3 Day Jam Session
When you think of homemade jelly and jam- what do you think of? Gramma? MawMaw? MeMaw? Yeah, me too. Until I started cooking last year. All sorts of crazy things have been happening, like JAM! Making and preserving jam is cool- and in that vein – I’d like to use my very cool wordpress blog to set the mood for this post about, Jam. Lets start with a little sound. If you’d like you can press the play button on this little player and we’ll get Jammin’…
Making jam and canning is very interesting to me. I vaguely remember my Aunt Jenny and Grandmother having canned foods and canning jars around. Canned foods are so beautiful. As an adult I have not given canning or making jams a second thought. But then I did think about it. And I kept thinking about it- And then I did make jam! (did that sound almost biblical?) After lots of research the jam I decided to make was a “3 day recipe.” I know this sounds ridiculous but it’s easy. I like easy, as I have proven time and time again with that bread recipe I can’t get enough of. Three day Jam is lazy jam- I promise- the first two days are just prep and maceration with a little help from time and a bit of boiling.
3 Day Jam Session (Strawberry)
For every pound of strawberries that you’re going to use you will need 2 cups of sugar and the juice from one lemon. Please choose berries that are flawless. Cut any bad spots off along with bruises and eat them as you stand there. Yummmm…. but don’t use them in your jam. Jam berries must be flawless. Start with at least 4 pounds of berries. Any less is just a big mess for a little bit of jam.
Day 1: Rinse dry and hull the strawberries. Quarter or have large berries and leave small berries whole. Mix the sugar, berries and the lemon juice in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator. Every so often go in and give it a stir to help dissolve sugar. Leave overnight.
Day 2 In the morning: Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil and boil for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Pour this mixture into a room temperature bowl and cool it on the countertop uncovered until completely cooled-for at least 6 hours or all day. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Day 3: Place a colander on top of a sauce pan. Pour the berry mixture into the colander and drain the syrup from the berries. Set the berries aside. Bring the collected syrup to a boil and boil until you reach 220°F on a candy thermometer. This could take a while. Actually it’s going to take a lot longer than you think.
Once you reach 220°F pour the reserved strawberries back into the syrup- gently stir them in. Return this mixture to a boil and boil the preserves until the berries are translucent and the syrup reaches 220°F. There are many ways to determine when your jam is ready. Most commonly used is actual temperature as well as the frozen plate test.
When the jam is ready remove from the heat and skim any foam that has collected on the top. Ladle the preserves into hot, clean prepared, sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch of headspace. (Please follow your favorite canning instructions. This is a good place to start for comprehensive help)
This jam came out great! I am thrilled to have this new skill to carry me through the summer. I can’t wait for the berry crops to start coming in!