In our house there is a great debate.
In this debate, there are no compromises. We both believe that we are correct and the other is sadly mistaken.
This great debate all centers around peanut butter – more specifically, what type of fruity, sweet substance you use to complete the “J” portion of your PB&J.
One of us, who is clearly mistaken and foolish in their ways, thinks you can only use grape jelly.
The other, who knows a thing or two about making delicious food and who has the correct answer in this debate, knows that the only way to top off your delicious peanut butter sandwich is with strawberry jam – particularly when it’s homemade.
Pssst… I’m the one who’s right.
And because I’m right, I’m here to share how to make your own strawberry jam! Beware, it’s sweet, sticky, and delicious. Perfect for your morning toast, biscuits, and, of course, making PB&Js.
Homemade Strawberry Jam
What you need:
- 2 ½ cups strawberries, mashed
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 ½ cups sugar
- ½ package of fruit pectin (7 ½ tsp)
- A smidge (official term) of butter
- 1 stalk of rhubarb, cut into small pieces (I had a stalk of rhubarb left over from pie making the week prior, so I added it to my jam to give it a bit of a tangy taste. It’s not essential, but it’s delicious!)
This recipe yields four 8oz jam jars, plus a bit extra to enjoy on toast right away! I cut the original jam recipe in half to get the ingredient amounts above (hence the ½ package of pectin). We didn’t have five cups of strawberries lying around – they tend to go pretty fast in this house. However, if you have a bumper crop of strawberries, or you really love jam (or love gifting it away), feel free to double the above amounts to make eight or nine 8 oz jam jars.
Let’s get started!
Hull your strawberries and toss your fruit (including the rhubarb) into a large bowl. Using a potato masher, mash ‘em up real good. Measure out 2 ½ cups of the mashed strawberry goodness and add to a large pot or dutch oven.
Add in the lemon juice and whisk in your fruit pectin. Add a smidge of butter to the top – this helps reduce the amount of foam that will form on top of your jam as it is cooking.
Turn the heat on and stir as you gently bring your jam to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add all of the sugar at once; stir until the sugar is completely mixed in.
Crank up the heat until you get a strong, hard boil. A hard boil is when you can’t decrease the boiling by stirring. Let your jam boil for a good two minutes and then shut off the heat.
Foam will start to form on the top of your jam. Take a regular table spoon and skim off as much of the foam as you can, without taking any of the jammy goodness.
Lastly, scoop out some jam to enjoy right away and then can the rest.
Look at you! You’re a jam-making machine! Not only do you have the perfect accompaniment for your peanut butter sandwiches, but you’ve also got a few extra jars to share with family or friends.
May your peanut butter sandwiches and your heart be full – and sweet!