Make Sweet Thing Gourmet's strawberry jam with this kid-friendly, step-by-step recipe.
Even though Lauren and Zoe Touris' parents make jam for a living, the 12-year-old twins had never helped until Columbus Parent asked for a kid-friendly demonstration.
We had enlisted Kyla and Mark Touris, owners of Sweet Thing Gourmet, to show us how to make strawberry jam. They eagerly agreed, and even shared the recipe they use for the strawberry jam they sell at farmers' markets and specialty stores throughout Central Ohio.
Strawberries weren't in season when we got together, so we used store-bought berries. The Tourises highly recommend picking your own berries as a way to further involve your kids.
"It's a great family activity," said Kyla Touris, who learned to make jam from her mother.
*2 quarts of washed strawberries
*1/3 cup of dried pectin
*2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
*7 cups sugar
*Canning jars and lids
Note: This recipe will yield about 48 ounces of jam. When choosing the size of your jars, make sure you have enough to accommodate all of it.
1. Grown-up: Sanitize the jars and lids by boiling them in hot water for 10 minutes. Keep them in the hot water until just before you are ready to fill them. Use a large stock pot with a rack in the bottom so the water will boil around the jars.
2. Kid: Wash strawberries.
3. Kid with grown-up help: Hull the strawberries (that means remove the green leaves and stem).
4. Kid with grown-up help: Add one-third of the strawberries to a food processor and puree. Pour the pureed berries into a measuring cup. Continue pureeing berries until you have 5 cups of liquid.
5. Kid: Add the liquefied berries, pectin and lemon juice into another large stock pot.
6. Kid with grown-up help: Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Make sure to routinely scrape the bottom of the pot while stirring to keep the fruit from scorching. Also, try to avoid splashing the liquid up along the sides of the pot.
7. Grown-up: Remove the jars from the hot water and place them upside down on a clean towel. Cover them with the sides of the towel to hold the warmth.
8. Grown-up: When the mixture is at a full, rolling boil, add the sugar all at once.
9. Kid with grown-up help: Continue stirring until the mixture returns to a full, rolling boil. When it reaches a full boil, stir mixture for one minute.
10. Grown-up: Remove from heat.
11. Grown-up: Carefully remove lids from hot water.
12. Grown-up: Turn the water on under the stock pot used to sanitize the jars. Return the water to a boil.
13. Grown-up: Remove the foam from the top of the hot strawberry mixture. You can save this and eat it on toast or ice cream.
14. Kid with grown-up help: Using a glass measuring cup, fill the jars with the jam. It will be very liquidy. Leave about a 1/4-inch of empty space.
15. Kid with grown-up help: With a just-damp paper towel, wipe the top and exterior lip of the jar.
16. Kid: Dry the lids well.
17. Grown-up: Put a lid on each jar and tighten.
18. Grown-up: Add the jars to the stock pot of boiling water for 10 minutes.
19. Grown-up: Carefully remove the jars from the water and set them in cool, dark place to set up (i.e., to gel or get firm).