Guest post from @wmsteele. You can check out his blog at
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This recipe was super easy and only took about an hour. That may seem like a long time for some jam, but it did yield three jars, which will last me for several months. Also, let me stress the importance of using good strawberries. You can use whatever you can find at the supermarket, but in this case, a trip to a produce stand or local farmer’s market will make something good even better. I used NC strawberries I picked up from “The World’s Largest Strawberry” in Rockingham (I like to think that had something to do with my success).
- 1 gallon (About 4 quarts) of fresh strawberries (if purchase fresh, then freeze, that’s fine, just make sure they thaw completely.
- 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice
- 4 cups of sugar
- 1 lemon rind, cut into fourths
- Mason jars, with lids
Place two small plates in the freezer. In a large, heavy bottom pot, mash the strawberries with a potato masher (or something similar) until a desired consistency is reached. Add the lemon juice and about half of the sugar while heating on medium-low. Once the sugar is completely dissolved, increase heat to medium.
At this point, taste for sweetness. I only used about 3 1/4 cups of sugar and mine turned out great, but not too sweet. It’s all a matter of preference. I added the other cup and 1 1/4 cups here.
Add the lemon rids. When the mixture starts to simmer, increase heat until mixture reaches a rolling boil. This is important. Once the mixture reaches a rolling boil, set a timer for 10 minutes. Stir on a regular basis to prevent sticking or burning. After 10 minutes, place a tablespoonful of the mixture on one of the plates and place back in the freezer for a minute or two. Then run your finger through the mixture. If it stays separated, chances are you’re good to go. I wasn’t satisfied though, and boiled mine for another 5-7 minutes to insure perfect jam consistency. Fish out the lemon rinds before pouring into jars.
Make sure your jars are completely dry on the inside, otherwise you may have a mold problem. If you purchase new ones, you don’t need to wash them, because what we are about to do will sterilize them. Carefully fill each jar with the jam mixture, leave about half an inch seal room. Place the lids on tightly, and immediately turn upside down. In another pot, bring enough water to a boil to not quite cover your jars. Remove the pot from heat and place the jars upside down in the water with tongs. Leave there for about 15-20 minutes. Remove the jars and place upside down on a towel to cool. The upside down position and the boiling water will seal the jars just like a canning apparatus would.
Let the jars cool completely to room temperature before you place one in the fridge to chill. Once you do so, the jam will be chilled enough to enjoy in about 2 hours.
*Note: don’t be too quick to increase the heat, or it will burn for sure. Slowly increase the heat periodically until you get to that rolling boil so you can start the timer.