Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sweet Shortcuts - Strawberry Jam

I love jam, but making it is such a hassle when you have to sterilize the jars, do the canning, then put them in a water bath, etc.  Growing up, my family spent the summers in Maine, and we had a big raspberry patch in our garden.  We made raspberry jam quite often, but it was a day-long process, in a steamy hot kitchen.

This recipe is much simpler, because you refrigerate the jam, eliminating the need to do all the canning steps.  The only drawback is that it doesn't last as long - it will only be good for several weeks.  Please note that the final product is fairly thin and drippy - if you prefer thick jam, this is not the recipe for you.


Two pounds of strawberries
3 1/2 cups of sugar
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Food thermometer


Wash and cut the strawberries, removing the green tops and white cores.

In batches, mash the berries and place into a large pot.  [I use a potato masher, but you can mash them any way you'd like.]

When all of the berries have been mashed, add the sugar and lemon juice to the pot.

Cook on low heat until the sugar is dissolved:

(I left some pieces in the mix.)

Turn heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil - stir constantly:

Stick a food thermometer into the pot and continue to cook until the temperature reaches 220 degrees (105 Celsius).  Stir constantly - it will boil quite vigorously:

Remove the pot from the heat and let the mixture cool.  At this point, I strained out the strawberry chunks, because I like my jam smooth - it's completely up to you.  Don't worry, they won't go to waste!
When the mixture has cooled for 15 minutes, you can transfer to glass or plastic containers.  The jam may appear foamy on top - you can skim it off with a spoon if you want:

I put the strained strawberry chunks in a bowl - my father loves really chunky jam, so I will give that to him.

And that's how it's done - really simple, and it makes a delicious jam.  Store in your refrigerator for up to three weeks.  There's enough to share with friends, too!

[Cicada update: None in sight.  Fingers crossed that it stays that way.]

- Sugar Baby

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