It’s strawberry season in Ohio and that can only mean one thing…. strawberry jam! I’ll be canning up some local strawberries into strawberry jam today
When is Strawberry Season?
For much of the US, Strawberry season peeks in or around June depending on your hardiness zone. It’s a good idea to check your zone and try to start hunting them out a little early though. Strawberries can go fast at u-pick farms and farmer’s markets.
Where to find a U-Pick Strawberry Farm?
Picking your own strawberries is not only a really fun activity for the whole family but you can also ensure you’re basket is full of perfectly sweet and ripe strawberries. If you want to find a farm near you where you can pick-your-own, check out the Pick Your Own website. Here you can find berry farms as well as other pick-your-own farms in your area.
What’s the difference between jam and jelly?
Jellies are traditionally made with just fruit juice and tend to be clearer. Jams are made with the whole fruit that has been crushed or pureed. They also are loser than jellies.
Making Strawberry Jam with Pectin vs without Pectin
There are several ways to make strawberry jam. I like to use low-sugar pectin in my recipe so that I have a better chance of the jam setting up or firming up. Most fruit has some naturally occurring pectin but I believe the additional pectin is an added insurance policy. The pectin also helps preserve the natural flavor and color of the fruit. There are no pectin recipes out there and many people love them. Just do your research.
My favorite canning resources
Canning can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing so please review the following resources for any canning recipe you might have.
- National Center for Home Food Preservation – this is a huge resource for canning and my go-to when I have any questions.
- Clemson Extension (or your local extension office) – these are great resources and many extension offices are putting this information online for easy access.
- Canning pint jars
- Sauce pan
- 6 cups Fresh Strawberries, de-stemmed & crushed
- 4 cups Sugar
- 1 pkg Low Sugar Pectin
- Prepare jars and lids according to the NCHFP instructions.
- Measure out 6 cups of crushed fruit (about 3 pints of strawberries) and pour into a large pot on the stove. Turn stove to high.
- Measured 4 cups of sugar into a bowl. Pulled ¼ cup of sugar from pre-measured 4 cups and place in a small bowl. Then stir the ¼ cup of sugar and pectin together in a small bowl.
- Add pectin mixture to pot and stir. Bring up to a rolling boil
- Poured in the remaining 3 ¾ cups of sugar into the pot, stirring. Bring it all back to a rolling boil for one minute.
- Ladle the jam into prepared jars leaving ¼” of headspace, remove air pockets with a knife, wipe the tops of the jar so they are clean and dry, and place a lid and ring onto it.
- Place jars into a water bath canner and process them according to your canner’s instructions for 10 mins* in a boiling water bath.