I believe this year is the first year I've made strawberry jam. I've picked berries plenty of times, but they usually went into my family members' jams or my freezer for margaritas. This year, with my Food in Jars recipe, I changed that.
8 cups hulled and chopped ripe strawberries
5 cups sugar, divided
2 vanilla beans, split and scraped
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
2 (3 oz.) packets liquid pectin
In a nonreactive bowl, combine the strawberries with 1 cup sugar and the vanilla beans and pods. Let the mixture sit at room temperature until the juice starts coming out of the berries, about 15 to 30 minutes. Place the berries in the refrigerator overnight.
When you're ready to make jam, remove the berries from the refrigerator. Put them in a large nonreactive pot. Add the remaining sugar and lemon juice, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over high heat (this jam foams madly), and cook on high heat for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring regularly, until it takes on a thick syrupy consistency.
Remove the vanilla pods from the mixture. Using an immersion blender, puree some of the fruit in the pot. If you don't have an immersion blender, carefully blend about 1/3 of the fruit, and then return it to the pot.
Add the pectin to the fruit, and bring to a rolling boil. Use a candy thermometer to know when the jam reaches 220ºF. Let the jam boil at that temperature for 2 minutes, and then remove the pot from the heat.
Ladle the jam into sterilized jars leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe the rims, apply lids and rings and process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Makes approximately 4 pints.