Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Strawberry Jam

We decided to try our hand at canning some strawberry jam this year, since that's considered one of the easiest was to get introduced to canning and preserving.

See Ezra's empty bucket? It stayed that way. The kid ate every berry he put his hands on. He's quite good at spotting perfectly ripe berries...:)

We started out by going to Ingram Farm in High Point to pick our own strawberries. The kids always enjoy the work since they get to eat as many strawberries as they possibly can. :)

Here we are waiting for the tractor to take us back to the barn with our 10 pounds of strawberries!

Once home, we hulled and washed our berries...

Then Olivia and Rebecca mashed them to pulp.
After adding some pectin, sugar and lemon juice, and 10 minutes in a hot water bath, the canning is done.

We wound up with 26 half-pint jars of jam. We made 3 different batches; one with the normal amount of sugar, one with half the sugar and one with about 1/3 the sugar. Rebecca sampled each batch and pronounced the half- and 1/3-sugar batched to be excellent. The fully-sugared batch was still very good, but very, very sweet. We used the Pioneer Woman's recipe (Part 1 and Part 2) and are pleased with the results. As an aside, we did a little figuring and found that is cost us roughly $1.75 per jar, including the jar and lid. Considering it is all-natural with organic strawberries and organic sugar, that's a pretty good deal for a half-pint.

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