Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Make the best strawberry jam - yum!

Strawberries and Blueberries -- Go Get Them!

Time to gather up the kids, head to a nearby local farm and pick some berries.  My family loves strawberries and is especially fond of blueberries!

Some great local places for berry picking: 

Bryant’s Blueberry Farm in New Salisbury, Ind.

Gallrein Farms in Shelbyville, Ky: 

 If there are any berries left after all the snacking, we love to make some jam for the off-season.

The Recipe -- Strawberry-Blueberry Jam

Here is an easy and delicious recipe for strawberry-blueberry jam.

Mash fresh or frozen berries with a potato masher.

In a 6 quart saucepan mix all of the following ingredients, stirring constantly.

3 c. crushed blueberries (about 2 pts.) (fresh or thawed from
3 c. crushed strawberries (about 3 pts.) (fresh or thawed from
3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. Karo light corn syrup
1/3 c. lemon juice

Bring to a full boil over high heat. Boil rapidly 40 to 50 minutes or until a small amount cooled in the freezer for 5 minutes gels.

Remove from heat; skim. Ladle into clean hot 1/2 pint jars, leaving 1/8" head space. Seal. Process in a boiling, hot water bath for 5 minutes.

If you don't have a water bath canner like this:

Any tall pot will work. Just make sure the water covers the tops of the jars. You will need to put something under the jars to keep them off the bottom, such as a hand towel or small board. Water bath canners are not too expensive so you might just want to invest in one. 

You can also use the Sure-Jell freezer jam recipe, but I find that the non-freezer kind works best if you are giving your jam as gifts, just in case your friends forget and put the yummy jar of goodness in the cabinet instead of the freezer!

(Note: the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving  is a great book for anyone embarking upon a canning adventure. This is the book that I've used for years and their recipes are very easy to follow.)

Now gather up the family and get your berry-picking game on -- the fruits of your labor will last all year long!

By Shawn Neal

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