I wish I had a picture of this jam on a piece of fresh-baked bread but I don't. I don't because I only just now finished canning this jam. Holy cow, I think I died and went to Summer Breakfast Heaven.
I started off thinking that I was just going to make regular ol' strawberry jam, but then I started poking around in the produce drawer of my refrigerator. I spied the lemons and thought..."Hmmm...I've made marmalade before, I bet I can combine...I KNOW!!!!" Voila. Strawberry Lemonade Jam was born. Well, conceived...I guess it was "born" a couple of hours later. Anyway, while I was in the house making this lovely jam, my husband was outside building a vegetable box for me. Would you like to see?
|Daddy-O and Remy are working together on my new veggie garden box.|
What a productive day we had! By the time I was done with the jam, Mr. Cool was done with the box! When I'm finished here, we're off to the dirt store for some dirt (obviously, right?) and the nursery because they have some gorgeous veggie starters for $3 each. I'm so excited. Anyway, back to the jam...
Grab yourself some berries and a strawberry huller (or a paring knife as one Mrs. McPorkchop, self-proclaimed "Laziest Girl Ever", prefers.) And let's get started.
Start by washing all of your fruit, lemons included. I try to buy local and organic produce as much as possible, especially strawberries. Strawberries are on that Dirty Dozen list (scary stuff, that!) so wash the heck out of those little nuggets of joy! Click here for more information on it.
I, personally, love the Environne product Fruit & Veggie Wash and I use it as much as possible. I buy it at Trader Joe's, but I bet you can find it anywhere that has a decent organic foods section.
Once your berries (AND LEMONS! heh heh heh) are washed, you can hull them with your nifty strawberry hulling gadget or simply slice the tops off with a small, sharp knife. Mr. Cool gave me the huller for Mother's Day and I swear it was the best gift ever!
See how it removes the white cone thingy from the inside along with the leaves? I love that!
Put all of your berries in a big bowl and mash them up as best as you can. They will soften and break down as they cook, so don't worry if some of them are too firm to break up. Besides, everyone loves a nice juicy berry in their jam.
Transfer this to a large, nonreactive (choose stainless steel or enamel instead of Teflon) stock pot and add six cups of sugar to it.
Now for those lemons and the reason I made you wash them: finely grate two lemons, avoiding the pith and add to the pot. You might as well grate the rinds of two more lemons because in a couple of days I'm going to give you a recipe to use with this very jam and you'll need the lemon zest for it.
Cut two of the lemons in half and squeeze all of the juice out of them. I used to have a nifty device for just this purpose. But about a month ago, on one of those record-breaking bad days, it snapped in half and went flying across the kitchen after taking a chunk out of my forehead first (of course). It was a bad day, did I already say that? So, now I just squeeze the lemons over a bowl and then dump the bowl into a sieve to catch the seeds, which is what I did here.
Next, remove the rinds and pith of the last two rind-grated lemons, coarsely chop them and throw 'em in the pot. It's starting to look good in there, isn't it?
Now, thinly slice two lemons about 1/8" thick. Quarter these slices and then add to the mix.
Give it a good stir, then set your burner to low heat until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up to medium and stir occasionally until the mixture has reached 220*. Use a candy thermometer to be sure you have reached this temperature. Jam sets at 220* and you definitely want to avoid scorching it. It'll take between 40-60 minutes, so set your timer!
|It's really hard to get a good picture when there's tons of steam coming out of the pot!|
In the meantime, you should have your jars sterilized and ready to go on the back burner. Sterilize your jars by placing them sideways or upside down in a pot and cover completely with water. Be sure to put the lids in the same pot. It is not necessary to sterilize the rings, so leave these out.
Boil the jars/lids for about 10 minutes and then turn the burners off. The jars should be hot when you fill them up, so just leave them in the water until you are ready to use them.
Now, how's that planter box going?
Since I was working by myself, I didn't get a picture of the jam going in to the jars.
You kinda have to work quickly, so it was fill, lid, ring. Fill, lid, ring. Repeat until you have used up all of the jam. Be sure to soak that pot right away!
And now, you should have five lovely little jars of Strawberry Lemonade Jam to
hoard give generously to your friends and family!
If I was at all computer savvy, this is the part where I would offer you a free printable label but that is way beyond me so instead, I offer you something I found on Pinterest. I hope you're okay with that. These are really pretty, so I'm willing to bet you like them!
Thanks for reading through my little how-to! Please come back and let me know what you think about the jam. It is my very own recipe, and I'm awfully proud of it. Enjoy!
Strawberry Lemonade Jam
(makes 5 pints)
4 pounds strawberries, washed, hulled and mashed
2 lemons, washed, zested and juiced (approximately 1/2 cup juice)
6 cups sugar
2 small lemons, washed, sliced and quartered
2 lemons, washed, zested, peeled and coarsely chopped
In a large stainless steel or enamel stock pot, add strawberries, sugar, lemon zest, chopped lemons and quartered lemon slices. Stir over low heat with a wooden spoon until all of the sugar has dissolved completely. Turn the burner up to medium and continue to cook until mixture has reached 220*, approximately 40-60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Immediately transfer hot jam to clean, sterilized jars, leaving 1/2" of space from the top of the jar. As soon as a jar is filled, immediately cover with lid and ring. The ring should fit snug, it does not have to be super tight. Once all jars are filled, process them in a water bath. For more information, click here.
PS Check this out:
|Come to mama, my little vegetable sproutlets!|