As most of you know, I love homemade peanut butter; and what goes with peanut butter is jam. I don’t mean store-bought jam or jelly that has a long list of ingredients – I mean simple, fresh homemade jam with whatever berries you want. I have made delicious strawberry jam and wild blackberry jam (the blackberries were picked in my in-law’s pasture). This jam has 4 or 5 ingredients, depending on flavoring, costs from $1 to $3, depending on how you get your berries, and takes a little less than an hour to make.
You will need 2 pounds or 4 cups of strawberries, blackberries (or the berries of your choice), 1 cup of water, 2 cups of raw sugar, the juice of 1 large lemon, and an optional handful of basil leaves (I like this with strawberry jam).
First, clean your berries with a solution of one part white vinegar and three parts water, then rinse with clean water and let dry (set them on a towel and they will dry within minutes). Remove all twigs and cut the leaves off the strawberries.
Add all ingredients to medium sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil the mixture for 30-45 minutes (at a rapid boil 40 tends to be perfect). Make sure to stir often or it will stick.
Remove the foam from the top of the mixture (both strawberries and blackberries have pink foam). This can be done during the boiling or after. Have a bowl ready to put the foam in, you can use the foam on toast or in smoothies. (Most basil will come out with foam, but it leaves a light hint of its taste.)
While jam is boiling, boil freezer safe mason jars and lids for 10 minutes to kill germs. Make sure not to touch the inside of them to keep them sanitary.
Let the jars set right-side up for 24 hours at room temperature, allowing the jam to cool and set properly. You can place the jam jars in the freezer and they will last for about 1 year, but discard if ice develops on top.
Thaw the homemade jam for 24 hours and it will keep in the refrigerator for two to three weeks. Use your homemade jam with your homemade peanut butter for a healthier and delicious PB&J; use it on toast or a bagel; mix it in your overnight oatmeal; or pour it on top of ice cream.
- 2 lbs./4 cups strawberries or blackberries (this will work with any berry you like)
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups raw sugar (white sugar will work the same)
- 1 medium lemon (juice)
- Basil (optional)
- Wash and hull (cut leaves off) strawberries/ blackberries
- Blend berries and basil (optional) with 1 cup of water.
- Pour blended berries in medium saucepan.
- Add sugar and lemon juice to saucepan.
- Boil for 30-45 minutes -stirring often.
- Remove foam.
- Boil mason jars and lids for 10 minutes.
- Jam is ready when it is a darker shade, thicker, and you hear "bodily noises".
- Without touching inside of jars, fill with jam up to 1 inch from top.
- Seal jars tightly and place upside down for 10 minutes.
- Let jam set right-side up for 24 hours before freezing.
- Thaw for 24 hours before serving.
I will be trying a sugar-free version in the future, but I don’t know how it will thicken or react in the freezer. Google+