June 30, 2014

My month through Instagram-May/June 2014











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June 11, 2014

Willamette Valley Strawberry Jam (repost)

The Willamette Valley of Oregon is known for it's strawberries and let me tell ya, they have TONS!  We even have a celebration around these parts in honor of the bright, red, delicious wonder.  Over the course of two months, May and June, there is nothing but strawberry stands, painted windows with strawberries and even strawberry shortcake makings in the local grocery stores.  Around this time, yearly, our home seems to find ways to utilize the local ruby treats and this year we found ourselves making a batch of Strawberry Freezer Jam.
A lot of different 'canners' go about making jam in a lot of different ways, but this "freezer jam" way seems to hold true. The funny part about this recipe, it's said to be passed down from grandma to grandma and through the generations in not only Jeff's family, but others as well.

What you'll need:

• 4-6 lbs Ripe Strawberries
• 25-30 clean, washed and dried canning jars with sealing lids
• 3 boxes of fruit pectin 
• 6- 1.5 lb bags of sugar (we used organic sugar)
• 3 cups of hot water
• 2 tbs. Lemon Juice
• A blender or food processor

 First and foremost you need a good harvest of strawberries.  Ones that are a bit over-ripe are the best to work with and seem to give off the most strawberry flavor to the jam.


   

Next you want to remove the stems and wash the berries.  Cutting them up into smaller chucks is optional, but you can leave them whole when you place them into the blender.

I like to use the small end of a melon baller because it wastes less of the "meat" of the strawberry, but other methods can be used.  Such as, a straw?


Once all your stems are removed and any blemishes from the strawberries, combine them into one large bowl and begin adding them to your blender.  You want to blend 3-1/2 cups of strawberries at a time/ per batch.
Once blended they will have the sugar added to them.  You want to combine 4 cups sugar with the crushed berries and stir for about 3-4 minutes to fully combine.  Set aside.


This is a great recipe to combine kids in the kitchen.  Just make sure they don't eat all of your jam before they hit the jars.  :)

While the strawberry/sugar mixture sits and dissolves even more, in a small sauce pan add 1 cup of water and heat on medium/high heat until boiling.  Add the entire box of fruit pectin to the water and stir to dissolve. Once dissolved, boil for another minute and remove from heat.  Immediately add the fruit pectin water to the strawberries/sugar puree and stir for 3 minutes to incorporate the pectin throughout the mixture and help dissolve the sugar granules even more.  At this time you want to add your 2 tbs. of lemon juice and stir to incorporate through the entire mixture.
Pour your puree jam mixture into a measuring cup with a spout and begin filling your clean canning jars, one at a time.




This process is a bit messy so go slow and don't rush with the filling.


Move filled jars back and empties forward to make the process easier so you aren't reaching over already filled jars of jam.

Once all the jars are all filled allow to sit out, uncovered for 8-12 hours.  


We found a label on one of the jar bottoms from 2005 when we made this jam recipe, but made it runny for pancake and muffin syrup.  It was a neat find and made my day because my son was 2 when we made the jam before.  :)


After 12 hours, place on lids and pop into freezer.  This jam keeps for about 1 year in the freezer and up to about 6 months in the refrigerator.  

It goes great on toast, muffins, or even as a PB&J combo.  And it pairs nicely with Greek Yogurt too!

ENJOY!
(Any questions or trouble-shooting please don't hesitate to drop me a line via "CONTACT" option above)

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