Let Me Take You Down ’cause I’m Going to Strawberry Jam

After the turn at Canning Brandied Peaches…. I have now attempted my first batch of Strawberry Jam!!

I looked for days on the internet, and in any recipe books we have around the house, for good strawberry jam recipes.  Mainly, however, it all seemed rather plain and HUGE amounts of jam – which I didn’t want to do, especially on my first try….. I was looking for a small batch (or could easily adjusted for a small batch) and I wanted a creative and tasteful flavoring.

Finally, and by accident while looking up canning relish recipes, I came upon a wonderful blog!!  Food in Jars is a blog with recipes, tips, links, and other interesting reading!!   I already know more things from this blog will be coming up in our kitchen…. in fact I ordered her recipe book off of Amazon today!

So I found this wonderful recipe and it was even titled properly for my search criteria! The Small Batch Strawberry Vanilla Jam looked to be just what I was looking for!

Below is the recipe, with my steps/adjustments to it.  I can tell you that the taste was wonderful, it was quite fragrant while it cooked, and although my first sampling came out a little on the runny/watery side – I just cooked it down some more to firm it up a bit.  But please note, that this is not meant to be a firm, packed Jam.  It will be softer since it is a non-pectin recipe.  I wrote to Marissa, the author of Food in Jars, and she confirmed the texture of this is not thick, firm jam.

So – Here you go!!

Strawberries 1
Small Batch Strawberry Vanilla Jam

Ingredients:

  • 1 quart strawberries (about 1 1/2 pounds, should be approximately 4 cups of chopped berries)
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 vanilla beans, split and scraped (Couldn’t find any Vanilla Beans here in Charleston, I used 3 teaspoons of Vanilla extract as the replacement.)
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced (The lemon I had was a bit on the small side – so in addition to the zest and juice, I added 2 teaspoons of Nellie & Joe’s Key Lime Juice)

Instructions:

  1. Wash, remove stems, and chop the strawberries.  Toss them with 1 cup of sugar and the
    vanilla beans/Vanilla Extract and place in a large jar or bowl.
  2. Allow the berries to macerate for at least 2-3 hours.  I left mine in the fridge from overnight and did not begin the jam process until the next early evening, after work. They probably sat for about 18 hours.  I stirred the mixture a couple times during the macerating.  You can allow the berries to macerate for up to 72 hours, if needed.
  3. When you’re ready to make the jam, prepare three half pint jars.
  4. Pour macerated strawberries into a large pot and add the remaining cup of sugar. Stir.
    Strawberries 2
  5. Bring to a boil and cook until the jam reaches 220 degrees, stirring very regularly.
  6. Add the lemon zest and juice in the final 5 minutes of cooking.
  7. Once the jam has reached 220 degrees, remove the pan from the heat.
  8. Pour jam into your prepared jars.
    Strawberries 3
  9. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings and process in a water bath. (Let water reach 220 degrees)
  10. When time is up, turn off stove burner.   Let water bath cool. Remove jars from water bath when ready and place on counter to let cooling process complete.
  11. When jars are cool enough to handle, remove rings and check seals.
  12. If any jars are not sealed, store them in the fridge and use them first.
  13. Store sealed jars in a cool, dark place.

YUM!

Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you….
OR if you have any trick or recipes for Jam to share!

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