Have you ever had homemade strawberry jam? If you haven’t, then you’ve been living an unfulfilled life:) Once you’ve had it you’ll never go back. I grew up on the stuff so naturally I had to have it for my kids. It’s a panic day when I go to the freezer to get another container of jam and find I have only one left. I go into a frenzy and rush to the store to get the ingredients. Heaven forbid my kids want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and I have NO homemade jam!! I don’t even think my 2 year old has ever had anything other than homemade jam. Wow…my kids live a sheltered life:)
If you’re telling yourself that you don’t have the time, or patience, or time…just get over it. It takes no time at all. See no excuses now!
The ONLY brand of pectin you should EVER use in my opinion is MCP from Sure Jell. This is the best one for quick and easy freezer jam. I can’t be bothered with cooking anything for jam. This one is SO easy, SO good and SO fast. Sometimes it has been known to be hidden and you might have to go to several stores to find it, but hold out for it cause it’s the best.
Just open the box and follow the directions for the Quick and Easy freezer jam. It’s as easy as that! And if you’re fortunate enough to live in California, you have another advantage…the strawberries. Oh the California strawberries!! They are natures candy there…but only the ones you buy on the side of the road, picked fresh that day, straight from the ground you’re standing on. You’ve never had a sweeter strawberry. I, on the other hand, had to trust my good ole Costco.
2 pounds fresh strawberries, not frozen
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1 box MCP Sure Jell Pectin
Then just follow the instructions WORD BY WORD. Don’t try to add things here or cut corners there. Your jam won’t set. Just do EXACTLY what it says. The instructions do say NOT to puree the fruit and leave chunks of fruit, but this is the ONE thing I stray from. I pulse those babies to a fine puree. I don’t like chunky jam…no thank you. So go ahead and puree your heart out:)
When it says to stir in the pectin, sprinkle it on very gradually WHILE stirring. I use a whisk. You want the pectin to be nice and incorporated. If you dump it all in at once or in larger amounts, it clumps up. It takes me a good 3-5 minutes of sprinkling and whisking. Then wait the FULL 30 minutes. I set a timer. Make sure you stir it about every 5 minutes like it says.
Stir in the sugar the same way you did the pectin. If you dump too much at once it’ll clump up a little. Stir it until the sugar is COMPLETELY dissolved. This can take 5-10 minutes. Make sure you stir with a rubber spatula, scraping the sides of the bowl, getting ALL sugar granules dissolved. If it doesn’t dissolve, it’ll crystalize and create a weird texture. I know it’s done when I pull the rubber spatula out and the coating of jam is clear and I can’t find one grain. I’ll even taste it several times to make sure there’s no “crunch” of sugar granules.
Then pour it into your containers. I usually buy the 1 cup Ziploc storage containers or the Ball twist top containers (these are my fave - both are pictured). It usually makes 7-8 cups of jam.
Then you leave them on the counter for 24 hours and then put them in the freezer…that’s it!! Then you’re set. I’m not going to lie, one batch lasts us about 8 months. Not bad if you ask me. And we eat A LOT of jam!! I also love having it to give to people. It’s such an easy, no brainer gift – a loaf of homemade bread with this jam. I also like to give it to the missionaries every time they come over. I also add it to things like: cakes, my homemade cream cheese frosting to make a strawberry cream cheese frosting, vanilla buttercream, and of course sandwiches, homemade rolls and bread. Perfect. Now get your buns to the store and make some jam!!!