Strawberry Jam... I mean sauce

I LOVE making jam for gifts plus I love getting jam for gifts! Which is why I have a question for all you lovely ladies and gents out there... would any of you like to participate in a jam exchange?? The rules are simple, make some homemade jam and send 2 pints (plus anything else you feel like tossing in the box) of it to a person you are given. People won't be paired so the person you are sending to will not be the person sending to you... that way you don't know who you are receiving your jam from! Sounds like fun right?? If I get enough people saying they would be interested I'll do another post with the official rules and info!! Lets hope you're all as excited as I am to do this!


So I wanted to make some strawberry jam... without a ton of sugar... and without pectin... I know I know... it doesn't work... (it does work with raspberries though!! I did it last year... you see raspberries have a natural pectin in them!) So I ended up with a really freakin good strawberry sauce instead! I'm going to try again (since I still have plenty of strawberries!!) using the low sugar pectin... so I'll let you know how that comes out. But in the mean time here is how you make a delicious strawberry jam/sauce.


First step, wash your strawberries and hull them, then toss them into a pot. I have 12 cups here.


Second: Mash the berries, sure you can use a fancy mashing devise or something... me I like to use my hands (make sure you wash them first though please!!)


Third:Add 3 cups of sugar plus the juice of a large lemon, bring to a rolling boil and boil for 20-30 minutes. Foam will form on the top, every so often skim it off with a spoon and put it into a jar to keep. Use said foam to top your morning oatmeal TASTY! I've been using the syrup in my oatmeal as well... and in PB and Jelly sandwiches... a little runny, but freakin good.


At this point it should set up... Mine didn't... So either the place I found this recipe was lying... or I did something wrong lol. I canned it all anyway since it tasted delicious.

Canning is not at all scary... seems like it might be, but it's really not. People seem to think you need a ton of special equipment... the only "special equipment" I'd recommend is a pair of jar tongs. They cost me $3 and were worth every cent... no burning yourself taking the jars of our boiling water!


As for the actual canning part, all you really need is some new mason jars and lids and a big pot (and those tongs I mentioned above!). First you sterilize your jars by boiling them for 10 minutes, remove from the hot water with your tongs and set aside while you make your jam. Sterilize your lids by pouring hot water over them and letting them sit until you need them (this also softens up that wax like ring that seals the jars). Once your jam is ready, pour it into the jars leaving 1/8 inch from the top free. Use a wet towel to clean off any jam you got along the rim (since I know you are all messy), place your lid on and screw the ring down. Using your tongs lower your jars back into that big pot of boiling water (make sure the water is 1-2 inches above the lids of the jars so they are totally submerged). After 10 minutes remove your jars (using your tongs- see why these are worth the $3) and place on a wire rack to cool over night. You will hear them pop as they start to cool and a vacuum forms (so fun!- it's the lid that you hear popping).

It really is that easy. I learned it on a whim last summer and used this resource. It's amazingly detailed and will answer any questions you have!



So back to that exchange... who's in???

28 chews:

Stephanie said...

Hi! I'm glad you enjoy making jam...I love it, too. Good luck with the low sugar pectin....when I tried that my strawberry jam was really dark in color and tasted really bad....so now I just make the full sugar kind....I think I'd like to join in your jam exchange...I didn't do strawberries this year but plan to do peach very soon.
Peace, Stephanie

wow that sounds just delicious :) perfect on oatmeal!

Sunshine said...

I'm in, I'm in! Where do I sign? I might need help though seeing as I've never made jam before. P.S. where do you usually find mason jars? I can't seem to find them anywhere.

Pearl said...

strawberry jam sounds delicious! and thanks for sharing the canning tips!

stephchows said...

Stephanie- thanks for the heads up hmmmm I already bought the stuff so I guess I'm still going to give it a try and keep my fingers crossed. We'll see what happens! Peaches sounds great to me! I can't wait to do some raspberries and blackberries!

PB swirl and Pearl- thanks! and no problem!

Sunshine- welcome to the canning adventure!! I did it for the first time last year and now I'm hooked! As for mason jars... my local supermarket (wegmans) carries them. I've heard you can get them at a walmart if you have one of those close by (I try to avoid that store though... scares me) other than that I know some specialty kitchen stores have them, but they tend to be $$$. If nothing else you can always order them from amazon.com

Jeanne said...

I'll participate in a jam exchange. Sounds like fun! I haven't made jam in a year or two, but this will give me a reason to. :) & I do love homemade jam. Grew up on it.
Have you ever tried pickling? I don't love pickles, but it's the same sort of fun.

Anne said...

That looks so delicious! Thanks for the picture tutorial. The canning tips were really helpful, too :)

So glad you put up this info on canning. It seems like a fun thing to do, especially as we move through the summer. Thanks!

April said...

I'm in on this one! I love to make jam, and to recieve it!!

Steph said...

