Select berries with a fresh sweet flavor, deep uniform color and firm texture. Smaller, misshapen and seedy berries make good-quality jams.
Remove the caps. Wash 1 to 2 quarts at a time and drain. Do not soak the berries.
To make a syrup pack: Mix and dissolve 3 cups of sugar in 4 cups of water. Add 1 cup of this syrup per quart of prepared fruit.
For a sugar pack: Mix 3/4 cup of dry sugar per quart of prepared fruit.
For dry or tray pack: Simply spread a single layer of strawberries on shallow trays and freeze. When frozen, promptly package the berries and return them to the freezer.
To package, fill pint- or quart-size freezer bags to a level of 3 to 4 inches from the top, squeeze out the air, leave 1 inch of head space, seal, label and freeze. Before freezing, the bags may be inserted into reusable, rigid plastic freezer containers for added protection against puncture and leakage.
To use: Thaw the berries at room temperature in the original package. For faster thawing, use a microwave or submerge the berries in cool or lukewarm water.
Do you have any recipes for strawberry jam?
Here are two recipes Â the first one is a traditional canned version and the second one is a freezer jam.
Yield: About 8 half pints
2 quarts crushed strawberries
6 cups sugar
Sterilize the canning jars. Wash and crush the berries. Combine the berries and sugar in a large sauce pot. Bring slowly to boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves. Cook rapidly to the gelling point, about 40 minutes. As the mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat. Pour the hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Wipe the jar rims and adjust the lids. Process for 15 minutes in a boiling-water bath for altitudes up to 1,000 feet, 10 minutes for altitudes between 1,001 and 6,000 feet.
Nutritional value per tablespoon: calories, 39.0; vitamin C, 5.8 mg; carbohydrates, 10.1 g; dietary fiber, 0.3 g; and fat, 0 g.
Uncooked Strawberry Jam Freezer Jam
Yield: 4 1/3 cups or about 5 8-ounce containers
1 3/4 cups prepared fruit (about 1 quart of fully ripe strawberries)
4 cups (1 3/4 pounds) sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 pouch CERTOÂ® fruit pectin
First prepare the fruit. Stem and thoroughly crush, one layer at a time, about 1 quart of strawberries. Measure 1 3/4 cups fruit into a large bowl or pan. Then make the jam. Thoroughly mix the sugar into the fruit; let stand for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the lemon juice to the fruit pectin in a small bowl. Stir into the fruit. Continue stirring 3 minutes. (A few crystals will remain.) Ladle quickly into scalded containers, filling to within 1/2 inch of the tops. Cover at once with tight lids. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours; then store in the freezer. Small amounts may be covered and stored in the refrigerator up to three weeks.
Nutritional value per tablespoon: calories, 72.0; vitamin C, 8.0 mg; carbohydrates, 18.6 g; dietary fiber, 1.3 g; and fat, 0.05 g.
How do you make chocolate-dipped strawberries?
I recommend purchasing chocolate coating (milk chocolate or dark chocolate , whatever is your preference) at a cake decorating store, discount store or supermarket.
Wash the strawberries and drain on paper towels.
Melt the chocolate coating in a double boiler or the microwave. If melting in the microwave, microwave at 50 percent power (Medium) until soft. (Warning: The chocolate pieces will hold their shape until stirred so watch carefully.) Stir well. Do not allow the coating to get hot.
Stick a toothpick into the stem end of each strawberry. Dip the tips of the strawberries into the melted chocolate. Turn upright. Stick the other end of the toothpick into a piece of Styrofoam and allow the strawberries to dry. To speed the process, the chocolate-dipped strawberries can be placed briefly in the refrigerator or freezer to harden.
Â Susan Krumm is an Extension agent in family and consumer sciences with K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper St. She can be reached at 843-7058.