Nana’s Homemade Freezer Jam

Wanna know what to do on a rainy Thursday during strawberry season? I’mma tell you… Make the most delicious strawberry jam.

I hit the jackpot when it comes to in-laws. My mother-in-law, Denise, can cook anything. As long as I’ve known her, there is always a jar of homemade strawberry jam on her table. And, y’all, I’m pretty sure this stuff might be the answer to world peace. It is that good. I’ve asked her in the past to teach me how to make it, so I jumped at the chance when she called this past week!

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Denise picked up 6 quarts of strawberries from a local farmer, packed up all the ingredients, and headed to my kitchen. In less than two hours, I have more delicious strawberry jam than I can shake a stick at. I’m so excited to eat it and share it!

 

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Denise’s copy of the recipe. I love the handwritten notes and crinkles in the paper… This is a tried and true process! 

We started by preparing our jars. One gallon of strawberries makes 24 jars of jam, so it’s best to have the jars ready beforehand as the process moves pretty quickly once everything is ready to be combined.

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This is pretty easy… Boil a big pot of water; dunk your jars, lids, and rings to kill any germs; remove with tongs. *This is where the process is a little different from canning. This jam stays refrigerated or frozen, and it’s not as important to completely sterilize.

Once the jars were ready, we began rinsing and capping the berries. At that point, I pulled out my Vitamix blender to chop/mash them which worked great! Use the 2-3 setting and stop when there are small chunks in lots of juice.

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We then combined 2 cups of the mashed berries with 4 cups of sugar in a large bowl, mixed it with a spoon and let sit for 10 minutes.

At about the 8 minute mark, pour 1 pack of pectin into a 3/4 cup boiling water on the stove; stir continuously for one minute. Mixture should bubble and thicken.

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After the pectin “cooked” for one minute,  we poured that pectin mixture into the sugar/berry bowl and stirred continuously for three minutes. You could see the entire bowl start to look more “syrup-y” around the 2 minute mark. After three minutes of stirring, we moved pretty quickly pouring the jam into the prepared jars. Wipe the rims very well to remove any stickiness and then add a lid/ring.

 

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Each “batch” filled 6 jars, so we did this process 4 times for a total of 24 jars.

 

The jarred jam needs to sit on the counter for 24 hours to set, so place the jars somewhere they won’t be bothered or moved.

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How pretty are those?!  After 24 hours, you can refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to a year “officially” (although my MIL and I agree you can freeze it much longer than a year and it still tastes completely delicious).

 

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Mac and Nana in Destin, 2016

I had such a great time, and I am excited to have this family recipe in my book! How are you using your strawberries this season?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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