It’s officially my favorite time of year. Strawberry picking season. I love heading to the pick-your-own farm and grabbing up a stash of my very own locally grown berries. Each year, as I make my way through one aisle of red sweetness after another, I think about how I will utilize my freshly acquired stash. This strawberry is destined for a homemade shortcake. That one? Pie, for sure. And the really, really big one that’s as red as a freshly polished ruby, will be enjoyed as is, sliced up and thrown into my morning bowl of vanilla granola. There really is nothing better than a freshly picked bowl of berries.
This year I decided to venture into the world of canning and try my hand at a pot of fresh strawberry jam. I was searching for ways to give the spread a unique twist that hadn’t been done yet, when it hit me. Ryan from Pom Wonderful recently sent me a case of their new pomegranate cranberry juice to try out. I had been pondering what to make with it for sometime when it struck me like a strawberry to the forehead. I’ll make Pom strawberry jam!
I just love how the tart taste of the juice compliments the sweetness of the strawberries. Because you add juice, you also use less sugar in exchange. That’s a win-win if you ask me.
Start out by roughly chopping 8 cups of fresh strawberries. Oh how I love fresh berries.
Add in 1 cup of Pom Pomegranate Cranberry juice. Ok, now I’m hungry and thirsty.
Mash the strawberries with a potato masher and let them cook up all tasty like.
Add in some lemon juice, sugar and salt. Let it cook down until you reach the correct consistency using the chilled plate and/or spoon method.
Here’s what you need to do. Grab up a small plate and stick it in the freezer to get good and cold. Once you’ve been cooking your jam for a good while (You’ll start to notice that it looks thicker. Mine took around 45 minutes), pull out a teaspoonful and drop it onto your frozen plate. Place the plate back in the freezer for about a minute and then pull it back out and check the consistency of your jam. If it’s good to go, you’re good to go! If not, keep cooking and try again in a few more minutes. You can also keep a glass of ice water with a spoon in it next to your pot for quickie thickness tests, but I tended to like the plate test a whole lot better.
While it’s cooking, you may notice a bit of foam start to form on the top of your jam. Simply skim the foam off the top with a spoon as it forms. The foam won’t hurt you if you leave it on. It simply tastes like, well, foam. So most people prefer to skim it off.
At this point you can transfer it to a container and store in your fridge for an anytime sweet taste treat, or you may can your berry creation to share with others or save for a later date. If strawberries are involved, it’s all good in my book.
I’m not going to go into a detailed canning lesson here, but you can find more information on how it’s done over at one of my favorite sites for fresh fruit and veggie information; Pick Your Own.
So I’m curious, do you pick your own fruits and/or veggies? What are your favorites?
Wonderfully Pom Strawberry Jam
Total Time: 1 hour 10 Min.
8 Cups Strawberries, Roughly Chopped
1 Cup Pom Wonderful Pomegranate Cranberry Juice
3 Cups Sugar
1 Lemon, Juiced
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Vanilla
Combine Strawberries and Pom Juice in a large stock pot and mash the berries roughly with a potato masher.
Cook the mixture on medium heat, covered, for about 10 minutes being sure to stir frequently.
Add in the sugar, salt, and lemon juice. Attach a thermometer to the pot and continue to heat, uncovered and stirring every few minutes, until your jam reaches the desired consistency, being sure to skim off any excess foam from the top of the jam as it forms.
To test the consistency of your jam, grab up a small plate and stick it in the freezer to get good and cold. Once you've been cooking your jam for a good while (You'll start to notice that it looks thicker. Mine took around 45 minutes), pull out a teaspoonful and drop it onto your frozen plate. Place the plate back in the freezer for about a minute and then pull it back out and check the consistency of your jam. If it's good to go, you're good to go! If not, keep cooking and try again in a few more minutes. You can also keep a glass of ice water with a spoon in it next to your pot for quickie thickness tests, but I tended to like the plate test a whole lot better.
Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
Store jam in fridge or can in a hot water bath using sterilized containers. Check out the Pick your Own site for more specific information on canning jams.
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Sorta Southern Single Mom says
That sounds WONDERFUL! I made strawberry jam two years ago and my kids wouldn’t eat it! – so disappointing! I need to get the last of it out of the back of the freezer and get rid of it.
