Honeoye Jam

Saturday we headed to the North Okanogan in British Columbia for a family get together.  We returned home last night.  Although the 18 hours we spent in the car with our five month old were a tad grueling, we had a great time, and we came home with almost-organic Okanogan Honeoye strawberries that were picked yesterday morning.

We ate as many as we could for breakfast but hardly made a dent in the flat.  The flavor of these berries is decidedly less acidic than what I expected.  They are a bright pink-red through and through.  And they are actually a little less sweet than July berries.  I liked the unique flavor.

Since they were growing riper by the minute, I decided to turn most of them into jam this afternoon.  It turned out to be a beautiful vibrant light red color.  And the flavor was great.  Not overly sweet and it even had, in my opinion, honey-like undertones. Aside from not being able to skim off all the foam, I think the batch of jam turned out perfectly.

Honeoye Strawberry Jam
adapted from the sure-jell box

5 cups crushed fresh strawberries (cleaned and de-stemmed, of course)
1 package sure-jell pectin
7 cups sugar

Before beginning the jam, wash a sufficient number of jam-sized jars in hot soapy water.  Then put them into a preheated 175 degree oven on a large baking sheet.  Let them bake for 30 minutes.  This sterilizes them.  Place the canning lids into a sauce pan and cover with water, bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat and keep them in the hot water until you use them.

To make the jam, combine berries and pectin together in a large pot and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Measure out the sugar into a bowl.  Bring the fruit and pectin to a rolling boil over high heat (one that can't be stirred down) while stirring constantly.  Once the fruit reaches this rapid boil, add the sugar all at once, stir to disolve, and keep stirring until you bring the mixture back to a rolling boil.  Once it is back to a rolling boil, boil for exactly one minute.  Skim off the foam. Remove from the heat.  Skim off the foam some more.  Then quickly fill the jars (jam will set up as it cools) up to about 1/2 inch from the top of the jar.  I use a funnel, which helps a lot.

Clean off the rims of the jars with a cloth moistened with boiled water (I dip it in the water that the lids are in).  Place lids and rings on the jars and tighten fingertip tight.  Process  the jam (i.e. simmer the jars of jam covered in water) for 10 minutes.  Remove the jars of jam from the hot water and set on a towel on the counter to cool, leaving space between the jars.  You should hear the lids pop, indicating they are sealed, as they cool.

Makes about 7 or 8 cups of jam.


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