It’s strawberry season! This is one of my favorite crop seasons, it brings back a ton of memories from when I was a kid. We were lucky enough to live on a ranch where we had a huge area just for strawberries. Because we had access to so many strawberries one of the first things that I learned in the kitchen was how to make strawberry jam.
Last week, as part of my diet, I purchased a few pounds of strawberries. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow my diet like I should have and ended up with a lot of left overs. I never like seeing things go to waste, so before they went bad I decided to use one of my grandmothers quick preserve methods to save them.
Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
1 pound ripe strawberries
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fruit pectin
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Rinse the strawberries. Strawberries are a lot like a sponge and will soak up water. The trick to cleaning them is to leave the caps on, give them a quick rinse in cold water and pat them dry. Do not rinse and store strawberries ahead of time, they will go bad quickly.
Remove caps, trim off any bruised or discolored parts and cut in half.
In a bowl, mash the strawberries using a pastry blender or potato masher.
Add the strawberries to a large skillet along with the sugar, pectin and lemon juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat stirring occasionally. Once the mixture comes to a boil continue to boil for an additional 5 minutes until it begins to thicken. If you want the jam to be a richer color of red you can add a little red food coloring.
HINT: If you don’t like big chucks of berries in your jam you can use your pastry blender on the berries while they are cooking to break them down more.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool. Once the mixture is cool enough to handle, pour into glass jars and keep refrigerated until ready to use. I’m not sure how long this will keep in the refrigerator because it never lasts more than a week or two in our house.
Everyone loves strawberry jam. If you have a lot think about giving it out as a gift. You can dress it up by putting some pretty fabric between the lid and the ring and tying a bow around the ring.