Grandma’s Strawberry Jam……Sort of.

There are just some tastes that evoke images of childhood and a simpler time. One of those tastes for me, is my Grandma’s strawberry jam. Saturday morning breakfasts are just not the same without the sweet jam spread across a warm biscuit and a PB&J with any other jam is simply sub par. My mother also uses this recipe and since I’ve been married, her or Grandma have always kept me supplied with a stock of the jam. However, just recently I realized that I was on my last jar. I decided to take matters into my own hands and make some for myself. I called my mom to ask for the recipe and she broke my spirit when she told me that the recipe could be found on the box of Sure-Jell needed to make it. I had spent my entire life believing that the jam had been made from a secret family recipe passed down through the generations. Turns out, my favorite family staple comes straight from Sure-Jell. Even so, it is the very best jam that money can buy and it is made relatively easy. This is my interpretation of the directions found on the Sure-Jell box. I found those directions to be a bit confusing, so I’ve rewritten them to make life easier.

You will need:

  • 1 box Sure-Jell premium fruit pectin
  • 1 qt of Strawberries
  • 4 cups of sugar
  • 5 half pint jars (or equivalent)
  1. Wash strawberries and cut off the stems

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2.Crush the strawberries, doing just one cup at a time. A few chunks left in the mixture are fine. Set to the side.

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3. Measure the exact amount of sugar needed. For this batch of 1 qt of strawberries, you will need 4 cups of sugar.

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4. Stir the sugar into the prepared mixture of strawberries.

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5. Stir 1 box of pectin and 3/4 cup of water in a small saucepan. The pectin may start out lumpy. Bring it to a boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Boil 1 minute while continuing to stir constantly. Remove from heat.

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6. Stir the pectin mixture into the strawberry and sugar mixture. Stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy, about 3 minutes.

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7. Pour the jam into the jars. Leave a 1/2 inch space at the top to allow for expansion during freezing and put the lids on the jars. Let them sit out for 24 hours to allow the jam to set. Try not to move them. The jam may be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks. Otherwise, store in the freezer for up 1 year. Thaw it in the refrigerator.
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Making this jam made me feel rather domesticated. I was doubtful that it would set up correctly, but much to my surprise it did. If you follow these step by step instructions, yours is sure to be a success as well. I hope you enjoy the recipe!

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