This is an absolutely amazing recipe adapted from the cookbook “Cooking from Quilt Country” by Marcia Adams that was originally published in the late 1980’s. There are many great “old-fashioned” recipes in the book and this is one of my favorites.
The best time of year to make this is in the height of your local strawberry season, but I have also made it with “grocery store” strawberries and it still tastes awesome.
1 1/2 pounds perfect strawberries
pinch of salt
2 1/2 cups sugar
- Wash and clean the berries, removing any hard ends. Small berries can be left whole, but larger berries should be cut up into chunks. Place the strawberries in a large deep, heavy saucepan. Add 1 cup of sugar and gently mix. Turn the heat onto low and continue to cook the strawberries until a syrup forms and the syrup begins to boil. This will take about 10 minutes.
- Gradually raise the heat to medium-high so the jam comes to a rolling boil and the sugar dissolves completely. Cook 5 minutes.
- Add another 3/4 cup of sugar and boil for another 5 minutes. Add the final 3/4 cup of sugar and continue to boil. Skim off any foam that forms on the top of the jam and discard. The foam won’t hurt anything it will just make the jam a bit cloudy in the final product. Personally, I don’t worry too much about the foam.
- Insert a candy thermometer into the jam and continue to boil the mixture until the temperature reaches 220 degrees. This will take approximately 20 minutes after you’ve added the third addition of sugar.
- Carefully, pour the jam into a shallow heatproof 9 x 6 dish. I use a Pyrex loaf pan. Cover the dish with a tea towel and set it off in a little used corner of your counter. Allow the jam to stand overnight, unrefrigerated. The next morning ladle the jam into 2 half-pint mason jars, label, and freeze.
- Thaw and bring to room temperature before serving. Keep any remaining jam in the refrigerator until you have finished it.