Yesterday I had an unlooked-for treat in a flat of strawberries from a farmers’ market in Ponchatoula. There are a LOT of strawberries in a flat. I knew this academically, but it’s a little different when one is staring at them waiting to be made into jam.
First I washed and de-topped the strawberries. (I did this whole process in two batches and on the second batch I got smart and separated out a bowl for children to dip into while I was making the rest.)
At this point you’re supposed to pop them in your food processor or blender. We’ve never had a food processor and our blender is in a box in the garage of our old house. I was surprised to find out I didn’t have a potato masher (!) but I did have a pastry cutter. This is not as good. After some work with the pastry cutter I got out my hand mixer which is on its last
legs beaters. A stand mixer would have been better, but that too is in a box, etc., etc. After a little progress and a lot of mess I poured the mush into a colander set over another bowl. I pressed the pastry cutter back in service and forced the strawberries through the colander. In the end I wound up with four cups of strawberry, um, stuff.
Then I added 8 (yes, EIGHT) cups of sugar. After stirring this in, it sits for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, I added four Tbsp of lemon juice to 6 oz of liquid pectin (Certo). I stirred this into the strawberries for three minutes until the sugar was dissolved.
Then I decanted the mixture into jars. These didn’t have to be sterilized (yet another reason for not doing conventional cooked jam) but just washed as usual. The jars sit out for 24 hours for the jam to set and then are put in the freezer. They keep for a year in the freezer and 3 weeks in the fridge. As I said, I did this in two batches. Each batch resulted in three jars filled to about 3 1/2 cups.