Saturday, June 11, 2011

Jammin' Mon

From our little berry patch, we have a bumper crop of strawberries. This is the first full year for our strawberry plants and we've read that the they can come on strong for the first year but not to expect the same yields in subsequent years.

We've been enjoying them fresh, on strawberry shortcake, cereal and granola and yogurt. We decided to make a batch of freezer jam, which was super easy. We just followed the recipe from the box of fruit pectin.

Freezer Jam

2 cups crushed strawberries
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups sugar
1 package fruit pectin

1. Hull and crush strawberries one layer at a time with potato masher.

2. Combine berries with lemon juice in a large bowl. Add sugar, mixing thoroughly. Let stand 10 minutes.

3. Combine 3/4 cup of water and fruit pectin in a small saucepan. Bring to a full boil that cannot be stirred down, stirring constantly. Boil hard for 1 minute, continuing to stir.

4. Add cooked pectin mixture to fruit mixture. Stir for 3 minutes.

5. Ladle freezer jam into clean containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Apply caps and let jam stand in refrigerator until set, but no longer than 24 hours. Serve immediately, refrigerate for up to 3 weeks, or freeze up to 1 year.

The recipe says it yields 5 half-pint jars; we got six. Yum.

We also made two batches of strawberry ice cream. (And managed not to take a single photo of it either time...) We used the vanilla ice cream below and added 4 cups of crushed strawberries mixed with about 1 cup of sugar. When making fruit ice cream, add 1 cup of fruit for each quart of ice cream.

Country Style Vanilla Ice Cream

4 eggs
Approximately 5 cups milk
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups sugar
4 cups whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Beat eggs until foamy.
2. Gradually add sugar, beat until thickened.
3. Add cream, vanilla, and salt and mix thoroughly. Add fruit here if desired.
4. Pour into can.
5. Add milk to fill line on can and stir well.

Makes about 4 quarts.

We also froze about 10 pint boxes of sliced strawberries. We still have some berries coming on. Maybe another batch of jam is called for!

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