Here's a quick tutorial on how to make your own strawberry jam, using the inversion method. The great thing about this method is that you don't have to have professional jar sealing equipment, it doesn't take up room in your fridge or freezer and will last on your shelf for a whole year (refrigerate once opening), oh and it's not runny. It has the same texture and consistency of store bought Jam but taste's better! These make great gifts especially around the holidays, so hurry and get some strawberry's before their out of season and get some holiday gifts done :-)
Step 1: Put your jars in the dishwasher and clean. Do this about 30/45 minutes before you want to start making your jam.
Step 2: Clean, hull, and cut up your strawberry's. 1 big box is usually enough.
Step 3: Bring a pot of water to boil. In a separate pot, place all of your jar lids and band seals. Once your water is boiling, pour the boiling water into the pot with your lids. They should be covered. Leave these there until the end.
Step 4: Crush up your strawberry's. If you're making Jelly, then you would use a cheese cloth and get all of the chunks and seeds out. You'll also use a different amount of sugar and berry's. This recipe is for Jam, so it should have some fruit chunks and the seeds are ok. You need 5 cups of strawberry's crushed. Measure this out and place in a big pot on your stove.
Step 5: Measure out your sugar and have ready in a bowl on your counter. For this recipe you need 7 cups of sugar.
Step 6: Add 1 package of Sure Jell to your strawberry crush mixture in your pan. Have on medium high heat. Stir until Sure Jell is completely dissolved. You can also add a table spoon of butter at this time to reduce foaming. Bring to a rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred). Keep stirring continuously.
Step 7: Pour in your bowl of sugar all at one time. Stir continuously until totally dissolved. Bring back to a rolling boil and boil while stirring continuously for 1 minute. Remove from heat/flame.
Step 8: Use a spoon and scoop out any foam that you have on the top of your Jam.
Step 9: Get your clean jars out of the dishwasher (it is ok, if their still hot). Ladle the jam mixture into the jars (I use a funnel) and leave about a half to 1 inch from the top of the jar. Do this quickly while your mixture is still very hot. Get tongs and remove your lids and jar seals from the boiling water. Gently pat dry with clean towels and place on the jars. Screw them very tightly closed. When they are all closed, flip the jars over (so their upside down) and leave for 5 minutes. (set a timer)
Step 10: When the timer goes off, turn your jars back so their now right sides up. Leave on your counter until cool (they don't completely seal until completely cooled), then store on your shelf for up to 1 year. Refrigerate after opening. Recipe yields about 8 Cups of Jam!
**To check to make sure your seals are complete, you can push down on the middle of the jar lid and it should lay flat and not bounce up and down. You will hear them pop as they seal as the jars cool.
*There's also a recipe in the Sure Jell packet. Just follow the directions for Strawberry Jam and use the inversion method.
Have fun and enjoy your Jam and Bread!