Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pluff Mud Kids Cook - organic strawberry jam

Set aside a couple of hours for the process of making jam. This simple recipe is all organic (without pectin) and kids can have fun helping make it - they take a lot of pride in the action of picking the berries themselves and then filling up the jam jars. Allow 2 hours to wash, dry, stem and hull the berries and then make the jam.
Step 1: Buy bags of sugar, lemons, and butter ahead of time. Buy jam jars (we found these larger blue ones in Target as well as the cool oval shaped one pictured at the end of the post) and sterilize them in the dish washer. When your jam is cooking, put the jars in a low heat oven to warm them to add the hot jam to...

Step 2: Pick 2 pounds of strawberries. They are ripe and juicy at Boone Hall Farms at the moment in the back field where the corn grows in the fall.

Herd up as many pickers as you can find - many hands really do make light work! We had 5 in the field on this day and it was quick and easy.

Fill 2 of these buckets and you have enough for 2 batches of jam to store or give as gifts.

Weigh 2 pounds of washed, dried (I usually lay them out on paper towel in the sun to dry out any excess water), stemmed berries and add them to a stock pot with 2 lbs of sugar on a high heat. Stir constantly for 15 minutes at a rolling boil, adding 2 Tbls fresh lemon juice, and a pat of butter (1/2 oz) as the butter helps to discourage froth from forming on the surface. Do check the jam after 10 minutes by placing a sample on a plate and dragging your finger through it to check for setting. The jam should stay separated if it's ready. Ladle into warm jars and don't seal the lids completely. As the jam cools, the lid seals and you will hear a 'pop'. (fill to 1/2 inch of the rim). Tighten lid. Obviously, most of this hot work is for an adult only, but children can help by prepping the berries and observing the process as well as making labels for the jars. Enjoy!

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