Summer Jam Session

This jam is sacred.

My family can demolish a batch in no time, but they still set it apart.

In other words, find something else for your PBJ.

Strawberry Jam

Homemade jam is an easy way to make good use of an abundance of summer fruit — and please your family.

Really easy. If you don’t think you have time—or the necessary skills—to make a batch of jam, you’re wrong.

Do you have the strength to squish a strawberry? Do you have time to open your freezer and put a container inside? You got this.

Strawberry Jam

For the best-tasting jam, start with the best-tasting berries.

This may seem obvious, but here’s the point:

The best jam tastes just like the fruit you make it from!

Strawberries

However, jam is a great way to use your ugly berries—the ones that are sweet and ripe, but turned out a little deformed.

Deformed Strawberry

Or… fuzzy.

Gross berry

Yeah. Use the other side.

Berries

If you have great berries, it’s hard to go wrong. (Remember, frozen fruit will work, too!)

You can choose from a few methods to thicken your jam. Some sour or underripe fruits have enough pectin to set up on their own. But for sweeter fruit, you’ll have to add some kind of pectin.

Again, you can choose from several options. Traditional pectin uses sugar to set up. Other kinds allow you to choose how sweet you want the jam (and what kind of sweetener to use). If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even make your own pectin.

And for freezer jam, you can also use pectin that doesn’t require cooking. This is great if you want fresh-tasting jam.

Strawberry Jam

Get some clean containers, and you’re ready to go.

Remove the leaves—plus any rotten bites—from your berries.

Strawberry

Then mash them up.

Strawberry Jam

Hopefully, you haven’t eaten too many before reaching this point.

Which is to say, you still have more than two berries.

Strawberry Jam

Mash the fruit until only small pieces remain.

Strawberry Jam

It’s helpful to do this in a marked bowl, so you can easily measure how much you have.

Strawberry Jam

From here, you’ll need to follow the specific instructions for your chosen pectin.

Strawberry Jam

Combine your ingredients according to the prescribed ratios, or your jam won’t set up.

Strawberry Jam

Most methods only require a few minutes of cooking, and then you’re done!

Pour the jam into freezer containers and let it cool.

Strawberry Jam

Put one container in the fridge to use right away, and put the others away in your freezer. (Or, if you also feel the need to protect your jam from unsuitable uses, hide it all.)

You can eat your homemade jam on bread, pancakes, oatmeal, ice cream, or anything else that meets your standards.

Enjoy a taste of summer when you pull it out of your freezer in the dead of winter!

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