid does NOT spring back when pressed in the middle. For Weck jars, the seal is good if you can’t remove the lid without pulling the tab on the rubber ring.
- Dry the jars if needed, add the label, and store in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
Here in Iowa the strawberry plants look lush and healthy and are blooming as I write this. Homemade strawberry jam is a staple in our home. It is easy to make and worth making from scratch.
Yes, you can buy it in the store, but in all seriousness, there’s just no comparison. Homemade strawberry jam is so much better than what can be bought in the grocery store. It’s really easy to make. You just need the right equipment and some really good locally grown or homegrown strawberries. If you don’t grow your own strawberries, visit the local farmer’s market or do a web search to find pick-your-own strawberry farms near you.
Kids LOVE picking strawberries and are dazzled that they can be made into their favorite jam. They also really enjoy being part of the process and are so proud that they helped make something the family can enjoy throughout the year.
When they get the jar of homemade jam out of the refrigerator, or if you send them to get a jar to open from the pantry, they’ll talk happily about the day they went to pick the strawberries or helped make the jam in the jar. Strawberry jam is good for the soul and kids treasure memories of making jam with mom.
And do you know what goes absolutely amazingly with Homemade Strawberry Jam? Homemade bread!! Serve this strawberry jam on hot, homemade artisan bread right out of the oven dripping with melted buttery goodness. It’s nirvana.
I love making homemade jam. It blesses my family and is a great gift for just about any occasion because it is a gift of love. And here is my gift to you – enjoy these pretty labels to print and use on your jars of Homemade Strawberry Jam.