Aaaaah…my favorite part about summer fruit begins…jam. I was at the store to buy a pint of strawberries for my ice cream, and they had a whole flat for $3! So I couldn’t resist, since I’ve decided this summer I WILL conquer jam making. I know it’s not that hard, but I’ve only made a few jams that I’ve thought were truly fabulous. And strawberry jam has been a tough one for me. Cook it too much and I swear it tastes like cough syrup.
I started this batch by chopping up 3 1/2 lbs of berries and letting them macerate with an equal amount of sugar and the juice from 3 lemons. I let that sit in the fridge, covered, for 24 hours.
The next day I boiled the mixture for about 25 minutes, until it seemed “set”. This part is the hardest for me. Since I’m fairly new to the jam making process, I haven’t gotten the feel for exactly when it’s ready. I just have to go with it and hope my jam isn’t just strawberry sauce.
I ladled the jam into hot jars that I had just sterilized. I sealed them up and waited for the most satisfying sound of home canning – the “pop” of the lid sealing. I did manage to dip my finger in for a taste, and I’m feeling pretty good about it.
Now I’ll let them chill in the fridge until I’m ready for them – more later on how smearable they turn out!