Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam
Gourmet, September 1999 by Caroline Bates
yield: Makes about 4 cups, active time: 1 1/4 hr
total time: 1 1/2 hr
“There are three recipes I like for strawberry jam,” says Caroline Bates. “My mother’s long-cooked one may be too much trouble for some people; the sun-cooked version is impractical for city dwellers (‘First, find a sunny rooftop….’). But this soft strawberry jam (also my mother’s) is simpler and good, too.” Its flavor depends on the berries’ being fully sweet, completely ripe yet firm, and with not a trace of white near the stem. Such berries have less pectin than underripe ones, so the jam will be loose. Just spoon it out of a jar and dribble it on biscuits.
3 pound ripe strawberries (4 1/2 pints), rinsed and hulled
4 cups sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

Special equipment: 4 half-pint canning jars with lids
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Sterilize canning jars and lids.
Crush strawberries lightly with a potato masher in a 7- to 9-qt. heavy nonreactive pot. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.

Add sugar and lemon juice and simmer, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Bring to a full boil and cook, stirring frequently (be careful not to let bottom scorch) and skimming off any foam. It’s done when it becomes slightly thickened and a teaspoon of jam begins to gel when dropped on a chilled plate, after 10 to 20 minutes of boiling. Ladle hot jam into jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of top. Wipe rims with a dampened cloth and seal with lids.

Put jars in a water-bath canner or on a rack set in a deep pot. Add enough hot water to cover jars by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Boil jars, covered, 15 minutes, and transfer with tongs to a rack. Cool completely and store in a cool, dark place.  NOTE FROM YAEL– There is no need to process the jam in pressure cooker. Alternative is to boil the jars and tops before making the jam, keep them warm on a cookie sheet in a 200 degree oven. Then when the jam is finished cooking, fill the jars and seal them..when they cool, tighten the lids and you are all set.Read More

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