Anyone that knows me, knows that I love to pick fruits and vegetables seasonally. This is something I’ve been doing since I was a kid and I still love it! Secor Farms, was my favorite place to pick strawberries, shelling peas, and blueberries. I think my record for strawberry picking was around 14lbs. That made for a lot of deliciousness, that’s for sure!
This year I went to visit a friend in PA where we headed out to Linvilla Orchards. We love Linvilla! They have lots of seasonal picking options, and are super friendly. It can get a bit crowded on the weekends, so we made sure to get there during the week. We walked away with a bunch of great looking berries and headed home to get jamming. I made two batches of jam - Strawberry Basil & Low-Sugar Strawberry Jam. Both were super tasty, though I think I prefer the low sugar variety. It just tasted more “pure”.
My recipe is adapted from a generic pectin package recipe and a low sugar pectin package recipe. I follow their instructions, using about a half cup less sugar - for the regular batch, and a quarter cup less sugar - for the low-sugar batch (even though they say not to). I also add 2 tbsp of fresh squeezed lemon juice.
I sterilize my jars in the dishwasher or a pot of boiling water and then seal the jars in a 250º oven. This sealing method is a trick I recently learned from a friend who turned me on to Rachel Saunders, author of Blue Chair Jam Cookbook. It is super simple and amazing for those of us living in studio apartments with tiny kitchens/stovetops. Simply Preheat your oven to 250º, Fill your sterilized jars with hot jam and cap them. I put them on a baking sheet big enough to hold the whole batch of 8 jars. Let them “seal” for 20 minutes. Soon after you pull them out of the oven and set them on cooling racks you will here the joyous popping sound knowing your jars have successfully sealed!