The kids and I went strawberry picking at a local farm a few days ago and had so much success picking luscious huge berries that we had a hard time stopping! Our visit to the farm hadn't really been planned beforehand, so I wasn't sure what exactly to do with all the berries while they were still fresh. We ended up making a quick stop by the grocery store for ice cream for strawberry shortcake and later made it to Wal-Mart to snatch up the last two packs of Ball (8 oz) plastic freezer jars (the ones with the purple lids - aren't they cute?). They come in packs of 5, which was perfect, because each pack of pectin I had on hand made about 5 half-pints.
I ended up following the recipe on the pectin package and we could not be happier with the end result. It's not super jelly-ish, more like a strawberry spread really, but it is so delicious I'm sure we could eat both batches we made within a few weeks. We're hoping to get back to the strawberry patch before the season is over so we can make some more jam.
Spread it on some homemade wheat bread (recipe coming soon) and it's like dessert. Seriously good.
So like I said, we made two batches and got 11 pint jars plus some left over.
Recipe: (from Ball Instant Pectin box)
1 packet Ball instant freezer jam pectin
1-1/2 cups sugar
4 cups crushed strawberries
In a large bowl, stir together pectin and sugar. Combine well.
In a separate bowl, crush strawberries with a pastry cutter and/or potato masher until thoroughly mashed.
Add berries to sugar mixture and stir for 3 minutes.
Ladle into pint jars and put lids on.
Let set for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks or frozen for a year.
The kids had so much fun they were begging to go back practically as soon as we left the place.
This will definitely be a yearly tradition for us.