Here in Florida we have the amazing gift of strawberry fields upon strawberry fields. I have this crazy strong desire (it’s the country-girl-grandaughter-of-a-farmer in me) to teach my children about food, how its grown, where it comes from. So, every spring we go to the strawberry fields. And it’s one of my most favorite things! The littles get their own bucket and pick/eat to their heart’s content.
After all our picking, the question then becomes, what to do with all of these strawberries?!
I do a few different things:
Freeze them! I use them in smoothies and they will last for about a year if sealed well.
Strawberry Fruit Roll-Ups (SUPER simple and so good you will likely want to eat the entire batch when they’re done. And you will never want a fake fruit roll-up again.)
Before you make anything you must:
Wash the berries. I let them soak for about 15 minutes in my sink. I sprinkled with baking soda to help clean them and after they soaked, rinsed really well.
De-stem the berries.
For the first-time canner/jam-maker:
You will need at least 8 80z jars for the recipe below.
I used a mini hand blender to ‘crush’ my berries. I ‘pulsed’ it and it worked amazing! (Similar to this hand blender. Also, it is perfection for making baby food!)
I do not own a canner (although it would have made the process much easier and plan on investing in one next year!) and used this method (scroll down to see how she created a rack for her stock pot. GREAT post for beginnners!) with my two largest stock pots. Worked great, just a little extra tedious. And another method that would probably work as well.
Spend the $1.00 on the funnel. Makes pouring the jam into the jars super easy!
I use the directions/instructions from Sure Jell and the recipe in the box works like a charm. I listed it below in a way that is just a teenier bit easier to understand.
Fill canner (or large stock pot) half-full with water.
Bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer.
Wash jars & screw bands in hot, soapy water; rinse with warm water.
Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan (off the heat). Let lids stand in hot water until ready to use.
Crush strawberries. Use a potato masher and crush 1 cup at a time.
Measure exactly 5 cups crushed berries into 6-8 quart saucepot.
Measure exact amount of sugar into separate bowl. (DO NOT reduce sugar amount or the jam will not set correctly.)
Stir in 1 box pectin (Sure Jell) into saucepot with the crushed berries. Add 1/2 tsp butter to reduce foaming, if desired.
Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. (Rolling boil will not stop bubbling when stirred.)
Stir in sugar quickly. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat. Skim off any foam.
Ladle jam into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of top.
Close jars with lids. Screw bands tightly.
Place jars in canner.
1. Water must cover jars by 1-2 inches; add boiling water if necessary.
2. Cover canner; bring water to a gentle boil.
3. Process (allow to gently boil) for 10 minutes.
4. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely.
5. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)
6. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Store in a cool, dry, dark place up to 1 year. Refrigerate opened jams up to 3 weeks.