This summer strawberries are on every corner kiosk in Germany. It is not difficult to be tempted to include these sweet gems with breakfast, lunch and dinner. As a child, my mother grew a garden that included a strawberry patch about 100 yards long. Yes, that’s almost a football field. We used to picked them all June and sometimes into July. Although arduous work, I reaped the benefits and still love those little berries today. She added them to all of her dishes during the season and was a great believer in canning and preserving. She handed down these skills to me and I’ve taught this canning class several times over the years.
This past week I grabbed a few pals and we went picking on a hill in Warmbronn (near Stuttgart). Whether you call it “canning, preserving or putting up,” most people enjoy homemade jam. I like to prepare all different kinds and give them as gifts for Christmas. We lucked out and have two apple trees, a plum tree and two Johannisberry bushes in our garden. Around here, you can pick your own strawberries at a Weippert Erdbeergärten. There are several “patches” around Stuttgart, so just look for the little posted signs.
Here is my family recipe for Strawberry Jam. I hope you enjoy!
Strawberry Jam Recipe
Adapted from Ball Home Preserving (a leading in home food preservation company).
Before you get started: DO NOT USE METAL BOWLS when canning as it will change the consistency of your jams and jellies.
7 cups granulated sugar (you must look for granulated, DO NOT USE regular sugar)
8 cups whole strawberries
4 tablespoon lemon juice
1 package regular powder pectin
8 (8 oz) 1/2 pint mason jars
1/4 pat of butter (small sliver)
Place canning jars and seals in water in large canner and bring to a boil. DO NOT HEAT the screw bands.
Measure sugar and set aside. (SUGAR IS ADDED TO THE BOILING JAM ALL AT ONCE, SO MEASURING AHEAD OF TIME PREVENTS ERRORS AND DELAYS)
Wash strawberries in cool water, running over them. Drain. With a huller or small knife, slice the tops. Here’s a little tip: if you use a straw and poke through the end to remove the green, you’ll save the majority of healthy vitamins. In a glass bowl, use a potato masher and crush berries until you have 5 cups of crushed berries.
VERY IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW THESE STEPS:
*Add lemon juice to the crushed strawberries in a saucepan. WHISK in pectin, until dissolved
*Bring to a full rolling boil over HIGH heat, stirring a lot
*Add sugar all at one time
*BOIL HARD for 1 minute, don’t STOP stirring
*add butter pat
*Using a slotted spoon, skim foam off
*Using a funnel, fill one jar at a time
*Remove bubbles from top of jelly with a little spoon
*Wipe off edges
Seal and tighten with screw band. ONLY hand tighten, wait 5 MINUTES before moving, try not to move for 24 HOURS, leave in a cool dark place. Wipe off any excess jelly from the jars.
To Process Jars:
Place each jar in a canner filled with enough water to cover about 1 inch above the glass jars. Cover with lid. Bring to a boil, once the water is boiling, with a timer, process the jam at full boil for 10 min.
Remove hot jars from hot water and place on a towel on the counter
DO NOT MOVE JARS FOR 24 HOURS, Jam is now processed for up to 1 year.
Making some Deutsch jams
We also tried our hand at making some strawberry jam using the German sugars available. To our delight we found canning sugar already with the pectin inside. As you can see here, you can buy the sugar appropriate for the jam/jelly of your choice.
The website below can be translated into English but the videos are in Deutsch. We were able easily follow along and the results were GREAT! It was a super easy recipe, only taking 3 minutes to prepare and 5 minutes to rest. I would recommend allowing to sit for 24 hours before storing however. I hope you experiment with jam making this season too.
Author’s Profile: Wendy Payne is a military spouse and lives with her family in Stuttgart, Germany. She is a freelance writer, blogger and photographer. She also enjoys gardening, hiking, yoga and sharing Europe with people.
Featured Image Photo Credit: © Wendy Payne