Strawberries in my neck of the woods usually ripen in early June. I always set aside the better part of the day to put up at least one batch of traditional strawberry jam. However, it’s a bit tricky to keep my guys from opening those jars of jam and I’m never sure if I’ll have enough to last the winter until the following June.
This is a great recipe to make jar by jar, without pectin. One of my go-to recipes when the strawberries start showing up in my local market.
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1-quart strawberries, cleaned and hulled
1 teaspoon butter (helps reduce foaming)
Freeze a couple of spoons (I’ll explain later — has to do well the gel).
Combine 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and strawberries in medium to large saucepan. Using a potato masher, roughly mash strawberries. Then, using a wooden spoon, cook the berries, stirring until they are juicy — 5-6 minutes. Stir in remaining sugar until it is completely dissolved.
Bring mixture to a full rolling boil. Continuing boiling, on medium to medium-high heat, removing foam from the surface as needed, until the mixture has thickened and most of the liquid has been absorbed. About 20 – 30 minutes.
Gell test. Retrieve frozen spoons. Place a drizzle of jam on the back of a frozen spoon. After is has slightly cooled, a few seconds, run your finger through the jam. If it retains its track, it has set. If it runs, keep cooking the jam and retest in a few minutes.
Quickly pour jam into sterilized pint size jar and refrigerate up to 4 months.