Following our escapade of strawberry picking, I set about making another batch of strawberry jam. This time I attempted a cooked version. While making the first batch, I noticed that the plastic jars could hold any kind of jam I wanted to make. I just couldn’t do the canning that required boiling the jars, I would just have to freeze it.
This version took a lot more time and attention to detail. I made certain to have everything I could need on hand. I chopped strawberries, measured sugar and lemon juice, and prepared the jars. I used a larger pot than I deemed necessary in the event of expansion during boiling. I also made certain to have my candy thermometer on hand to monitor the temperature.
I had read through the comments and the biggest complaint was that the jam seemed runny. A reply comment said that meant it wasn’t boiled long enough. With the combination of the thermometer and using the plate test, I figured I would get it just right. The plate test is simple. You grab a couple of plates and stick them in the freezer. When you think your jam is ready, you scoop a teaspoonful from the pan and pour it on the frozen plate. You then run your finger through the jam and if the finger path stays in the jam it is ready.
This is where I think I went wrong. The thermometer registered the correct temperature and I did the test. The jam passed, but in the 30 seconds it took for me to perform the test, the jam over-boiled just a bit. The jam tastes delicious, but once it cooled off spreading it on a piece of toast became rather difficult.
I believe that I’ll be sticking to freezer jam. It requires less work and tastes just a bit better.
2 pounds strawberries, hulled
4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
In a bowl, crush strawberries until you have 4 cups of mashed berries. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Slowly increase heat to high and strawberries come to a rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees Fahrenheit (105 degrees Celsius). Transfer to jars and allow to cool before putting on lids and placing in the freezer.
Recipe adapted from here: Strawberry Jam Recipe