One of the things I enjoy most in reading blog tutorials is the demystification process that occurs in seeing people create fantastic things picture by picture, step by step. I often leave the post thinking, “Oh my gosh, I can totally do that!” Well, if you have ever said to yourself that homemade jam is just too complicated, I am here for you. Nothing could be further from the truth. Seriously. If you can follow directions, you can make jam.
Let’s make some together!
Step one: Pick your berries. Although I’m sure you can probably make jam from supermarket strawberries, I wouldn’t recommend it. You’ll totally lose your homemaker burb cred. Just think that as you give a shiny red beauty away as a gift you’ll be able to brag, “Oh, here is some of my homemade jam from some hand-picked strawberries I made just for you.” It has a nice Martha’y ring to it. So much better than, “I bought these strawberries at Kroger’s mixed in some Sure Jell and made you some jam.” Of course if you really want to wow them then grow your own berries, pick them, and jam them yourself! I’m not that cool yet, so I simply grabbed myself some cute farmer boys, headed to our local strawberry farm, and got to picking!
These berries were a bit tart for my taste but not for Z’s. In all honesty, we really should have weighed Z before and after picking for all the strawberries he “sampled”. A isn’t much of a strawberry fan, but he has done this enough times to know how to pick ’em!
Right after I took this shot of Z, he proceeded to take a juicy bite out of all four strawberries!
However, we did manage to come home with some teeth-mark-free-ones!
(Image by Little Page Turners)
Step Two: Wash your strawberries in a colander and take off the stems. The jam seems to set up best if you work in small batches. I have no idea why, but doubling the recipe seems to confuse it. You want to wash enough berries to equal two cups mashed. This will be about 2 1/2 cups premashed berries.
Step 3: Mash. If you have any pent up aggression, this is a fun step! Using a potato masher, crush the berries until they scream for mercy. Or, just mash them until they are mostly crushed with some fine chunks.
Step 4: Pour your mashed berries into a 2 cup liquid measuring cup, making sure it is exact. Pour the berries back into the bowl and add 4 cups of sugar. That wasn’t a typo. Yes, FOUR cups. Yikes. Just don’t think about it. It will taste so fantastic when you are done you won’t even care that you are putting yourself into a sugar coma.
Step 5: Mix sugar into prepared berries and allow to stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
Step 5: Sure Jell. This is your magic ingredient. After 8 minutes of allowing your berries to absorb the sugar, mix 3/4 cup water with one packet of Sure Jell in a small saucepan.
Stirring mixture constantly over high heat, bring it to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Keep stirring!
Step 6: Pour Sure Jell mixture into your berries and stir some more.
Keep continuously stirring for about 3 minutes or more.
Step 7: Ladle mixture into jelly jars. Girlfriend you just made jam!
Step 8: Let your jam sit for 24 hours before freezing. Freeze all jars until ready to use. Store “in use” jars in the refrigerator.
Step 9: Make adorable labels and give as gifts! I am in Virginia right now so don’t have access to my burlap, grosgrain, and color printer. The gifts will have to wait. In the meantime, here are some adorable label ideas for you.
(Image and label tutorial by Kristen@Domestifluff)
(Image and label download by Amy@EatDrinkChic)
(Image and pdf labels by Sara@Sweet Summer)
(Image and label by Misspicklespress)
Now go forth…and make jam!