in season {strawberries & jam making}

If I were a guy, I'd feel like summer kicked me in the nuts. Just a few weeks ago, I was bundled in a winter coat and scarf while rummaging through root vegetables at the farmers' market. This past Saturday, sweat dripped from my brow as I strolled through the market, sizing up the first batch of spring peas and sniffing these ruby red strawberries, it made me feel like someone pressed the fast forward button.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited enough to do cart-wheels at the thought of strawberries. Well, actually, I don't know how to do a cart wheel. I should add that to my bucket list.

Yesterday morning, as I sat at the breakfast table with the Mr. and girls at the breakfast table, plucking berries from the bowl, I started thinking about what I will do with them. A few people have chimed in on my last post—there's a cool giveaway too which ends tonight, and mentioned they'd like to try making jam.

Well, there's no time like the present to get started. Today, I'm breaking out an oldie but goodie recipe, and some of you might be surprised to see I make my jam in the microwave. Sure you can spend time stirring over a hot stove, but the window on these babies is short—I say your time is better spent going market to market buying up as many as you can.

Jennie's Strawberry Jam

Makes about 3 cups

I've made jam on the stove top but nothing beats the ease and speed of using the microwave. My microwave is 1000 watts, so keep in mind that cooking times will vary for models with lower or higher power.I've also experimented with homemade pectin, but haven't had success yet. You can read more about that adventure in this post.

2 quarts of strawberries, about 4 cups, washed and hulled

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons calcium water (included with pectin package – follow directions for making water)

2 teaspoons Pomona's Universal Pectin

In a large glass microwave-safe bowl, mash the berries to desired consistency depending on if you like a smooth or thick and chunky jam. A potato masher does the job perfectly.

Place bowl in the microwave and cook on HIGH until berries are almost boiling, about 3 minutes. Ladle out 1 cup of cooked berries into a bowl; set aside. Add the sugar and calcium water to the bowl with remaining berries, stir well and cook on high for 3 more minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the pectin powder into the reserved cup of berries. It will look like it's clumping but don't worry. Stir the pectin-berry mixture into the berry-sugar mixture. Cook on high for 3 more minutes, until thick and bubbly. Transfer to a container, let cool and refrigerate for up to three weeks or process in a hot water bath using canning jars.

Comments

  • http://www.StarHughes.com: Making homemade jam is on my bucket list! I am so happy to see you posted a recipe for it! My only question is…where exactly do you buy Pectin? I’ve never heard of it! Is it sold at all grocery stores or should I order it online?
    ~Star
    Star Hughes Living
    JP’s note: very good question! As I was walking home today, I realized I should’ve made a note that you can buy pectin in the health food store. I’ll check and see if Whole Foods sells it too.

  • Georgie: Gotta love strawberries! I haven’t “yet” attempted strawberry jam, though I have made orange & fig marmalade the old fashioned way. This strawberry jam recipe is easy enough to make for summer party desserts, like strawberry ice cream sundae or even for a trifle cake. Yummy!

  • Shira: I made this last year for the first time and it was a huge hit. I was just thinking this morning that it was time!

  • Ellen: I was wondering if this jam freezes well?
    JP’s note: Ellen, I can my jam using a hot water bath, but have never frozen it. Please do let us all know how it goes if you decide to give it a try.

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