Strawberries are looking good in the local markets right now. Big juicy berries are wonderful on their own but I can’t help but want to cook up a batch of strawberry jam. Prices are currently pretty good, as well, so I was able to purchase two pounds for not much more than one pound has cost lately. And when the cherries get a little sweeter, I’ll use this same method with pitted Bing cherries. In fact, this recipe will adapt easily to stone fruits, such as apricots, peaches and plums. And maybe you’ll have a tomato plant or two that will produce more than you can eat at once. If you haven’t tried tomato jam, it’s a real treat on bruschetta or biscuits.
This particular recipe can be made without pectin to thicken it. And with three simple ingredients, it’s a snap to make. You’ll have fresh, homemade jam within an hour or so. It’s perfect to spread on toast for breakfast, or shortbread biscuits for dessert. Enjoy food made fresh!
2 pounds strawberries
3 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Rinse fruit. Remove stems and hull. Rough chop and place in a bowl or rimmed plate. Mash fruit with back of fork tines, pressing down with hands. Pour fruit and juices into saucepan and mix in sugar and lemon juice. Let rest for about 20 minutes. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. If fruit mixture begins to stick or boil too violently, turn heat down to medium. Periodically, skim off the light colored foam that forms on top and discard. Cook approximately 20 minutes or until temperature reaches 220 degrees F.
In the meantime, place jars and lids (rings and flats) into hot water bath on stovetop for about 10 minutes to sterilize and heat. Pour hot jam mixture into warm, dry jars. Place flats on jars and screw on ring.
If you are planning to eat jam right away or within 7 to 10 days, simply refrigerate. If not, process sealed jars of jam in boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove from water and place upside down onto kitchen towel to let lid seal and to cool.