Fresh Strawberry Jam with a Natural Fruit Pectin
Strawberry season is the best and here in Minnesota you have to pick them when they are in season, usually 2-4 weeks, depending on the weather. This year it has been quite interesting when I talked to the owners of Hillside Farm in Dassel which is where we pick our berries. First we had cold weather with little rain, now it is hot and humid and rains very frequently the last week or so. The berries this year are a little smaller than last year, but you still find plenty of larger ones when you are picking, plus the humidity makes it hot picking so they do not have their summer help pick berries in the afternoons when it is just too hot!
After we picked early in the morning I made a couple batches of strawberry jam with Dutch-Lite, which is specfically formulated with a low methoxyl natural fruit pectin blend that does not require sugar in order to reach a jelled consistency. This allows you to make low-sugar, no-sugar, honey, agave and fruit juice concentrate sweetened jams. I prefer a organic raw sugar and it works wonderful for me. Experiment with lots of sweeteners and see what your family prefers.
4 cups strawberries, crushed ( I use a pastry blender)
3 3/4-4 cups sugar or sugar substitute
A really rounded 2/3 cup of Dutch-Jell Lite (I get mine from a health store, you can also buy in bulk on Amazon.)
In a heavy bottom stainless steel kettle bring the fruit and Dutch-Jell Lite to a full rolling boil.
Contine to boil for one minute while stirring and add the sugar(DO NOT ADD SUGAR SUBSTITUTES YET) Bring to a full rolling boil and and boil one minute.
Remove from heat, skim off the foam, add sugar substitute if you are using one.
Pour into sterile jars, prcoess for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath. Makes 6-7 1/2 pint jelly jars.
Cool, check seals, label and date before storing, also remember to take off the screw band on the lid, this is a safety feature plus they will not rust when stored in the basement or pantry.