Having spent nearly a year in Ottawa, I’ve come to really appreciate the mild west coast weather. The weather here comes in intense spells which really messes with my sanity. The bright side of hot summer weather is having the Byward Market full of its delicious bounty. As I’m fully aware, it won’t last forever, the summer is sneaking away from us slowly and the fruits will fade from the market stands. So in light of my pessimism I’ve decided to prepare myself for the sobering realities that are dark frigid winter mornings. I’ve always been interested in canning and preserving, I just haven’t had the time to try my hand at the process. So after I made the last batch of refrigerator jam and tasting the intense flavor of summer in it, I had to get myself in gear. This weekend is the last weekend for prime strawberries in Ottawa, so I purchased 12 pints and made jam.
Although the vanilla and lime are subtle, they add a little bit of je ne sais quoi to the final product. Hopefully the summer sunshine will shine on me when I open it up in dark days of Winter.
- 12 pints of Strawberries – 12 cups – washed, hulled and sliced
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 70 ml lime juice
- 1/2 tbsp vanilla
- 1 pack of No Sugar Needed Pectin
Start by sterilizing your jars and equipment. I produced eight 250 ml wide mouth jars of jam with this recipe. I’m not going to go over all the nitty-gritty details on how you should go about canning. There are plenty of good websites that can help you out with the process which I will provide at the end of this post.
In a heavy bottom, non reactive pot, mash you strawberries one layer at a time, until all strawberries are mashed. You can determine how chunky you’d like your jam. With a wooden spoon, stir in half a cup of sugar, the pectin, vanilla and lime juice. Turn the heat on high and bring to a rapid boil, until you cannot stir the liquid down. Add the rest of the sugar and continue to stir for three minutes. Turn off the heat remove from the stove, skim off the foam and let rest for five minutes. This step will help the jam set so that the fruit does not float to the top of your jars, it is a purely aesthetic step. Using sanitized jars, funnel and measuring cup, measure the jam into jars leaving 1/4 inch of head room at the top of each jar to allow the processing step to create a vacuum inside the jar. Place the sanitized lids on top of each jar, screw the bands on finger-tip tight and process the jars using the water bath method, with one inch of water covering the jars for 10 minutes(from the time the water begins to boil). Remove processed jars to a wire rack and let cool on the counter for 24 hours. Test the seals to make sure they have created a vacuum by pressing down on the indented lid to make sure it does not pop back (remember the Snapple lids? If it makes that sound put that jar in the refrigerator and use it within three weeks.)
Got it? Easy as pie… You could probably put some of this delicious jam in pie if you want. Or on Ice Cream, in crepes, on toast… or use a spoon and manger!
Now that I’ve got the process down, I’m excited to try some different varieties.
What is your favourite way to use jam? What kinds do you like?
Leave me a post below!
Links to some Canning and Preserving Websites: