Recipe by Dee514
A real vanilla bean adds a touch of “cream” flavor to each jar. This recipe calls for “Ball No Sugar Pectin” which is a commercial, low-sugar pectin. It can be found wherever canning supplies are sold. If you can’t find that particular brand, please follow the strawberry jam instructions inside the package of whichever brand of “low-sugar pectin” you can find. You will need a Water bath canner and 4-6 (8 oz) half pint canning jars w/two piece lids for this recipe. Note: Wash all jars and lids in hot soapy water. Rinse and check tops of jars for chips. Discard any chipped or cracked jars. You do not need to sterilize these jars because you will be water bath canning them for 10 minutes, which sterilizes the jars during the processing. Just place the jars in the water bath canner while you bring it up to temperature and the jars will be hot when you are ready to add the hot jam.
- 4 lbs fresh strawberries
- 1 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 1 (1 3/4 ounce) packageball no-sugar pectin
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 1⁄2 teaspoon butter (optional) or 1⁄2 teaspoon margarine (optional)
- 1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar
Directions See How It's Made
- Wash all jars and lids in hot soapy water. Rinse and check tops of jars for chips. Discard any chipped or cracked jars. You do not need to sterilize these jars because you will be water bath canning them for 10 minutes, which sterilizes the jars during the processing. Just place the jars in the water bath canner while you bring it up to temperature and the jars will be hot when you are ready to add the hot jam.
- Wash and hull the strawberries. Slice them in half and gently crush them until you have 4 cups of crushed strawberries. (Save any remaining strawberries for a smoothie, add to yogurt, top ice cream or waffles).
- In a large, 6-8 quart heavy-bottomed pot, over a medium flame, combine the strawberries, apple juice and pectin.
- Use a sharp knife to cut down the center of the vanilla bean, open it and gently scrape out the black seeds from the entire bean.
- Add all of the seeds to the strawberry/apple juice mixture and stir well. Add the entire vanilla bean pod into to the mixture as well.
- To reduce foaming, you can add the butter or margarine to the pot if you wish. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down. Stir constantly to prevent burning.
- When you have a full boil, add the sugar and return to a full rolling boil. Then, boil for three minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
- Remove from heat. If necessary, skim off foam and discard.
- Remove the large vanilla bean pod, rinse and set aside to dry. (Once it is dry, you can add it to a jar of sugar to create “vanilla sugar”. In a week or two, use the flavored sugar in baking or beverages.).
- Fill your hot jars with jam, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Use a clean damp paper towel to wipe the tops of the jars.
- Add a hot lid to each jar and apply the metal ring (or band). Only tighten the band to “finger tight” – Do not crank it down too tightly.
- Place the jars in the canner being sure that water covers the tops of the jars by at least 1-2 inches.
- Bring the water in the canner to a steady boil.
- Begin timing and process the jars for 10 minutes. If you are over 1,000 feet, you need to adjust your time for altitude.
- Remove jars from canner and set upright on a towel to cool undisturbed for 12-24 hours.
- After cooling, check seals by pressing in the center of the lid. If a lid does NOT flex up and down, it is sealed.
- Store sealed jars on the pantry shelf for up to one year. Any unsealed jars (with flexing lids) need to be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within a few weeks.