With the peak of strawberry season through mid-May, and with blueberry season beginning shortly after, Sharon Whitley of Sharpsburg’s Whitley Farms shares with us her Classic Strawberry Jam recipe.
Farm owners Sharon and Nicky met at West Georgia College just after Nicky got out of the Air Force and she graduated high school. Though they were following different studies in school, they shared a hobby: gardening. And the rest is history.
After 38 years of marriage, they have two beautiful daughters and one grandson, and a lovely family farm in the heart of Coweta County.
Whitley Farms (FB: @whitleyfarmsstrawberries) has pre-picked berry baskets available, or you can meander the rows and pick your own to get started on your own homemade jam!
Of course, no visit to Whitley Farms is complete without stopping to say hello to Curly and Curly Jr., the father/son resident white faced Hereford bulls!
CLASSIC STRAWBERRY JAM
(yields about 8 half-pint jars)
- 5 cups crushed strawberries (about 3 lbs.)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 6 Tbsp. Ball Real Fruit Classic Pectin
- 6 cups granulated sugar
Prepare boiling water canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil. Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside.
Combine strawberries and lemon juice in a 6- or 8-quart saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down, over high heat, stirring constantly.
Add the entire measure of sugar, stirring to dissolve. Return mixture to a full rolling boil, and boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.
Ladle hot jam into a hot jar, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar and apply band, adjusting to fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.
Process jars 10 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat, remove lid, and let jars stand for 5 minutes. Remove jars and let cool for 12–24 hours.
Vanilla Strawberry Jam: Simply split a vanilla bean and add to the berries before cooking, remembering to remove the bean shell before ladling into jars.
Strawberry Balsamic Jam: Reduce the lemon juice to 1 Tbsp. and add 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar.
Lemony Strawberry Jam: Add grated zest of one large lemon to the berries.
Black Pepper Strawberry Jam: Stir 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper into the jam just before ladling into jars.