May 17th, 2011
My upcoming article for DList Magazine, out on the stands next month, talks about “putting up” and preserving, and why Kim O’Donnel, the founder of Canning Across America, thinks we should all try canning at least once! Here’s my personal favorite jam recipe – Strawberry Lemon Poppyseed Jam!
Happy canning! -Kathy
Strawberry Lemon Poppyseed Jam
Makes 14 half-pints.
3 quarts (3 pounds) stemmed local strawberries
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. finely minced lemon zest
1 box MCP pectin
8 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. poppyseeds
Place strawberries in a 6- to 8-quart, heavy-bottom saucepot and crush them with your CLEAN hands, leaving a few nice chunks for texture. Add lemon juice and zest. Add the pectin and stir in.
Place over high heat and bring to a FULL ROLLING BOIL (a boil you can’t stir down), stirring constantly to prevent scorching. (If mixture starts to scorch, turn down heat a bit.) Stir in the sugar and poppyseeds and, as soon as the full rolling boil takes place again, start timing and cook jam for 4 minutes.
Then remove from heat, skim the jam and fill jars as above. Process jars in boiling water bath for 10 minutes (with this method jam will keep for up to 1 year stored at room temperature), or cool and refrigerate jam for up to 3 months.
Recipe ©Kathy Casey Food Studios®.
Basic Jam-Making & Canning Processes
Check jars for nicks and cracks, then wash and rinse thoroughly. Place canning jar lids and rings in a pan of water, bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Let sit in hot water until ready to use. NOTE: Always use NEW lids when canning.
Boil clean half-pint canning jars in a covered water bath canner or a large saucepan filled with water for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand in hot water until ready to use. When ready to use, place sterilized jars on a clean dish towel before filling (this will prevent cracking).
Fill sterilized jars with hot jam to 1/4-inch from tops. Release air bubbles by poking jam to the bottom with a non-metallic spatula. Wipe off jar rims and top of rim so that no jam is there to deter a tight seal.
Cover jars quickly with lids, then screw on rings.
Have water bath canner going at a full rolling boil. With tongs, place jars in rack in water. Bring back to a full boil and cover. (Water should be at least 1 inch above jars.) Start timing now according to recipe.
After processing is completed, remove jars onto a clean dish towel to cool. After they start to cool, you may hear a “pop” that is the lids sucking down and making a vacuum seal. After jars have cooled overnight, check seal by poking lid with finger to see that the center is down and will not move.
Some jams will set up quickly — others may take up to 2 weeks to set. And some may just end up being soft set, depending upon Mother Nature and the sugar content of your fruit.