I love strawberries! I especially enjoy them when they are fresh and local. We are very blessed to live close to a farm that grows and sells organic strawberries. They are fantastic! They are only available for a few weeks each year, so while they are available my family indulges. They are so delicious and healthy. I am always a little disappointed when strawberry season ends.
One way to keep the delicious taste of fresh strawberries all year long is to make your own strawberry jelly. I know that it sounds difficult, but making strawberry jelly is really simple. When you are finished, you have a healthy treat to put on pancakes, French toast, cookies or anything else you like with jelly.
Another idea to consider is that homemade jelly makes a great gift. Last year when I was at the farmer’s market, a lady told me that she made homemade jellies to give to her friends at Christmas. She wanted to give them personalized gifts that showed she cared, but she didn’t want to waste money on frivolous things they didn’t need or wouldn’t appreciate. So when the fruit was fresh, she made jelly. When the holidays arrived, she prepared gift boxes of her homemade preserves. I thought that was such a neat idea!
Whether you make it as a gift or for you and your family to enjoy, making homemade jelly is an easy project. Like anything homemade, it is tasty, nutritious, and free from artificial chemicals, preservatives, and colorings. I like that! So here’s my Mom’s recipe for strawberry jelly. I hope you try it and enjoy it.
Start with very ripe strawberries.
Remove the stems and thoroughly wash the strawberries.
Puree the strawberries in a blender.
Use a measuring cup to measure your strawberry puree.
Pour the strawberry puree into a saucepan.
Add an equal amount of sugar to the saucepan. For instance, if you had 3 cups of strawberry puree, than add 3 cups of sugar.
Stir thoroughly until the sugar is dissolved.
Cook at medium/high heat until it comes to a boil. After it boils, turn the heat down.
Allow the jelly to simmer at a low to medium heat for 1-1 ½ hours until the jelly is thick. Stir periodically, so it doesn’t burn or stick to the bottom of the pot.
From time to time, you should remove the foam from the top of the jelly.
When the jelly is thick, pour it into clean, sterilized jelly jars. Allow ½ inch of space at the top of the jar.
Before we put our jelly in the refrigerator, we cover the jars with wax. This has always worked well for us. It enables us to keep our jelly for a long time with no storage or mold problems. To cover the jelly with wax:
Clean the inside top rim of the jar to remove any preserves from the surface.
Melt Gulf Wax—household paraffin wax—in a double-boiler or a saucepan over boiling water. Do not melt directly in a pan.
Pour about 1/8 inch of melted wax into the jar when the jelly is hot.
Later, when the jelly is cold, pour another 1/8 inch layer of melted Gulfwax, tilting and rotating to seal completely. (You can get complete directions on the back of the Gulf Wax package.)
After your wax has hardened, you can place the clean jar lids on your jars.
Store your jars of jelly in the refrigerator.
That’s all! You’ve just made homemade strawberry jelly! Isn’t it delicious? Wasn’t it easy? The best part about this recipe is that you can use it with blueberries, raspberries, or even peaches when they come into season later this summer. Before long, you’ll have a pantry or refrigerator full of your own homemade jellies made from your favorite fruits. Only you’ll know how easy and enjoyable it was to make.