Being a bit of a perfectionist, I couldn’t just wing it and have the jam turn out a little different every year. I wanted it to be exactly right … not too sweet, not too hard, not too runny. . . so I worked on it year after year and got it to where I now have a recipe for the U.S. and a recipe for my home and have learned how to ship it to a special home on the other side of the world.
In our family we still all like Sunday Vaspas with fresh buns, jam and Havarti cheese.
- good quality, large stainless steel pot
- wooden spoon
- canning funnel
- clean jars and lids
- 1 15lb flat of strawberries
- 4 kg sugar (10 lbs)
- 2 pkgs. Certo light brand pectin OR
- 3 pkgs (other) regular pectin crystals
- 4 tsp margarine
Wash berries before stemming them.
Crush about 3 cups of berries at a time, in blender until “just” blended. ( I like it a little chunky, so I blend for 5 seconds, stopping in between to shake fruit to the bottom and not over-blend) My blender does not require any liquid to blend, but if it does, add about ¼ cup water just for the first batch you blend and then keep some of that liquified puree in the blender for the next batch , etc. so that you don’t have to add any more water) Collect crushed berries in a large bowl. I usually do this in the evening and refrigerate the berries to cook the next day. (15 lbs of berries will make 4 batches - or about 30 cups jam)
Wash jars and rings. Rinse well. Sterilize jars by heating in a 225F oven for 10 min. and keep warm until needed. Heat rubber lids in boiling water and keep hot.
Measure and set aside:
- 6 cups mashed berries
- 4 1/4 c sugar
- 2 rounded Tbsp Certo light (1/2 pkg) (OR 3/4 pkg regular pectin crystals) mixed with ¼ cup sugar
- Place fruit and pectin crystals mixed with 1/4 c sugar into a large pot.
- Place pot over high heat, and stir constantly with wooden spoon, until it comes to a rolling boil. (to reduce foaming, add 1 tsp margarine)
- Stir in remaining sugar. Continue to stir and cook over high heat until mixture comes to a full, rolling boil again. Boil hard 1 1/2 - 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat and continue to stir for a few minutes, then ladle into jars until 1/2 inch from rim. Cover with lids and screw rings to seal.
* The jam will be very runny until it's completely cooled.
* Important note: Freezing the jam (once it's cooled) keeps it fresher tasting and it’s not necessary to seal the jars. Even keeping sealed jars refrigerated keeps the flavor fresher tasting than just having it sit in the pantry.* You can freeze blended berries in 6 cup proportions, ready to cook in the winter, but you will need a bit more certo. (I freeze in 9 cup proportions, add 6 cups sugar and 1 pkg pectin with thawed mixture. This makes about 12 small jars)