June is typically the beginning of strawberry season in the Midwest, but this year, because of the unusually warm temps, it’s just ending.
Two of my grandkids were with me this week, so we spent a few hours picking the last of this year’s strawberry crop at a nearby Berry Patch Farm. Liam, 12, and Maddy, 10, brought along a neighbor friend, Emma, who is 11. Three “tweeners,” who were full of energy and eager to find the best berries. Emma nibbled on one and said, “They don’t need sugar.” Yes, they were sweet!
Because we were at the end of the crop, we found small berries, but they were sweet and perfect for jam.
If you’ve never made jam, I have a few helpful tips on an earlier post:
This strawberry jam recipe is a standard one from the box of pectin, so it’s had a lot of testing.
5 cups smashed strawberries, washed, with ends cut off
1/2 tsp butter (to reduce foaming)
1 box pectin, like Sure Jell
7 cups granulated sugar (If you’re using regular Sure Jell, please don’t reduce the amount of sugar.)
Mix the berries, butter and pectin in a very large, heavy pan and turn heat on medium high.
Stir consistently until it reaches a full boil.
Pour in the sugar all at once and mix constantly until mixture reaches a full rolling boil.
Boil one minute, then take jam off the heat and let it rest for a minute.
If there is excessive foaming, you may want to remove it at this point, however, I have found it usually goes away on its own.
Pour the hot jam into warm jars.
Wash the top edges with a very clean wash cloth.
Place clean lids and bands on them.
When they cool, wash the jars to get rid of any sticky jam on the outside.
Some folks store them upside down for a week or so to distribute the fruit better.