I promise this easy homemade jam recipe really is easy!!
We have made this easy homemade jam recipe 3 summers in a row, starting when my kids were 2 and 4. Kids of all ages will love to help with this and it makes really great jam!
BEFORE YOU START, put 2 small glass plates in the freezer.
We lucked out and found a local farm that still had quite a few berries to pick. This recipe will also work with store bought berries.
Wash and hull the berries. If they are large slice them. I did not, but my kids really enjoy mashing them and these berries we on the smaller side.
Since the kids LOVE making this jam, I always pull their kids table to the kitchen so they have plenty of workspace at their eye level.
Poor 4 cups strawberries into a large, nonreactive metal pot.
Add 2 cups of sugar.
Let them squish the berries and sugar together. If you like lumpy jam, squish less. This is their FAVORITE part!!
Using a box grater, grate one whole apple (peel included, but not core). I let them start, but this requires adult help. I rotate the apple on each side while grating it, so I am just left with the core and seeds as waste.
The apple is needed for its natural pectin. Pectin is what will hold the jam together so it’s not runny. You can use any apple. Grannysmith is a good one because it is high in pectin. I didn’t have a green apple on hand and this red one worked just fine.
Next, roll 2 lemons on a hard surface (room temperature makes rolling easier). This will make it easier to squeeze the juice from them once they are cut in half.
Squeeze the lemons over a strainer to keep the seeds out. You will need a total of ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice.
Add the grated apple and the lemon juice to the strawberry and sugar mixture.
Okay, from this step on the kids can’t help as much, unless they are older. Boil the mixture over medium high heat. You will need to boil for about 15 minutes. If the berries are really juicy it may take a few more minutes, but I find that 15 is generally just perfect! You will notice a foam start to form at the top.
Remove the foam with a ladle during the 15 minute boiling process. If not, your jam will be cloudy when you can it.
Stir the jam every once in a while, until you notice it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Then stir constantly! Usually this is when there is about 4-5 minutes left.
Here’s where you need the glass plates. Take one plate from the freezer and spoon a small amount of jam onto the plate. If the juices run, the jam is not ready. Continue to boil for 5 more minutes. Then using the second plate, test the jam again. If the juices do not run, the jam is ready!
Poor the hot jam into canning jars. I get between 3-4 small jars with this recipe.
Put on the rings and screw on the lids. Be careful, it’s very hot!!
Turn the jars upside down and keep them this way until they are completely cooled. This will seal the jars. Store in the fridge and enjoy!!
Written by Anne