PHOTO: Karista Bennett
Karista Bennett
July 29, 2016

Strawberry season has a short growing and harvest window, so if you’re like me, you hoard a few extra stashes of the season’s strawberries in the freezer. Every year I find myself on a quest to grow and pick as many strawberries as I can, so I have plenty to last for several months and maybe even into the fall.

Summer is usually a busy time for my family so freezing my strawberries is key for making jam, sauces, baked goods and ice cream later in the summer. Strawberry Jalapeño Jam is always a must. My family slathers this jam on waffles, pancakes, bagels, pork chops, lamb chops, peanut butter sandwiches and over goat cheese on crostini. I’ve been known to make a few grilled cheese and strawberry jalapeño jam sandwiches, as well.

Strawberry Jalapeño Jam
Karista Bennett

Ingredients

  • 6 cups strawberries, crushed
  • 2-3 jalapeños, finely diced (seeded if you don’t want it too spicy)
  • 1 package (1.75 oz.) pectin
  • 4 cups granulated sugar if using “low sugar pectin” and 7 cups of sugar if using regular pectin
  • 3 T. lemon juice (or the juice from one lemon)

Canning Equipment

  • water canner
  • jar grabber
  • lids
  • rings
  • jar funnel

Preparation

Wash the jam jars in hot soapy water and then sanitize in boiling water for 10 minutes. You’ll need a jar grabber so you don’t burn yourself. Trust me, I know this to be true! Follow your lid manufacturer’s instructions for preparing the lids for use, and set them aside. Keep the jars and lids in a warm spot to help prevent the jars from shattering when being filled.

Mix together 1/2 cup of sugar with the pectin. In a large pot, combine the sugar/pectin with the crushed berries and jalapeño over medium heat and bring to a full boil, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Once it’s reached a full boil, stir in the remaining sugar and let it boil for about 1 minute longer. Take a tablespoon of jam and let it cool. If it cools to a consistency you like, then your jam is done. If not, add about 1/4 package more of of pectin and let it boil for 1 additional minute.

Take the jam off the heat and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Prepare the water bath canner with water, and bring to a boil. Make sure there is enough water to cover the jars completely.

Stir the jam, and then fill the warm jars with a jar funnel within 1/2 inch of the top of the jar. Put the lids on, and then place the lidded jam jars into the water bath canner.

Boil the jars for about 5 minutes. Lift the jars out of the boiling water with your jar grabber, and then let the jars cool overnight. Once the jars have cooled be sure to check that each jar has been sealed and that the lid has been sucked down.


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