Homemade Strawberry Jam

Jam....whoa jam...jaaaaaaamm...Teddy jam for meeee yeah!

That song has been stuck in my head for at least three days. If you don't know it, it's Teddy's Jam by Guy and it's a great song. Give it a listen! I was singing it while making jam for the first time the other day.

This fall, my goal is to complete different cooking projects and learning to make jam is one of them. I thought making jam would be difficult but I was wrong. It took maybe an hour before I was completely sure the jam was done. I tried the frozen spoon test that I've seen on multiple blogs and websites but it didn't work for me. The frozen spoon test determines if your jam is done or needs to be cooked longer. You drop a dollop of jam on a chilled spoon and if the jam sets without running off the spoon, it's done. Mine kept running off the spoon. But I determined my jam was done by testing the wooden spoon I used to stir it. I noticed once a slightly thick layer of jam cooled on the spoon, I was able to run a line through it without it filling in. 

In the end, my jam didn't completely set like some jams you'll find in the grocery store but it was still pretty viscous. I assume this is due to the amount of pectin my recipe. I used pectin that's naturally found in fruits. Pectin is the natural fiber that causes the jam to thicken as it cooks. It can be found in grocery stores, I couldn't find high fruit pectin at my local one so next time I'll try finding it someplace else and add it to my recipe. 

My recipe is very simple but requires you to remain close to the stove. As I continue to make jam, I'm going to update this post with any new techniques I've learned. The ratio of sugar to fruit I used was 1 lb pound of fruit to 1 lb of sugar. 

Here's what you'll need: 

1 lb of chopped strawberries 

1 lb of white granulated sugar 

2 wooden spoons 

1 T of lemon juice 

Pinch of salt (about 1/4 tsp) 

Small or medium sterilized mason jars 

Directions: 

1. In a medium-sized pot, combine the sugar, lemon juice, and strawberries and let them cook over medium heat and smash the strawberries into medium-sized chunks.

2. Slowly bring the jam to a boil and stir frequently as it cooks.

3. When the bubbles become smaller, bring the jam to a simmer at medium-low heat and start checking for doneness by putting a letting jam sit on a wooden spoon for several minutes until it cools completely. If you're able to draw a clean line through the jam without it filling in, your jam is done. 

4. Before you scoop the jam into your mason jars, taste for sweetness. If it's too sweet, add lemon juice by the half teaspoon. If it's too tart, add sugar by the teaspoon. 

5. Once you've determined your jam is done, let it sit until it's cool for about 20 minutes and then scoop into your mason jars. 

Note: It's okay if your jam is a bit runny, even after a night in the refrigerator. The jam and the fruit within it will still spread easily on bread. 

Please comment, like and share with your friends! Let me know what changes you made and how my recipe turned out for you. I'm going to test it again and update this post as I learn new techniques.