It was supposed to be strawberry jam

IMG_2336 1I have tried to grow strawberries in my garden but the soil just isn’t acidic enough.  I get a few measly berries and then nothing so I have given up.  Luckily there is a farm nearby that I have been going to for years for you-pick strawberries.  I picked 2 large baskets last week and set to making the jam my husband requested.  I searched several internet recipes and was frankly alarmed by the amount of sugar that each one called for.  I decided to modify.  In the pot with my 16 cups of de-stemed and hulled strawberries went about 6 cups of sugar, juice from one large lemon and pectin.  I would mention the amount of pectin but I kept adding more and more that I have no real idea how much ended up in it.

My beautiful fresh and very sweet strawberries put out a lot of liquid and natural sugar.  I’m so glad I didn’t add any more sugar like the recipes were calling for.  It would have been WAY too sweet.  They I let it come to a boil.  And cook….and cook….But I didn’t want it to taste like cooked strawberries.  I wanted a “fresh from the fields” taste.  I kept adding pectin hoping it would thicken.  It just never really got there.  I ladled it into jars and canned it anyway.  After 2 days (which I’ve read gives the pectin time to “set up”) I opened a small jar.  Nope.  No where near thick enough.  I opened a few of the jars, threw it back in the pot, and heated it back up with rhubarb.  That worked a bit better but still not the glorious bright red jam I was hoping for. I crumbled and added a small bit of corn starch (which I did not see in ANY of the recipes!) to get a thicker consistency.

I have not given up!  We are approaching the last few days of the fresh you-pick strawberry season and I will go back this week to get more and try again. My husband is a jelly/jam guy and strawberry is a favorite.   If I manage to get that batch made, I’ll report back.

Local Strawberry farm

Local Strawberry farm


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