One of my favorite comfort foods and one I indulge in often is a midday snack of toasted peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich with an icy-cold Diet Coke to wash all the sweet, gooey goodness down. A simple treat yet absolutely one of the best pleasures on earth. 🙂
With summer in full swing and strawberries now in abundance, I’ve been whipping up batch after batch of my favorite fruit concoction every chance I get. Jam-making is such a simple project, I almost always have a few jars stashed away to feed my addiction year long or to give out as gifts to family and friends.
About the sugar, YES, folks, you need 7 cups. Please, please do NOT cut down on the amount specified in the recipe. The sugar not only serves to sweeten the jam but it also binds the water in the fruit to allow the jam to set nice and thick. This is jam, afterall, and it’s supposed to be sweet. 😉 In regards to the black pepper, you can omit it if you like a more traditional strawberry jam but let me just say, the freshly-ground pepper does provide a delicious contrast to the sweetness of the strawberries. It’s a weird combination that works!
- 5 cups strawberries, hulled and crushed
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons powdered pectin
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 7 cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 8 (1/2 pint size) mason jars with lids and bands
- large canning pot and rack
- Place water in canning pot and arrange jars on the rack. Place rack in the pot and submerge in the water. Bring the water to a simmer and leave the jars in the simmering water until ready to use. Do NOT boil.
- In another pot over medium heat, place lids in water and simmer. In warm soapy water, wash bands and set aside.
- In a sauce pan over high heat, combine strawberries and lemon juice. Gradually add pectin and stir to combine. Add butter. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil, stirring regularly.
- Add sugar all at once and stir to completely dissolve. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil for about one minute, stirring constantly. Do NOT over boil. Remove from heat and skim foam, if necessary. Add pepper to stir to combine.
- Transfer hot jam into hot jars, leaving about ¼ inch headspace. Wipe the rim and place lid on center of jar. Place the band and close until tight.
- Bring water in canning pot in a boil. Arrange jars back into rack and boil for about 10 minutes. Using tongs, remove jars from pot and allow to cool. After 24 hours, check lids to make sure they don't spring up and down when center is pressed.