It’s August. August 2017! That means I’ve been out of college for 7 years. That also means that I’ve been married for 5 years. The craziest thing of all is that August 2017 means that my baby is 2 months old! Summer has flown by. It’s true when they say the days are long but the years are short, and if the rate at which the last 2 months have flown by are indicative of what the next 10 months will feel like, then I…can’t…even…DEAL! Let’s change the subject.
Summer 2017 has been different than summer 2016 in more ways that I can count but one thing my in-laws still managed to find time to do was go pick berries. They weren’t able to make multiple trips through out the summer this year because 1) I was having a baby! and 2) the winter was rough this year which pushed summer back and seems to have made it a little short- the days are starting to feel slightly cooler. Basically time was limited and weekends were getting busier and busier. Needless to say they knew they wanted to stock for the winter since daily smoothies are a must for my Father In-Law, FIL, and my husband. Baby and I weren’t able to join them on their first trip east to the blueberry farm, but we joined them on the 2nd trip were my Mother In-Law, MIL, and I picked close to 40 lbs. Along with the nearly 80 lbs they picked prior to that I think we will be okay until next yr.
I was lucky to be able to play around with making jam last year but this year with limited time, space, and well the biggie- ENERGY- I didn’t want to go through the trial and error of jam making. So I grabbed the last bag of strawberries from last years pick and about 1 cup of blueberries from this year and set out to make jam in between feeding, pumping, diaper changing, cuddling, and basically everything that could keep me from making jam. I wouldn’t change it for the world though.
Having to fight the clock and the baby’s schedule, I found a quick recipe for strawberry jam without pectin and got started. Karrie’s recipe is as easy as it gets. Three simple ingredients of strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice makes it no fuss. She also includes directions on canning the jam. While I didn’t have the space, time, or enough berries to can jars of jam, I decided to cut the recipe in half and do a few changes.
I followed Karrie’s recipe with these exceptions.
- Half the recipe would mean I need to use 2.5 cups of sugar. I only used 2 since my berries were ridiculously sweet already and I just felt that 2.5 cups of sugar was a bit much for 1 quart of berries.
- I used a candy thermometer to check the temperature but after 15 minutes of boiling my thermometer didn’t seem move form 200F so I added the lemon juice and continued to let it cook for about 8 minutes. When the jam cooled it was nice and thick as jam should be.
- Since I wasn’t canning this recipe, the half recipe I used filled 1 regular size mason jar to the rim. I can store this in the fridge for a few weeks.
- Karrie says to chop and mash the strawberries, add the sugar, and then let it sit for 2 hours. I skipped this 2 hour wait but I don’t think it is the reason my jam didn’t reach 220F. Since my strawberries were frozen and then thawed in the fridge, there was A LOT of juice that came out of the berries when they were completely thawed which is why I mixed the sugar until it was pretty much dissolved, did a little but of mashing so the blueberries could get a little more incorporated, and got to cooking. I believe Karrie says to wait 2 hours so that the berries can macerate and the juices can mix with the sugar.
I love how half of Karrie’s recipe is the perfect amount of jam and most of all I love how it’s so easy. I do want to learn how to can jam along with sauces, but in the mean time while I don’t have the space, this is the perfect way to make a no fuss berry jam.