Strawberry jam is one of my indulgences during the season. I love to just look at that beautiful red color. My family, however, have become large consumers. In order to keep up with demand, I find myself making Refrigerator Strawberry Jam throughout the elongated season when strawberries first hit our market, one jar at a time.
We spent our gorgeous Saturday morning picking strawberries from our local u-pick field, along with most of the rest of Seattle, I might add. Smile. And this is one activity that I work hard to achieve a 100% recruitment in our household. Many hands make light work, yes? Absolutely!
And while I always make at least a batch (9-11 pint jars) of traditionally canned strawberry jam, I usually also make a batch, or several, of refrigerator and/or freezer jam as well.
As a new bride, I learned a horrifying lesson. I will never forget that first summer of our newly married lives when I had completed my first (all by myself) strawberry jam making session. I proudly displayed my berry red jars on the counter top to relish my successful yet hard work. That evening, I walked into the kitchen to see my darling husband pour a jar … yes, a jar … of my freshly made strawberry jam on his bowl of ice cream. I remember opening my mouth and truly, nothing would come out. I had never seen such a thing.
Now, nearly twenty-three years later … we have rules about that strawberry jam. First, it never goes on ice cream and secondly, we don’t get to start eating it until well into the fall. That way, yes, it lasts until next strawberry season.
However, knowing my family’s penchant for strawberry jam, I make many batches of refrigerator jam that can be used to their heart’s content. In fact, I am the one encouraging its use over, yes, even ice cream. And that is my happily ever after story.
Seattle’s strawberry season is well underway and I thought I’d share my refrigerator jam recipe as well as share a link to U.C. Davis’ Safe Methods to Store Strawberries, a must addition to your recipe files or notebooks. Cut back on the sugar if you like a more tart taste.
Refrigerator Strawberry Recipe
2 quarts freshly washed and hulled strawberries
3 cups sugar
lemon juice from 1 washed and seeded lemon
Mash or puree washed strawberries in a large skillet. Stir in sugar and bring to a rolling boil. Boil 8-10 minutes, stir in lemon juice and boil for another minute or so. Continue boiling until moisture is reduced and it has thickened to desired consistency.
Pour into clean 16oz glass jars and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Resource: U.C. Davis Strawberries: Safe Methods to Store, Preserve and Enjoy.