Over the weekend I attended just one day of Craftcation, which was a four day conference held in Ventura, California.
One of the classes I took was Preserves and Canning with Chef Ernest Miller.
We learned how to make a basic strawberry jam. It was delicious.
I almost ate the entire jar with scones and cream. I cannot wait to go strawberry picking soon so I can make more.
This was surprisingly simple to make. I don't know why I hadn't learned sooner, I truly thought it was going to be difficult and time consuming, but it wasn't at all ... I say that, but just wait until I try to make it without a professional chef around and I'll be sobbing over the stove and throwing things.
Before I forget how though, I'm going to share the simple steps we used to make this delicious strawberry jam.
- Large pot with a heavy bottom
- Potato masher (one with holes)
- The more intense the color of strawberries, the more intense the flavor. Preferably use home grown, freshly picked, or farmer's market strawberries.
- You can use white or brown sugar, as long as it contains sucrose
- You will need 4 parts strawberries to 3 parts sugar and approximately 1tbs of freshly squeezed lemon juice which will bring out more flavor
Measure out 4 parts of packed down strawberries to 3 parts sugar - we worked with cup sizes, so 4 cups of strawberries to 3 cups of sugar and then added approximately 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Place in a large, heavy bottom pot and cook, stirring occasionally.
There are two methods to determine when the jam is ready:
- Using a thermometer check the temperature. It should read between 216-224F. This is not always the most accurate method though.
- Place a ceramic plate in the freezer before cooking the jam. Once ready to test, pull the plate out of the freezer, place a small spoonful of jam onto the plate and place it back into the freezer for 1 minute. Pull it out and very gently using your finger push the jam. If it wrinkles on top, then it's ready. The temperature should also read between the numbers above too. Note: If the temperature is in-between those numbers and you are worried about over-cooking the jam turn the stove off until you've tested the freezer method. If the jam is too thick, you can add 1tbs of water at a time to thin it out.
- Wipe the top of the jar clean before securing the lid.
- When securing the lid don't make it too tight. Tighten to resistance, than just a little more.
- Place into the canner, and once the water comes to a boil time 10 minutes before removing it.
- The lid will make a popping sound once sealed.
- Lids for canning are one-use only.
- Cool to room temperature once out of the canner and place on a cloth towel, not directly onto the counter.
- Label jars with the type of jame and the date it was made.
For more tips on canning jam visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation.
Wouldn't little jars with fabric covered lids and labels make a lovely homemade gift.
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