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Classic Strawberry Jam

Classic Strawberry Jam


6 lbs strawberries, green tops removed

3 1/2 lbs sugar

4 oz lemon juice


Wash and hull strawberries (remove green tops using a paring knife). Cut larger strawberries in half or in quarters. Combine strawberries with sugar and macerate to draw out liquid for 30 minutes or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 225ºF. Bring a pot of water and your jam lids to boil on the stove top. I add a little vinegar to the water to prevent a film from coating the lids. Boil lids for 30 minutes to sterilize. Place your glass jars on a sheet tray and sterilize them in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. I sterilize the jars and lids while making the jam.

To make the jam, pour the macerated strawberries into a jam pan or other large, wide, shallow, non-reactive pan and add lemon juice. Foods cooked in reactive pots will often pick up a metallic flavor and sometimes turn funny colors, particularly very acidic foods. Aluminum, cast iron, and copper are all “reactive.” Stainless steel, ceramic, glass and metal cookware with enamel coating are all “nonreactive.” When preparing jam in a copper jam pan, always be sure to mix the acidic fruit with the sugar before adding into the jam pan.

Cook over high heat and begin skimming foam as it forms. Strawberry jam produces the most foam of all. Eventually the foam will subside and the jam will have clear, larger bubbles. When the jam reaches this stage, you can continue cooking for 10 minutes or so. You can gauge doneness by taking the temperature (set jam will be 220ºF) or conducting the spoon test. To test doneness by spoon test, put spoons in the freezer before making jam. When you are ready to test, drip a dollop of jam onto a frozen spoon. If it holds its dome shape it is likely done, but you can take it one step further by putting the spoon back in the freezer for about a minute, taking it out, and pushing it with your finger. If it wrinkles, it’s ready. This test is especially useful for marmalades. For jams made with summer fruit like strawberries, you can also just gauge doneness by seeing if the jam appears to be the consistency you’d like it to be.

Once the jam is done, you can either process with an immersion blender or put it directly into jars. You can also infuse it with herbs at this moment by taking the jam off the heat and submerging an herb bundle and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes. Remove the bundle and pour the jam into the hot, sterilized jars. Leave 1/4 inch of headspace. Wipe the rims of any jam and screw on the sterilized lids. Process the jars in a boiling water canner for 10 minutes to ensure a safe seal. 



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