Making strawberry jam is a yearly tradition in my house that began after we started taking the kids to Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls. We’ve explored all kinds of jams, jellies, pickles and preserves, but we still make this Strawberry-Vanilla Jam every year. We love the warm floral flavor the vanilla brings to the berries. If you’re new to making preserves, be sure to follow the directions on the pectin box for safe canning practices, or store your jars in the refrigerator.
7 cups sugar
8 cups whole strawberries
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 box (1.75 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
1 seven-inch vanilla bean
1. Prepare a water bath canner and heat to boiling, adding jars to sterilize.
2. Measure sugar into a large bowl and set aside.
3. Wash and hull strawberries. In a large bowl, crush berries one layer at a time using a potato masher, leaving some chunks. Pour berries and juices into a large pot and stir in lemon juice.
4. Heat over medium-high heat, then stir in pectin. Continue heating until it reaches a rapid boil, then add sugar all at once, stirring to dissolve.
5. Split the vanilla bean, scrape out the insides and add to the jam. Bring jam back to a rapid boil that cannot be stirred down, and boil 1 minute.
6. Test for doneness by spooning some jam onto a chilled plate and letting it cool. Touch to see if a skin is forming and feels gellike; if so, jam is ready. Remove from heat.
7. Ladle jam into jars, leaving about 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe edges clean and place lids on top, securing with screw bands. Return jars into hot-water bath and boil 10 minutes, then remove to counter and let rest until completely cooled. Store any unsealed jars in the refrigerator.
Makes 8 half-pint jars.