Small-Batch Strawberry Jelly! 3


I did a really fun thing this week… I canned strawberry jelly!  (For the first time in my life, I might add.)

~

Easy, small-batch Strawberry Jelly  (full step-by-step canning tutorial too!) I'm way more confident to try this now.

~

I hatched the idea almost a year ago as I was ordering seeds for my summer garden… “Strawberries!  I need to grow strawberries!”  You see, my brother-in-law, David, is the strawberry jelly lovin’est fool I’ve ever met!  And I just knew some home-grown, home-canned jelly would be the perfect Christmas gift for him.  (Yes.  I am an obsessive planner-ahead-er.  And I ain’t sorry about it!)

~

David

Photo by Zach Cheatham

~

So I ordered those plants and I grew those dang berries, and then I researched how to get rid of slugs when I started finding them in my garden gnawing on my berries.  And I picked them when they turned red, cut off all the stems, washed them, and froze them.  And finally (months later!) I pulled them out this week to make into jelly for Uncle David.  I feel very proud of all that.  :)  This is by far my favorite gift I’ve given in a long time!

The Pioneer Woman has a killer tutorial on making strawberry jelly, and it’s the one I referred to for this batch.  But I thought I’d post my own tutorial for you here because I pulled it off with the bare basics (equipment-wise) and I also made it in a smaller quantity.  If you just have a few cups of berries, you can make 2 or 3 scrumptious jars of jelly.  You don’t need a set of canning tools, and you don’t need to make a huge batch!  (Although it is quite fun and I fully encourage it, if your feel the urge!)

I pulled off this modest batch of 2 jars of jelly with the following equipment:

   -A deep soup pot (with lid)

   -Two or three 8 oz. canning jars with lids & rings

   -Something to lift the hot jars out of the pot with (a jar lifter is great, but tongs are a decent stand-in.)

   -A wide-mouth funnel

And that’s it!  You’ll also need one ingredient you may not already have on hand.  Powdered Fruit Pectin.  It’s nothing fancy… you can get it at any grocery store, or on Amazon!  It’s what helps your jelly “gel.”  Muy importante!

~

Making jam at home is so much easier than I thought!  |  Step-by-step tutorial for small-batch strawberry jam at prettyhungryblog.com

~

So let’s get started!  Sometimes I like to keep my posts short and sweet with just a few photos of a finished dish.  But today I’m giving you the full Monty!  I feel like jam-making is cause for a step-by-step tutorial, so that you can charge forward with total confidence that you will have SUCCESS!  I’m telling you, the pop! pop! pop! of those jars after you’ve pulled them out of the boiling water is such a satisfying sound.  You’ll feel just like “Ma” Ingalls!  :)

~~~

First, you’ll need three separate pots.  One deep one for submerging your jelly jars, one medium one for cooking your jelly mixture, and one small one for simmering your lids.

Go ahead and fill your deep pot with water (enough to cover the jars by a few inches) and bring it to a low simmer.  Put your jars in the water to warm up while you make the jelly.  (That way they won’t bust into a thousand shards when you ladle the hot jelly into them.)  Put a little water in your small pot and bring it to a low simmer as well.  Put your lids in there (NOT the rings.  Just the flat lids with the rubber seals.)

~

Easy step-by-step recipe for making your own strawberry jelly!

~

Then let those stay warm in the water while you make your jelly.  It’s super easy!  Wash, hull, & mash up 1 1/3 C. fresh or frozen (thawed) strawberries and add them to the medium pot.

~

~

Stir in the lemon juice, the powdered fruit pectin, and a tiny bit of butter.  (By the way, I don’t have man hands.  My husband helped me make this jelly.  #1- Because he’s awesome, and #2- Because I’m recovering from surgery and haven’t regained my full pot-slingin’ abilities yet.)

~

I can't believe I was so intimidated to try canning jelly at home!  So simple!  (Small-batch strawberry jelly from prettyhungryblog.com)

~

Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, stirring gently.

~

I can't believe I was so intimidated to try canning jelly at home!  So simple!  (Small-batch strawberry jelly from prettyhungryblog.com)

~

Then add in the 2 C. sugar, all at once.

~

I can't believe I was so intimidated to try canning jelly at home!  So simple!  (Small-batch strawberry jelly from prettyhungryblog.com)

~

Stir it in and bring the mixture back to a rolling boil.  Let it boil hard for about 1 minute 15 seconds.  Then remove it from the heat and skim the foam from the top of the jelly.  (Don’t worry about getting every speck.  It isn’t a huge deal.)

~

~

And that’s the jelly!  The rest of the process is just about safely canning it so that you can store it in the pantry forever and ever!

Go ahead and remove one of the jars from the simmering water, allowing the water to run back out into the pot.  Leave the other jar(s) in the water to stay warm.

~

I can't believe it's this easy to make your own jam.  Small-batch step-by-step recipe on prettyhungryblog.com

~

Using the wide-mouth funnel, ladle spoonfulls of jelly into the jar.  Try to keep a good ratio of fruit to gel as you go.

~

I can't believe it's this easy to make your own jam.  Small-batch Strawberry Jam step-by-step recipe on prettyhungryblog.com

~

And stop when you have 1/4 inch of head space remaining.  (It is important to fill your jars to the right level.  Too much air and they could explode during the sealing process.  Not to scare you or anything… Ha!)

~

I can't believe it's this easy to make your own strawberry jam!  Small-batch step-by-step recipe on prettyhungryblog.com

~

Alrighty, now gently clean off the grooves at the top of the jar with a wet washcloth.  Also run a knife around the inner edges of the jar to help remove air bubbles and get the fruit chunks well-distributed.

Take one of your flat, rubber-lined lids and place it on the jar.  Then take one of the lid rings and twist it onto the jar.  But do not over-tighten!  Stop when you meet resistance.  (Basically, you want the jar well closed off so no water gets it in, but you don’t want the lid even remotely tight.)

~

Super simple home canned strawberry jelly. (Small batch recipe)  |  prettyhungryblog.com

~

Now then, just set that jar aside and move on to the next, doing exactly the same thing we just did!  This amount of jelly ended up perfectly filling two jars for me.  If you end up with a little extra, you can smear it on some toast!  If you end up with jar #2 only partially full, then DO NOT attempt to boil & seal it or it could explode.  Remember, you want 1/4 inch head space.  (No more, no less.)  If you end up with a partially-full jar, fear not… you can just skip the boiling step for that one and store it in the fridge and it’ll be just fine.

Alright, take your two lovely little jars with the lids screwed on (but not too tightly)…

~

Super simple home canned strawberry jelly. (Small batch recipe)  |  prettyhungryblog.com

~

and return them to your deep pot, submerged under the water.  (You may have to add more if the water level has gone down from simmering for awhile.)

~

Super simple home canned strawberry jelly. (Small batch recipe)  |  prettyhungryblog.com

~

Bring the water to a roiling boil, place the lid on the pot, and boil the jarred jellies for about 12 minutes.

~~~(12 minutes later)~~~

When the 12 minutes are up, turn off the heat and remove the lid, but allow the jars to sit undisturbed in the hot water for about 5 minutes so the pressure inside them can equalize.

Once you’ve done that, go ahead and gingerly lift them from the hot water using grippy tongs or a jar lifter.  Set them somewhere where they wont be disturbed for the next 24 hours.  I chose the counter top next to my stove (aka: the busiest spot in my kitchen) cuz’ sometimes I’m a moron like that.  Anyway, over the next few minutes or hours, you’ll hear the jar lids popping!  And that’s good.  :)  It means they are creating a vacuum seal and are becoming pantry-safe!

~

Super simple home canned strawberry jelly. (Small batch recipe)  |  prettyhungryblog.com

Can you tell how steamy hot these jars are?

~

24 hours later, unscrew the lids and check to make sure the jars are sealed tight!  You’ll know they’re good if you press the center of the flat lid and there is no give whatsoever.  If any seals don’t pass the test, just store those jars in the fridge.  And go ahead and screw on the lids as tight as you want.

After that, you can move the jars, wipe off any hard water residue if you need to, and tie a pretty little bow on top if you want to give them away as homemade gifts.

~

Super simple home canned strawberry jelly. (Small batch recipe)  |  prettyhungryblog.com

~

Bada bing!  You’ve made jelly!  I was totally surprised by how not a big deal this was.  There was barely any mess to clean up at all!  And the jelly only calls for a few ingredients.  It’s super doable and very empowering.  Now that I’m comfortable with the process, I have no doubt I’ll be making jellies of other sorts anytime fresh fruit goes on sale throughout the year.  I hope this tutorial helps you out. :)  I know it can be intimidating to try a new cooking method (especially when there’s a risk of jars exploding), so I wanted to be sure and walk you through every step.

We Caseys met for Christmas a bit early this year… so I happen to know that Uncle David LOVED his present!  He’s fairly certain these two jars will be gone within a month, though, so I may have to grow a few more berries next year.  (Truth be told, I grew plenty.  I just ended up eating a few too many during the months I was supposed to be setting them aside.  Oops?)

Let me know if you try it out… I’m rootin’ for ya!

Hope you have a sweet, sweet holiday,

Carissa

~

P.S. Here’s the printable in case you wanna print this baby out!

Small-Batch Strawberry Jelly
 
Canning at home couldn’t get easier than this recipe for simple strawberry jelly. Just a few ingredients and two jars. Savor the sweetness of summer berries all year-round! Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman- Ree Drummond.
Author:
Ingredients:
  • 1⅓ (slightly heaping) cups mashed strawberries
  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 14 g. powdered fruit pectin
  • ½ Tbsp. butter
Directions:
  1. Place 2, 8-ounce mason jars in a large pot of hot water (submerged.) Bring to a low simmer.
  2. Simmer center lids in separate, small saucepan full of water.
  3. Place mashed strawberries and lemon juice in a separate pot. Stir in pectin until dissolved. Bring strawberries to a strong boil.
  4. Add sugar all at once, then return mixture to a full boil that can’t be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute 15 seconds.
  5. Skim foam off the top and discard
  6. Remove one jar at a time from the simmering water, emptying water back into the pot. Using a wide-mouth funnel, fill each jar with jam, being careful to keep the liquid/fruit ratio consistent. Fill jars so that they have ¼-inch of space at the top.
  7. Run a knife down the side of the jar to get rid of air bubbles and disperse fruit.
  8. Wipe rim of jar with a wet cloth to remove any residue or stickiness.
  9. Remove center lid from simmering water and position it on top. Screw one of the lid rings onto it, but do not over-tighten!
  10. Repeat with other jar. If second jar has more than ¼ inch of head space when jelly runs out, do not boil & seal it. Simply store in the fridge. If both jars have the correct amount, then lower them back into the water (submerged).
  11. Place lid on pot, then bring water to a full boil. Boil hard for 10 to 12 minutes.
  12. Turn off heat, remove lid, and allow jars to remain in hot water for an addition five minutes.
  13. Remove jars from water using a jar lifter or grippy tongs, and allow them to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
  14. After 24 hours, remove lid rings and check the seal of the jars. Center lids should have no give whatsoever. If any jars are not adequately sealed, store those jars in the fridge.
  15. Go ahead and tighten screw bands back into the jars and wipe off any hard-water residue. Store in the pantry until you’re ready to enjoy your homemade jelly!

 

.

.

.

You might also enjoy…

Mini Strawberry Vanilla Pies

Mini Strawberry Vanilla Pies

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

*Note: This post contains affiliate links.  See my disclosure here.

 

 

 

 


About Carissa

Pretty/Hungry is a resource for anyone who wants to make delicious, healthful, & beautiful food. Cooking is an art form, and the food is the art. Send me an e-mail at ccprettyhungry@gmail.com. Let's make beautiful food together!



I Love Hearing from You!

3 thoughts on “Small-Batch Strawberry Jelly!