Friday, June 18, 2010

jam and bread

Oh how I love strawberry season!  In our house it is the official start of summer.  I wasn't going to post the jam recipe I use because it's right inside the Sure Jell box you can buy at your local market!  In the past two weeks,  I have given it out 6 times so I decided it was worth posting!

This recipe is for freezer jar jam.  Many consider this to be a baby step toward canning.  In making freezer jam, you follow the same process as you would in traditional canning, minus the heat. This saves time and a little bit of effort! Don't feel like you are cheating though! In my opinion, uncooked fruit stays much fresher than cooked preserves, so when you crack open your strawberry treasure in mid-January, it will taste more like the fresh summer fruit you picked from the field.

This jam is the ultimate in prep ahead recipes.  I'm not claiming it's low in calories and super healthy because it's not.  My kids run around like maniacs all day so a little bit of sugar is perfectly fine with me in their otherwise healthy well-balanced diet!  I always double this recipe and get about 12, 8 oz jars out of it.  There is nothing better than opening a fresh, homemade jar of strawberry jam on a frigid winter morning.  A little taste of summer in those cold winter months is the best!

This recipe is so quick and easy, we made it before Riley headed off to school the other day!  After we came back from the bus stop I threw all of the ingredients in the bread machine and we had jam and bread for snack that afternoon.  Yum!  But who needs bread? I could drink this stuff.

French Bread (bread machine recipe)
1 1/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 T olive oil
1 1/2 t salt
2 T sugar
4 cups bread flour (You can use 2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 cups bread flour also)
2 t yeast

Place all ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order given.  Set on french setting and medium crust.

Strawberry Freezer Jam recipe from Sure Jell


2 cups crushed strawberries (buy 1 qt. fully ripe strawberries) I use a potato masher.  Be sure to measure the crushed fruit !
4 cups  sugar, measured into separate bowl
3/4 cup water
1 box  SURE.JELL Fruit Pectin

I use 8 0z glass ball jars.  I wash them in the dishwasher first.  When filling them with jam, I leave about an inch at the top of the jar for expansion.  I always double the recipe from above and get about 12 jars out of it.

make it!

 Stem and crush strawberries thoroughly, 1 cup at a time. I use a potato masher. Measure exactly 2 cups prepared fruit into large bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.
MIX water and pectin in small saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring 1 min. Add to fruit mixture; stir 3 min. or until sugar is almost dissolved. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)
FILL all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use.   Don't be afraid to spread some on a piece of bread immediately.  It will be a little runny as in my picture but still yummy! Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or in freezer up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.

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