Dancing in meadows of strawberry jam

Hood strawberries are in season in our area and being sold at every farmers market and pop up stands outside of Costco. What that means to me is JAM! This is my fourth year making and canning jam, so I still consider myself a bit of a novice. That being said, if I can can, you can can. Hee hee, can can.

Making jam is actually pretty easy, the prep, cooking and canning can be a bit time consuming and sweaty. But as long as you’re not doing it in an unconditioned house on a 90+ degree day, you can do it. My husband goes through an alarming amount of jam, like a pint every two weeks. His routine involves taking two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to work everyday. I’ve tried to entice him to take leftovers or letting me make him something different, but he won’t do it. I say he’s stubborn, he would say he’s consistent. This year I made my tried and true strawberry, strawberry vanilla and natural fruit strawberry (pectin free). The vanilla batch was especially lovely.

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A few of my jamming accoutrement.

The thing with canning is unless you’re more than a novice, you really shouldn’t fiddle with the recipes too much. If something scary starts growing in your home canned food, it can make you very sick. I use the Ball canning book where each recipe is tried and tested, making sure there is a proper amount of acid in each recipe to inhibit bacteria growth. Don’t be scared to try, I would recommend checking out a few books from the library.

What you will need:

  • Canning jars (canning is in, you can find jars at most major retailers or online)
  • Canning tools (I bought a canning tool kit for less than $10 at Cost Plus)
  • A big canning pot (again purchased at Cost Plus)
  • A big pot to make the jam in (I caution against doubling a recipe, jam bubbles up, a big pot is needed)
  • a few odds and ends you most likely have, big spoon, slotted spoon, knife, colander etc.
  • A GOOD CANNING BOOK AND RECIPE (I’m not even trying to post a recipe, because I think it is important that you read the basics of canning to get started)

Please don’t be afraid, give it a try! Feel free to ask me any questions and I can try to answer them! I’m hoping to go beyond jam, I’ve tried mango chutney and canning peaches with success, but perhaps I will venture to pickling this year. With the resurgence of home gardens and people trying to save money any way they can, what better way than to make and store your own food!

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Oodles of jam!

Now if your like me and you may have some leftover strawberries, what better way to use them then make a strawberry rhubarb pie! What makes this recipe super yummy is the brown sugar and cinnamon that are in the filling make it deliciously syrupy with a hint of spice!

Lattice-Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (from Epicurious)

Crust

For the filling

  • 3 1/2 cups 1/2 ” thick sliced trimmed rhubarb
  • 1 16oz container strawberries, hulled, halved (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup packed golden brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t salt

1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 t water (for glaze)

Make crust according to recipe instructions and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Toss gently to blend. Roll out 1 dough disk on a Demarle RoulPat or a floured work surface. Transfer to your pie dish of choice. Trim dough leaving a 3/4″ overhang. Roll out second dough disk, cut into 14 half inch strips. Or you can eye ball it like me, they were not perfect, but I think it adds a rustic touch! Spoon filling into crust. I like to lay half of my strips on my RoulPat (a Silpat will work as well) then weave in the remaining strips. I then flip my lattice on top of my pie, trim the ends and fold over the edge of the dough and flute the edge. You can also lay the strips on your pie and weave them on there! Do what is comfortable for you!

Brush glaze over the crust, transfer pie to baking sheet and bake 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake pie until golden and filling thickens (a glass pie plate = 1 hour 25 minutes, Demarle pie mold = 1 hour)

I promise you, you will not be disappointed with this recipe. I have tried several recipes for strawberry rhubarb, but once I tried this one, it has been my go to ever since!

What I enjoyed whilst posting this blog!

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