Sweet, Simple Strawberry Jam

Have you ever wanted homemade strawberry jam but been too intimidated by canning? Then no-cook (also known as “freezer jam”) is for you! I have to admit I also felt the same way before making jam: the thought of standing over the stove for jam for hours just wasn’t for me. So I decided to find the perfect no-cook jam recipe.

 A few tips before beginning:

RachelsKitchen_Jam_Uncooked,cookedAs this type of jam is not cooked, the texture will be slightly runnier than cooked jam. You can see the difference in the picture. To the left is “freezer jam” and the other jam is a typical cooked raspberry jam. Since this jam is not cooked, it will only taste as good as the fruit that you select, so pick the freshest berries you can find, ideally at a farmer’s marker or a pick-your-own farm.

This is a lower-sugar recipe. Typical jam recipes will call for a ratio of 2:1 sugar to strawberries. I like this version better as it is easier to the amount of sugar in the jam, and it still turns out very sweet.

Compared to cooked jam, you will find the taste fruitier. Spread it on toast, top it on plain yogurt or add it to vanilla ice cream. The colour is also very bright, perfect for June!

If you do prefer cooked jam, scroll down for a tried and true strawberry jam recipe.

Recipe of the month:     No-cook strawberry jam

Makes: 6 cups 

Ingredients

  • 4 (1 L) cups fresh strawberries, crushed (I used about 3 lbs of fresh strawberries)
  • 3 (810 mL) ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 package lower-sugar fruit pectin

Directions  RachelsKitchen_Jam_Crushing

  1. Clean glass containers for jam. Set aside.
  2. Wash strawberries and cut the tops off. Place strawberries in a large bowl.
  3. Crush strawberries with a potato masher. This is a great activity for kids! You can make your jam as smooth or as chunky as you like.
  4. RachelsKitchen_Jam_MixtureAdd ¼ cup (60 mL) sugar and package of lower-sugar fruit pectin and stir. Let mixture sit for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. After 30 minutes, add remaining sugar (3 cups) to the bowl. Stir continuously for 3 minutes. As you stir, you will notice tiny bubbles forming in the jam. The jam will also increase in volume during stirring, this is all normal.
  6. Once stirred, pour jam into glass containers. Use a funnel if you have one RachelsKitchen_Jam_Funnelavailable.
  7. Put the lid on the containers and let the jars sit out at room temperature for 24 hours. After 24 hours you can place the jam in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to a year.

RachelKitchen_Jam_final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe of the month:     Cooked strawberry jam

 Ingredients

  • 4½ cups prepared strawberries (buy about 12 cups strawberries)
  • 1 box Certo pectin crystals
  • 7 cups granulated sugar

Directions

  1.  Hull and crush strawberries, one layer at a time. Measure exactly 4½ cups prepared strawberries into large saucepan. Add pectin crystals. Mix well.
  2. Bring to boil on high heat. Stir in sugar. Return to boil and cook 1 min. Remove from heat. Stir
  3. and skim 5 min. to prevent fruit from floating to surface.
  4. Pour into warm sterilized jars, filling up to 1/4 inch from rims. Cover with lids. Let stand at room
  5. temperature 24 hours or until set.

Courtesy of Kraft.

By Rachel Morgan