“Over the river and through the woods to Grandmother’s house we go.” Although to my Grandmother Jepson’s house we had to go a round a lake and pass farm lands of south central Florida. On the way home from our Sunday trips we would stop off at a Dairy Queen that marked the halfway point from Grandmother’s house and ours. We stretched our legs while snacking on blizzards and dipped ice cream cones.
Casa De Fruta has become our halfway from the coast of California. I think we look forward to the fresh strawberries and cherries more than anything else. It is a nice little tradition to carry over from childhood. I made sure to buy an extra flat of strawberries to make strawberry jam with. This recipe uses tart sweet apples and lemon juice in the place of pectin.
Source: Ball, Complete Book of Home Preserving (c. 2006)
5 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, stem and blossom ends removed, cores intact, chopped coarsely
1 lemon or lime, unpeeled, finely chopped
8 cups halved hulled strawberries
5 1/2 cups granulated sugar
In a large deep sauce pan, combine apples, lemon and enough water to prevent sticking. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, partially cover and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until mixture is very soft.
Working in batches, transfer mixture to a fine sieve. With the back of a spoon, press the mixture through the sieve to yield 2 cups applesauce. Discard skins and cores.
Prepare canner jars and lids by cleaning jars, rings and lids in hot soapy water. Line a large pot with a rack to ensure the jars do not touch the bottom of the pot. Simmer the jars and lids (it is necessary to heat the rings) until ready to use. Do not boil.
In a clean large sauce pan, combine applesauce, strawberries and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Boil stirring frequently, until mixture thickens and mounds on a spoon, about 20 minutes. (Test the jam by pressing the back of a spoon into the mixture. Cool slightly. When you pull a finger through the jam the area should remain clear.) Remove from heat and skim off foam.
Remove jars and lids from the water bath. Place on a clean towel. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace by adding more jam. Wipe rims clean. Center lid on jars. Screw on lids.
Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Cover. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool. Make sure the lids are sealed by pressing in the center. If they click they are not sealed. Press the lid down and wait another 10 minutes. If a lid does not seal store in the refrigerator to use right away.
-This type of jam is meant to be soft and loose.
-Stephen does not like whole clumps of strawberries in his jam so I mashed them a little while cooking to make them a bit smaller.