Some store-bought jams and jellys contain subpar fruit, artificial dyes, fillers (Like turnips! Yes, turnips!), and artificial preservatives. Buying organic is one route. But have you priced organic lately? I’m a person that buys store brand whenever I can and several Grandchildren that have recently discovered the goodness that is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I cannot afford a $10 jar of spreadable fruit.
1Fill a large stockpot with enough water to completely cover the tops of your jars. Heat water over high heat until it comes to a rolling boil.
In the meantime, fill another stockpot with water and bring to a simmer. Place jars and lids in the simmering water and leave them until you are ready to fill. This preheats the jars to prevent breakage when you pour your hot liquid into them later. This also prepares the sealing compound in the lids. DO NOT LET THE WATER COME TO A BOIL, or you will activate the lids and render them useless before you even get started.
2Place sliced strawberries in a 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Crush strawberries using a potato masher.
Stir in lemon juice, then gradually add pectin.
Bring mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Return mixture to a boil. Continue to boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove pan from heat. Skim foam if desired.
Ladle hot jam into two hot jars leaving ¼ inch headspace*. Wipe the rim of the jar with a clean, damp rag. Center the lid on jar. Carefully screw on the band until fit is fingertip tight.
3Process jars the pot of boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool. Once the jars cool, the vacuum seal will form and you will hear the lids “ping” once the seal is complete. Check the lids after 24 hours to make sure the lids do not flex up and down when the center is pressed.
4*Headspace is the space from the top of the jar to the food or liquid in the jar. Too little headspace, and the food may boil over and prevent the lid from sealing. Too much headspace the jar may not seal properly because the processing time is not long enough to drive the air out of the jar. Food at the top of the jar may discolor.