The following recipe is exactly the same as you’ll find in the enclosed pamphlet of a box of Bernardin’s No Sugar Needed Pectin. Check the box carefully as the different kinds of pectin are all in the same blue box, and mixing them up is easy.
4 cups crushed strawberries, approximately 2 baskets, or 2.5 lbs.
1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened apple, strawberry or white grape juice
1 pkg (49 g) BERNARDIN No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin
1 tsp. butter (to reduce foaming)
1 ½ cups sugar, optional (taste jam before you add the sugar and you decide if it’s sweet enough for you)
Prepare six 250 ml jars by washing and keeping warm until ready to use. According to National Center for Home Food Preservation, jars do not need to be sterilized if processing time is 10 minutes or more.
Crush strawberries using a potato masher. Measure crushed strawberries and fruit juice into a large, deep stainless steel saucepan. Whisk in No Sugar Needed Fruit Pectin until dissolved. Add butter. If using sugar, measure and set aside. Stirring constantly, bring fruit mixture to a boil over high heat. If using sugar, add now and return mixture to a boil.
Stirring frequently, boil for 3 minutes. Remove from heat, skim foam.
Quickly ladle hot jam into a hot jar to within 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) of top of jar (headspace). Using a nonmetallic utensil, remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if required, by adding more jam. Wipe jar rim with a clean, damp cloth, removing any food residue. Center sealing disc on clean jar rim. Screw band down until fingertip tight. Repeat with remaining jars.
When the jars are filled, place in canner and ensure that all jars are covered by at least one inch (2.5 cm) of water. Cover canner and bring water to full rolling boil before starting to count processing time. Process for 10 minutes. Remove the canner lid, wait 5 minutes, remove jars without tilting, and place them upright on a protected work surface. Cool upright, undisturbed 24 hours; DO NOT RETIGHTEN screw bands.
After cooling, check jar seals, sealed discs curve downward and do not move when pressed. Remove screw bands; wipe and dry bands and jars. Store screw bands separately or replace them loosely on jars, as desired. Label and store jars in a cool, dark place. For best quality, use home canned foods within one year.
Strawberry jam is notorious for “fruit float.” This happens after processing before it fully sets when the strawberry pieces tend to float to the top of the jar. It’s remedied by simply stirring it together when you open the jar, but here’s my trick. It’s not recommended by the canning experts, as it could potentially lead to the seal on the jar “unsealing,” so don’t quote me on this. After processing and the jam has cooled for about 45 minutes, turn the jars upside down to force the fruit pieces to redistribute through the jar. Set a timer for 30-45 minutes and turn the jars right side up. By now, the pieces should have been redistributed through the jar. As I said, fruit float doesn’t affect taste or shelf-life; it’s purely aesthetic.