Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Strawberry and Basil Jam

I know what you are thinking when you hear the words making jam, "No way that takes too long and it's too complicated and I just don't have the time." I felt the same way until I finally tried it. The summer time is the best time to make these delightful jams because the berries, peaches and plums, etc. are at their peak and not only are they cheaper, but they taste great. It is so rewarding to make your own jam because first, THEY TASTE SO MUCH BETTER THAN STORE BOUGHT and second I know exactly what is in it. So do yourself a favor and go to the store and buy yourself some canning jars and pectin then head to the grocery store and pick out the best strawberries and fresh basil and let's get started. Trust me you will thank me later!

Now, you will need:
8 (8oz.) preserving jars with lids
1 packet of liquid pectin
5 lbs. of strawberries
7 cups of sugar
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup of chopped basil
Prepare your boiling water canner according to your manufacturer's instructions.

Let's start off by washing and hulling the strawberries and then cutting them into small pieces and put them in a 6 or 8 quart pan. Take a potato masher and mash the strawberries. Bring to the stove. Add the lemon juice and gradually stir in the pectin. Bring the mixture to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Add the entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return the mixture to a full rolling boil and boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Skim off foam if necessary. Add your chopped basil and stir.

Ladle hot jam into hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe rim and apply lids and bands. Process in canner according to the manufacturer's instructions. Check lids for seals in 12 hours. Now you have tasty jam throughout the year or you can give them as gifts to your friends and family. They will be your friends for life!!! Let me know how you make out.

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