Prep: 40 minutes. Process: 5 minutes.
12 cups strawberries (3 quarts)
1 1.75-ounce package regular powdered fruit pectin
1/2 teaspoon butter
7 cups sugar
1. Place 1 cup of the strawberries in an 8-quart heavy pot. Using a potato masher, crush berries; continue adding and crushing berries. Measure 5 cups crushed berries. Stir in pectin and butter (butter helps keep jam from foaming). Bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add sugar all at once. Return to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam with a metal spoon.
2. Ladle jam into hot, sterilized half-pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids.
3. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Removes jars from canner; cool on wire racks.
Tip: To distribute fruit evenly, cool the jam for about 20 minutes after processing, then gently turn and tilt jars without inverting them. Repeat as needed until fruit is well distributed. Jam may need to stand for one to two weeks after canning to become fully set.
Tip: Strawberries should be unblemished, deeply colored, slightly soft, and quite fragrant. Avoid berries with green or white tips or shoulders (these lacked enough sun to develop to their full sweetness). For jam-making, choose just slightly underripe strawberries. Usually small berries boast the sweetest flavor.
Makes: About 10 half-pints.
Per Tbsp.: 38 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 0 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein.
In a small nonreactive heavy saucepan, bring 1 cup quartered kumquats (seeds removed) and 1 cup water to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes or until kumquats are tender; drain. Prepare as directed, except to reduce the crushed berries to 4 cups and add kumquats to crushed berries. Makes about 8 half-pints.
Strawberry and Ginger Ale Jam:
Prepare as directed, except add 1/2 cup ginger ale after skimming off the foam.
Prepare as directed, except stir in 1/2 cup Marsala wine with the butter and pectin. Add 1/4 cup fresh snipped thyme after skimming off the foam.
Balsamic Strawberry and Pink Peppercorn Jam:
Prepare as directed, except stir in 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar with the pectin and butter. Stir in 1/4 cup pink peppercorns after skimming off foam. Stir before serving.
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