I mentioned in a previous post that I was hoping we would get enough Hood Berries (strawberries) to make some jam and WE DID!
First, I hulled the berries, washed them real good, and put them in a glass bowl.
So I found a few replacements for sugar -- and I don't mean artificial sweetener because that stuff tastes like chemical death to me.
Here's the alternatives I used to sweeten the berries (though they hardly need it!): honey and unsweetened applesauce!
I mixed the honey (about 1/4 cup), one snack pack size unsweetened applesauce, and maybe 1/4 cup regular sugar into about 10 cups of whole berries last night and let them chill out in the fridge overnight.
Then I took out the mixture today, smashed it all up, and put it on the stove to get thick and bubbly. Mixing and whisking away.
NOTE: DO NOT LEAVE COOKING BERRIES UNATTENDED!!!!
I learned that one the hard way. I put the lid on and went to do one tiny thing and totally forgot about it!! I came back 20 minutes later to massive berry explosion and a wrecked kitchen. It took longer to clean up the mess than it did to make the jam!!
Oh well, c'est la vie! The outcome was worth it.
I managed to still have a lot of berries left in the pot so proceeded with adding some tapioca (about 4 tbsp) to the berry mix (which was closer to 5 or 6 cups after the explosion). I stirred and stirred till it thickened up, then I ladled it into jars. (Note: I used tapioca because I had it on hand. Sure-gel (pectin) works good too.)
I think (2) half pint jars, (1) pint jar, and a baby food jar full of yummy Hood Berry jam is a pretty good yield (considering the explosion and all)!
I was too tired from cleaning the mess to do water bath canning so I just filled up jars and put them in the fridge. To make sure it all is enjoyed before it spoils (since I didn't can them), we'll give some to neighbors and eat the rest.
I can't wait to try it out (on ice cream)!! YUM!