Thursday, July 14, 2011

Strawberry Jam - Canned

For my Strawberry Jam I followed the directions from the Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin (in the box).
I had a lot more strawberries than I realized I needed per batch. Since I had this new Ball brand Pectin I had to use this as well.
The Sure Jell Strawberry Jam Recipe:
Yield: each batch will make aprox. 4 1/2 pints of jam
5 cups of mashed strawberries
7 cups of sugar
1 box of Pectin

I don't care for "mashed berries". After washing and removing the green from the strawberries I toss them in my blender or bullet and pulse until it looks just right. They should not be pureed, but have chunks. I like lots of very small chunks, no big chunks. :-)

I always double a batch to make it all go quicker.

Mix your strawberries and pectin in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil. Add sugar and return to a rolling boil. Boil for one minute. Turn off heat and ladle into hot sterile canning jars (I used pint size jars). Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean damp rag or paper towel. Place clean, hot, sterile lid on jar, screw on your ring until snug. Turn your jars upside down on a clean towel.

If you are using hot, sterile jars and filling them with boiling hot jam, the heat from the jam will seal itself. You must turn your jar onto it's lid though. I leave mine to sit at least overnight (until the jars have come to room temperature.

Be sure all your jars have sealed before storing them. I have found that this process does not allow for the "popping noise" when the jar seals. This does not mean your jar did not seal, just press the lid to be sure it does not pop back to ensure it sealed.
Now for my 1st review on Sure Jell vs Ball Pectin. The jars on the left you can see have no space in the bottom. This would be my first batch of which I used the Sure Jell. It is more of a thin jam at this point and I don't believe it has completely set up.

The jars on the right with the air space in the bottom are the Ball Pectin batch. First I was not happy with this little bottle of pectin. The label is suppose to peel for "recipes" I however could not get it to peel on either bottle I had. My husband finally got it peeled for me but it was not readable as each side stuck to each other. I went on line to Ball's website in hopes of finding info there, nothing but the ability to purchase more. So I submitted a complaint in the Q&A. *grin* Knowing that a bottle can make 33 half pints does not tell me how much fruit to sugar to pectin to use.

The one bit of information it did say was that 6 TBSP of pectin was = to one box. So I made my 2nd double batch and used 12 TBSP of Ball Pectin following the Sure Jell recipe. It was so thick!! I'm just not sure if it sets up really quick or if 12 TBSP was too much and it might be some really think jam!?!? I also used the fruit and sugar ratio as the Sure Jell recipe called for. Before canning it, it tasted the same. :-)

If the Ball Pectin turns out, despite the labeling problems and lack of instructions, it is a much better price. I got the Ball pectin on sale for $2.19 (1 bottle = 2 batches of jam) and paid about $2.29 for each box of Sure Jell (1 box = 1 batch).

You can also follow this same recipe and store in freezer containers instead of Jars for Freezer Jam. I can it, my sister freezes it. Both taste great, in my opinion it's just a matter of where you have the room and what you prefer.


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