this is a little post about a little canning experiment, my first canning experiment in fact. the first thing i canned even before learning from the master during my canning CSA.
the result? delicious strawberry jammy flavor, without the lovely jammy consistency. boo. i, in fact, canned strawberry topping. less for your toast, more for your ice cream.
“use more sugar!”, you will say. i did. “use pectin!”, you will say. i did. i have attempted strawberry jam two different times, and strawberry topping is the result. guess i will try again next year.
step one: sterilize your tools and jars. DO NOT put in the lids with the rubber seal as show above. that is wrong, that is bullshit, don’t do it as you will damage the sealing rubber strip.
wash and cut berries.
crush strawberries. the recipe that i used found in the Ball Blue Book (or Blue Balls Book, if you’re me) gives the ratio of 2 quarts of berries to 6 cups sugar (that is a NO PECTIN recipe).
add sugar, a shiton’s worth. don’t worry, it’s gooood for you. and stir that bitch.
now bring it slowly to a boil, stirring the sugar until it dissolves. cook rapidly to gelling point, about 40 minutes. this is the point that i suck at- it never gets to this magical “gelling point”. never.
how do you know if your shit is gellin’ ? there are several Gelling Tests recommended. first, you can dip a cool metal spoon into the boiling jelly then lift out a spoonful of the mixture and tip in on its side to let the jam run off. it it drips off, it is not ready. it if comes off in a sheet, then it is gellin’ babe. OR, you can place a small amount of jam on a chilled plate then stick it in the freezer until it is cool. run your finger thru the jam and if that shit parts like Moses and the sea, you are gellin’!
after you are gellin’, remove from heat and skim the foam if you like. ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. add two piece cap and process in boiling water for 15 minutes.
remember i told you that i tried this twice? well the second time around i added some orange flesh and cayenne pepper! and even though it still turned out to be sauce, it was REALLY, really good.