It’s almost that time of year! Where all the fresh fruits will be ready to harvest and it’s time to gather them up and store them away to make Jam and Jelly year round! Growing up, this has been a staple in my family. This past year, I asked my Mom to come help me do my own batch of Strawberry Jam and Blackberry Jelly (yes, theres a difference!) in my own kitchen using my own things, so that I could do it myself one day. Let me tell you- this is no “easy” recipe. There are many steps and many parts that you have to get JUST right. But it is most definitely worth it to have this delicious topping to eat year round and my favorite purpose for it, to gift to all your family and friends at Christmas time! I’m sharing the recipe and instructions below if you want to try your hand at it this year!
Let’s start with the basics- The difference between Jam and Jelly is that Jam has chunks of the fruit still in tact and Jelly is basically just the juice, no chunks present. For this, we typically use either 4 oz. or 8 oz. Ball Mason Jars. You can use any combination of these sizes that you want. We usually like to make some larger jars for ourself and use the smaller jars as “giveaways” at the holidays. The last thing you need to know is that the instructions that come in the box of Sure Jell is IMPORTANT, so don’t throw it away.
I am going to share the recipe below for Strawberry Jam. I will note which small changes to make for Blackberry Jelly along the way… Here we go!
First things first, here’s a list of things you will need for this project: Strawberries (1 gallon typically will get you 1.5 runs of Jam), Jars, Sugar, Sure Jell Premium Fruit Pectin, Food Processor.
- You want to start by washing the strawberries THOROUGHLY and cutting off the tops. Optionally, you can also cut out the core (the little white part in the middle).
- Mash berries in food processor on low/pulse until slightly chunky. (For blackberry, mash completely in food processor and transfer juice to cheese cloth juicer.)
- At this point, you can choose to either fill freezer boxes with the strawberries and store for making the Jam later, OR you can move right on to step 4 to continue making the Jam now.
- Preheat the oven to about 225 degrees. Wash the jars and place them in the oven to begin sterilizing. Place the lids and rings in a large pot on the stove and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then place them on a simmer, this will sterilize the lids and rings.
- Put 5 cups berries (3.5 cups blackberries) in a large pot on the stove on low to begin thawing.
- Measure out 7 cups of sugar (4.5 cups of sugar for blackberries) and set aside.
- Prepare your “pour station.” We like to use a large sheet pan to make clean-up easier. This is where you will place your jars when the time comes to fill them.
- Once berries are thawed, add Sure Jell and turn to high. (This is where the instructions on the Sure Jell packet begin).
- Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly.
- Add sugar to the mixture and bring to a full rolling boil for exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skin off any foam with a metal spoon.
- Fill jars immediately. Fill to within 1/4 inch of the top. Wipe jar rims and threads to prevent sticking. Cover with the lid and ring.
- Turn jars upside down for 6 minutes. Then turn back upright and let sit for 24 hours to seal.
And there you have it! My favorite place to get Strawberries lately, is Strawberry Hill down in South Carolina. They just announced that they will be opening in 2-3 weeks. It’s almost that time, folks! If you try your hand at making some Jam or Jelly this year, or any other yummy treats for that matter, tag us- we’d love to see!