That sounds like fun, but I wonder what it's like for sending food across the border? You totally read my mind about the sugarless and pectinless jam. That is the reason why I don't usually like to eat it because it soo sweet! The natural flavours of the fruit can be totally masked and if that's the case, I would rather eat fresh fruit. Every year when my neighbour sends us her extremely sweet jam from freshly picked strawberries, I feel so bad for those precious strawberries!

stephchows said...

Jeanne and April- awesome!! Glad to have you both on board :)

Anne and Duo Dishes- You will have to post about your jam adventures if you do it!

Steph- hmm that's a really good question... I'll look into it, but maybe another option is we can have people matched up by country? So as long as we have 2 people willing to participate in a country we should be ok :) I never realized just HOW much sugar goes into some jam recipes, it's crazy!! I'm all about keeping the fruit taste and not over sugaring things :D

Homemade strawberry jam sounds so good! Thanks for the info on canning - I haven't tried doing that yet!

Jennifer said...

That is GREAT jam! love that its low sugar!

Im for sure in on a jam exchange :) how fun!

Jen H said...

I've never made jam before but really want to and am so in for a jam exchange!

Special K said...

I am in! Yep! Ia m making PEPPER jam!

Natalie said...

Steph, your blog looks great! I remember you saying a few posts back you would be working on it.

And I have never made jam, so putting myself down for a jam exchange is the perfect excuse!

Count me in!!

Reeni♥ said...

This sounds great - as a sauce or jam!

Diana Bauman said...

Just found you site through foodbuzz! Love it and I'm totally in!! I love making jam and am also trying out the best way to make my own pectin! Can't wait for more details!

Diana
A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa

Hannah said...

I've only made freezer jam so far because I haven't taken the time to learn proper canning, but I really should this year... It would be lovely to save these wonderful berries for the colder months! Thanks for reminding me to look into that.

edgyiam said...

I made jam for the first time this year - lots of rhubarb given to me - and it has come out pretty well. I wanted some really tart jams so I cut back on the sugar but used citrus, peel and all to get the pectin that is in the peel. I made a blackberry rhubarb jam with lemon and it came out great. Not heavily jelled, but definitely jam rather than sauce. For 4 pints of jam I used less than a cup of sugar. I also made Orange-rhubarb marmalade from a recipe I found on Tastespotting using less than half the sugar called for.

stephchows said...

woohoo for everyone up for joining! I'll have a post sometime next week about how to officially enter :)

edgyjam- would you mind sending me your recipe for making the jam so low in sugar??? you can email me at stephchows at gmail.com

thanks!!

jen said...

Have you tried Pamona's universal pectin? You can make low sugar or use alternatives like honey or agave nectar. I made peach jam with it last year and it was sooo good.

stephchows said...

HI Jen! I've never heard of Pamona's but I'm totally going to look it up right now!! Thanks!!

I stumbled upon your blog today and wanted to tell you about my site and my giveaways--lots of Etsy features too. You can find them here:
http://triciachaves.blogspot.com/search/label/Giveaways

with 2 new ones every Friday, and a beauty specific giveaway every other Friday on my Examiner.com beauty channel:
http://www.examiner.com/x-13901-Cleveland-Beauty-Products-Examiner~topic235205-Tricias-Beauty-Giveaways?selstate=topcat#breadcrumb

If you are interested in promoting your Etsy store through my site, please feel free to learn more and register here:
http://triciachaves.blogspot.com/2009/02/insightful-article-from-fellow-ac.html

Also, I'm planning on entering your jam exchange! This will be my first try, but locally grown berries are in season in Cleveland, OH so I'm excited for the process!

Frances said...

Hi, Stephanie. I just found your blog and don't know if you will see this comment, but I have used low sugar Sure Jell for years to make jams and have never had any result other than delicous! My jams have become the most requested gifts on my families wish list, so it is not just me that thinks it is great. LOL!

I make strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, peach, fig, mixed berry and some jellies all with the low sugar pectin. I use the powder, not the liquid, only because my mom had never liked the liquid, so I just haven't used it.

Hope you have good results!

I stumbled upon your blog today and wanted to tell you about my site and my giveaways--lots of Etsy features too. You can find them here:
http://triciachaves.blogspot.com/search/label/Giveaways

with 2 new ones every Friday, and a beauty specific giveaway every other Friday on my Examiner.com beauty channel:
http://www.examiner.com/x-13901-Cleveland-Beauty-Products-Examiner~topic235205-Tricias-Beauty-Giveaways?selstate=topcat#breadcrumb

If you are interested in promoting your Etsy store through my site, please feel free to learn more and register here:
http://triciachaves.blogspot.com/2009/02/insightful-article-from-fellow-ac.html

Also, I'm planning on entering your jam exchange! This will be my first try, but locally grown berries are in season in Cleveland, OH so I'm excited for the process!

Anne said...

That looks so delicious! Thanks for the picture tutorial. The canning tips were really helpful, too :)

April said...

I'm in on this one! I love to make jam, and to recieve it!!

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