1. Start off with 6 pounds of strawberries, quartered. If you let your strawberries really ripen, the jam will be smoother and sweeter, but I prefer to have a few chunks in mine, so I mix in a few underripe berries as well. Not underripe as in white, just really firm and solid.
2. Add 3 3/4 cups (3 pounds m/l) of honey. Here's a place where you can experiment if you wish, as some people use a lot less honey and replace it with low-sugar pectin, fruit juice concentrate, and the like. The more honey you add the less the result will resemble jelly. I like my jam to spread on thin.
3. Toss in 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Fresh-juiced lemon probably tastes the best, but I don't have any lemon trees so lemon juice from concentrate it is. It works just fine.
|This pot was not big enough.|
5. Bring the whole thing to a rolling boil and then simmer it for about an hour. You can go half that if you like; the jam is ready once everything is hot and mushy. But the longer you cook it, the thicker the final product will be. Once it's gone 30 minutes, I start the jars and whatnot. As soon as they are ready, I cut the boil. Don't forget to scrape the gunk off the top of the jam and toss it.
7. Let them cool overnight then check the seals. Any jar that doesn't seal properly needs to go in the fridge. If more than one seals improperly, you're doing it wrong. Go back to Canning 101 before you kill somebody.
The above will probably take 2 hours max and should provide about 12 pints of strawberry-honey jam with no added sugar and no pectin. That's about what it took me tonight even with the lovely and gracious Rogue making homemade burger rolls in the kitchen at the same time.
Strawberries aren't terribly messy, so cleanup is a breeze. And the girls really loved the still-hot jam on the fresh-baked rolls. I'm actually lucky I had enough left for the pantry.
* Unless you're Giraffe, where June is spelled A-U-G-U-S-T.
** The chunkier it is, the more space you'll need. The smaller the jar, the less space.