This easy strawberry jam tastes like summer. Great on everything from toast to pancakes. It can be made and eaten (stored in the refridgerator) or canned with a simple water canning recipe anyone can make.
2teaspoonscalcium water(comes with the Pomona’s Universal Pectin; you mix at home with water before starting this recipe per the package instructions)
Sterilizing the jars and lids
If canning, begin to heat water bath canner, pans with cleaned jars and lids and rings. I do this in three pans. The water canner takes longest to boil due to water volume and I like that to be close to a boil then starting to cook the fruit. The pan with rings and lids does not need to boil but be just under a boil. The pan with the jars should boil and be kept in hot water until filled.
Refrigerator jam: use clean jars. They do not need to be sterilized as above. Twist off lids (versus canning lids) may be used).
Prepaing the jam
Add strawberries to a large pan. Mash to desired consistency. NOTE: using a potato masher makes it easy.
Add the calcium water and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl combine the sugar and pectin. See NOTES below regarding sugar quantity.
Bring the strawberries to a boil. Add the sugar-pectin mixture and stir constantly for 2 minutes to dissolve.
Allow strawberries to return to a boil (they will almost instantly) and remove from heat. The jelling will occur when the jam is cooled.
Filling the jars
Remove jars from hot water. Do this carefully as jars will be hot.
Fill jars with jam leaving ¼ inch head space (the room at the top between the fruit and top of the jar required for a good seal when canning).
Wipe the top of the jar to ensure nothing between the lid and the jar for a good seal.
Remove the lids from the hot water. Place the lid on the jars.Add the ring to secure the lid.
Refrigerator jam: Fill the jars leaving some space at the top (does not have to be 1/4 inch). Add the lid.Allow to cool before placing in the refrigerator.
Water Bath Canning
Place jars in a water canner with at least an inch of water above the top of the jars. The water should be boiling.Process for 10 minutes adding 1 minute per every 1,000 over sea level.*I process mine in Boulder for 15 minutes.
Remove jars onto a cooling rack. Cover with a kitchen towel and leave undisturbed for 24 hours. NOTE: You will hear a ‘pop’ when the seal happens after removing from the water canner. Don’t worry if you miss it; just check to ensure it has happened as the jars cool.
Test the seal by pressing on the center of the lid which should be sucked in.
Storing the jam
Store the canned jam in a cool, dark location for up to 1 year. After opening the jam, store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Refrigerator jam: store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
I prefer to use the absolute minimum. This recipe can use up to 2 cups of sugar.
If you enjoy a sweeter jam or have berries that might not be fully sweet, feel free to add more sugar/sweetener to suit your taste.
I’d recommend beginning with the specified amount (3/4 cups), taste and add more if you like to suit your taste.
If desiring to use honey: use ½ to 1 cup.
Using sugar also preserves color so when making jam with alternative sweeteners the berry color may not be as brilliant in hue.
Pomona's Universal Pectin
Since I made this jam using Pomona’s Universal Pectin I am replicating their steps for the jam (in my own wording and with my own notes).
The pectin is available at many stores and can also be purchased from online.
The recipe insert in the pectin box allows for a variety of sweeteners like Splenda, fructose, xylitol as well.
Water Bath Canning time*Example: I live at 5,400 feet and I process the jam for 15 minutes.Making Refrigerator Jam
The jars should be clean but can be run through a dishwasher instead of sterilizing them as done for the canning method.
Make the jam and seal (a twist on lid can be used)
Allow to cool before placing in the refrigerator.
Storing the JamThe canned jam can be kept in a cool, dark location for up to 1 year. After it has been opened store in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.If making refrigerator jam (not canned), store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.