This week my youngest started montessori preschool! I have the fortunate opportunity of teaching a little enrichment class once a week to these sweet little bits called “Kids in the Kitchen”. Each week I will be reading the children a book and then making some sort of a treat to go with it! Let me just tell you that cooking with 3-5 year olds is the treat, they are so cute! Since this was our first week I thought I’d read one of my favorite books, The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear By Don and Audrey Wood. I LOVE THIS BOOK… The words and illustrations leave so much to the imagination! I really just love it! After reading the book we used some of our kid friendly cooking tools made by Curious Chef to make Strawberry Freezer Jam!
The children cut, mashed, and stirred the strawberries until they were the perfect jam consistency! They were able to do all of this work themselves, which was the goal! Here is the link to the Word Document recipe I used and gave the children for Strawberry Freezer Jam:
1 Quart Strawberries
4 Cups Sugar
1 Pouch Fruit Pectin
2 Tablespoons Fresh Lemon Juice
- Stem and crush strawberries. Measure exactly 2 cups prepared fruit into large bowl. Stir in sugar and let stand 10 minutes.
- Mix pectin and lemon juice in small bowl. Add to strawberry mixture; stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Fill all containers immediately to within ½ inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers and cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use or can be refrigerated for one month or frozen for up to a year.
After we got home I had SEVERAL strawberries left. I decided to “can” some jam and used this recipe from The Pioneer Woman to do so:
Simple Strawberry Jam
5 cups hulled mashed strawberries
7 cups sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 49g package powdered fruit pectin
1. Place 8 or 9 8-ounce mason jars in a large hot water bath canner (or pot). Cover with water and bring to a simmer.
2. Simmer center lids in separate 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 (measure beforehand so you can add it all at once), then return mixture to a full (violent) boil that can’t be stirred down. Boil hard for 1 minute 15 seconds.
5. Skim foam off the top.
6. Remove one jar at a time from the simmering water. Pour 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 1/4-inch of space at the top.
7. Run a knife down the side of the jar to get rid of air bubbles.
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.
10. Put screw bands on jars, but do not overtighten!
11. Repeat with all jars, then place jars on canning rack and lower into the water.
12. Place lid on canner, then bring water to a full boil. Boil hard for 10 to 12 minutes.
13. Turn off heat and allow jars to remain in hot water for an addition five minutes.
14. Remove jars from water using a jar lifter, and allow them to sit undisturbed for 24 hours.
15. After 24 hours, remove screw bands and check the seal of the jars. Center lids should have no give whatsoever. If any seals are compromised, store those jars in the fridge.
We chose to share our jam with our favorite Montessori and Elementary school teachers, as well as some of our dear friends! OH and we kept a few for ourselves too… It’s such a treat!