(Makes about 4-5 half pints jam)
5-6 cups fresh organic strawberries
1 1/2-2 cups sugar or 1 cup honey
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)
1 box Pomona's Universal Pectin (available in the baking section at PCC)
3/4 cup water
Canning jars with lids and screw rings
Note: Pomona's Universal Pectin is a delightful all natural product derived from lemon and orange peel (a great source of naturally occurring pectin). It aids in the gelling of the strawberries and many other fruits which are very low in natural pectin. Pomona's also contains a small package of natural calcium (just like the dietary supplement) which helps activate the pectin. This allows you to prepare your jam with as little additional sugar or sweetener as you wish. (Some apple based pectins require much more sugar to set the pectin.) Here are the directions from the box of Pomona's Universal Pectin which I have revised with the correct amounts for the above recipe.
Make calcium water:
1. Mix 1/2 teaspoon white calcium powder and 1/2 cup water in a small, clear jar with lid.
2. Store in refrigerator between uses. Lasts a number of months-discard if settled white powder discolors.
3. Shake well before using.
To make the Jam:
1. Wash and rinse jars; bring to a boil in a large pot, turn down heat and let stand in hot water. In a smaller pot, bring lids and rings to boil; turn down heat; let stand in hot water. (You may sterilize the jars in your dishwasher if you have a high heat setting)
2. Prepare the strawberries by washing and capping them. Chop them roughty and then mash them well. Measure 4 cups of mashed berries into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar or honey and lemon juice if you are using it.
3. Bring the water to a boil in a small sauce pan and pour it into a blender or food processor. Add 3 teaspoons pectin powder and blend for about a minute or until the pectin is fully dissolved.
4. Add the hot pectin to the fruit in the mixing bowl.
5. Stir 4 teaspoons calcium water into fruit. A jell should appear. If not, add 1 teaspoon more at a time, tirring well, until a jell appears. It will be a soft jell.
6. Fill jars to 1/2" of top. (The jam will expand as it freezes.) Wipe rims clean. Screw on 2-piece lids.
7. Freeze the jam until ready to use. After opening, keep it in your refregerator and eat it within 2 weeks.