The farmers markets and roadside farm stands are brimming with luscious red jewels right now- fresh, sun-ripened strawberries. Whether you go out to the country and U-pick, or just grab a pre-picked flat or a couple pints, you can easily take a small part of your afternoon and put up some easy-to-make delicious jam to enjoy through the year!
First thing you’ll need after you acquire your strawberries is a recipe. To start out with, both Pomona’s jam (great for reducing the amount of sugar to your liking) or Ball Freezer Jam pectin will have easy instructions for freezer jams, and you can tweak the amounts up to a certain point to get as many containers as you desire.
This particular basic picture tutorial used an entire flat of strawberries (mostly seconds due to prior rainy weather before they were picked) sugar, and Ball freezer pectin to produce several batches of freezer jam, totaling a whopping 23 half pints of sweet, tart, strawberry deliciousness.
One of the most valuable tools you’ll want at hand when dealing with strawberries in any quantity is a strawberry huller. It may seem like a silly tool at first, but after you’ve developed sore fingertips (not joking) from pulling the stems and hulls from literally hundreds of strawberries, spending a few dollars on an invaluable and simple tool will soon make the benefits apparent in the years of jamming or fresh eating to come.
STEP ONE: Wash your strawberries, then hull and let them drain in a colander. Place a layer of these strawberries in a large bowl and smash them with a potato masher until it is a squishy mess. Repeat this until you have a big sloppy bowl of mashed strawberries.
I should add that I find an apron very helpful in avoiding stains on your clothes. The mashing and mixing process can get fairly sloppy.