Miel et Lait says
I have such fond memories of making strawberry jam with my grandmother. Thanks for the lovely recipe.
Two weeks ago I made some strawberry jam myself! Now the can is empty and I bought a kilo of these beauties to make another round. Your jam looks perfectly made Julie!
What! Strawberry season. I have two more months before strawberry season. that’s it. I am moving to your neighbourhood.
Denise @ Creative Kitchen says
I’ve always wanted to make my own jam…the closest I’ve gotten was homemade apple butter! My girls got to help make it by helping to stir it in the crock pot. 😉
Thanks for hosting Family Friendly Friday!! This week I’m sharing Hungarian Meatballs with Noodles. I hope you’ll stop by as I’ve just moved to my new self hosted wordpress site. I’ve got a whole new look I designed myself, and from one blogger to another…you know how much work that is!! 🙂
Have a GREAT weekend!! Hope you enjoyed your trip to Disney. We live in South Florida, just finished 15 months of season passes and got a lot of use out of them. We are Disney freaks!! 🙂
I’m thinking that the juice idea was inspired! It sounds like a great combo. If I can actually get to pick my own berries this year I’m going to remember to give this a try!
Pomegranate juice does sound like a perfect addition to strawberry jam. Yum!
Emily Z says
Hi, Mommie! I haven’t been by here in a while and I apologize. 2011 has been a rough year and I have not been posting as much, nor have I been keeping up with commenting with old blog-friends as well as I would like to. I hope that you are doing well, and I will make a better effort to come to your blog more than I have been! This jam looks yummy! I do love pomegranates!
Pom strawberry jam ? count me in! What a great idea to use the pom. Looks really good Julie!
This looks and sounds so good Julie! I love the addition of Pom cranberry juice. It will be a couple of months before we are ready for strawberry picking around here; but I will keep this recipe handy. We call this confiture aux fraises; love that you didn’t add pectin.
Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum says
Looking good!! I love homemade strawberry jam. My mom and sisters and grandma and I used to go to our local berry farm each summer and pick/ eat fresh strawberries, followed by (of course) making tons of jam!
Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says
Threre is something very satisfying about making your own jam – I love the addition of the pomegranate cranberry juice.
Katie @ This Chick Cooks says
Strawberry picking time is great 🙂 Your jam sounds delicious. I’m adding it to my recipe spotlight for this coming Wednesday. Thanks for sharing it!
Sanjeeta kk says
Oh..Julie, I love the Pom in this jam! How perfect presentation.
I LOVE POM, what a great adddition to the strawberries! happy weekend, anne
Anna Johnston says
I’ve never actually been to one of those farms where you pick your own, sounds heavenly – rows upon rows of strawberries….. sssiiiiiighhhh 🙂 Your jam looks the business Julie, well done (great photos too)
Melissa B. says
As my Daddy would say, “That looks so larapin!” I love strawberry season, too. Ours comes a little later than yours, but I’ll keep this yummy recipe in mind. Thanks!
There’s nothing quite like homemade jam. I bet the pom juice gives the strawberries a nice POP!
Feast on the Cheap says
Oh my goodness those strawberries look so deliciously red and sweet!
A little bit of everything says
I never made my own jam, I’m thinking of making raspberry preserve, Tiffany’s favorite.
Love the addition on the POM juice, thanks for the idea.
cooking rookie says
Bautiful jam! I would never have thought of adding POM to it, but why not? And the photos are simply stunning!
this is really beautiful…and i love the addition of pom juice..giving the jam depth with out adding a ton of sweetness…great call! i might have to copy you 🙂
Mari's Cakes says
This must be WONDERFULLY delicious!! Great combination.
Holly L says
We are going strawberry picking on Sunday….I love making jam…I think I may try this POM addition for a new twist!
Megan (Best of Fates) says
These photos are SO gorgeous! And I really, really want to try canning. Though my innate laziness keeps stopping me.
Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) says
That is so gorgeous. Lovely color!
What a great idea to make jam! Feel free to send me a jar of that stuff. I would gladly accept it. 😉 I have yet to pick my own fruits or veggies. But now that I’m not in the middle of nowhere I think I’ll finally get a chance!
Picked a bunch of berries this morning and I must say, I’m very excited to try this recipe! Just wondering how many jars this yields?