Simple Strawberry Freezer Jam
I love jam. Real jam. Freezer jam like my Grandma used to make. So, I decided to ride out today’s afternoon thunderstorm with some twangy tunes and canning.
If you’d like to join in, you’ll need 4 pints of fresh strawberries (which are CHEAP right now – buy them up!), a lot o’ sugar (come on folks, it’s jam after all), and pectin. I need MCP brand pectin to make my Grandma’s actual recipe and since I couldn’t find that at the store, we’ll be using two boxes of Sure-Jel pectin and following the recipe on the box. Beggars can’t be choosers when ripe strawberries are on the line. They get moldy overnight.
I’ll supply the tunes. Crank this up. I love me some Carolina Chocolate Drops.
Wash and cut up your strawberries, removing the stems and hull. This is a good time to run your canning jars through a quick cycle in the dishwasher to sterilize them if you haven’t already. I bought these adorable half pint quilted glass freezer-safe jelly jars on sale at the grocery store. I always pick up a random box of canning jars whenever they go on sale…I have high hopes for putting them to good use!
(This music is fucking good, right?! The song at 4:40 is some booty-shaking, strawberry cutting, good time fun.)
Instead of hand mashing my berries in an old-timey fashion, I give them a few good pulses in the food processor. Old-timey people would approve. If I used a potato masher, I feel like they’d look at me, self-righteously working up a blog-worthy sweat, then glance at the shiny time-saving Cuisinart on the counter while clucking their tongues in disapproval and shaking their heads in a “people of the future are idiots!” kind of way.
Make sure that you don’t accidentally puree the berries, as your jam will not set. And don’t mess with the sugar ratio when we get there, as your jam will not set. And don’t make more than a double batch or substitute one pectin for another. Why? Your jam won’t set.
Q: What did my disposal have for dinner last night?
A: One huge batch of runny, pureed, low-sugar jam. Wa-wah.
Measure exactly 4 cups of pulpy strawberries. Pour into a large bowl and add 8 cups of sugar. Stir well and let sit for 30 minutes. Great time to go for a walk and get a leg up on these delicious calories!
Next bring 2 packets Sure-Jel and 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Boil for one minute stirring constantly. Add to your strawberries and stir continuously for 3 minutes or until all of the sugary grit is dissolved. Pour into your jam jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace to allow for expansion in the freezer. Cover and let jam sit for 24 hours. Yield: roughly 10 cups of jam, and a few days of feeling pretty kick ass.
Tomorrow, put all but one jar in the freezer and they will keep for up to a year. Put the remaining jar in the fridge for immediate consumption. It will stay fresh for up to a month, but really, don’t expect it to last that long. It’s just that good.