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June 9, 2010

I'm a Can-Can Canner! (Spicy Strawberry Jam)

Ok, so I don't REALLY know how to dance the can-can, but I can CAN!

Sorry - I'm done now, I swear...

I applied to be a host through houseparty.com some time ago. I've applied for a bunch and never got chosen and so forgot about it for a while until someone I knew actually got something. So I went back on and applied for the Ball Taste of Summer Party which included a ton of canning supplies including all the tools, a stainless steel bath, pectin, tons of coupons for people, etc. Seriously, I don't care if they ever pick me for anything again, this was the BEST!

I had talked to a couple friends and my grandmother just before getting this so it must've been kismet.

Fast forward to last Friday and my girlfriend and I canned for 5 hours while our boys played. It was so much easier than I ever thought it would be and the results were pretty amazing. We made a strawberry-hot-pepper jam and a cranberry chutney. Both were delicious. Here is the recipe for the jam. It's delicious poured over a brick of cream cheese and eaten with crackers. I'll post the chutney recipe next:

Strawberry Hot Pepper Jam:

  • 4 cups crushed strawberries (we put them through the food processor - I don't know if this is wrong to do or not, but it worked. Although I'm told it's why our fruit floated upwards during the settling - anyone know anything about this?)
  • 1 cup minced jalapeno peppers or other hot peppers (we did a mix of mostly jalapeno, a couple serrano and a few habanero. It's still not that spicy - next time I would probably use a few more habanero - or a less-sweet fruit)
  • 1/4 fresh squeezed lime juice (you can use lemon too - we thought lime would be a little more fun)
  • 1 (2oz) pkg powdered fruit pectin
  • 6 cups white sugar
  • 8 half-pint canning jars with lids and rings

Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot or canning bath and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat and keep at a boil for processing.

Meanwhile, place the strawberries, peppers, lime juice, and pectin into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once simmering, stir in the sugar until dissolved, return to a boil, and cook for 1 minute.

Pack the jam into the hot, sterilized jars, filling the jars to within 1/4 inch of the top. Run a knife or a thin spatula around the insides of the jars after they have been filled to remove any air bubbles. Wipe the rims of the jars with a moist paper towel to remove any food residue. Top with lids, and screw on rings.
Carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2 inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes in the pot with the heat off.
Remove the jars from the stockpot and place onto a cloth-covered or wood surface, several inches apart. Allow to cool overnight.


  1. I made this today and the taste was amazing but my fruit separated from the juice. Any idea why?

  2. Hi Anne! Thanks for trying the recipe. I'm not sure what happened but I did a quick search and found this: http://www.pickyourown.org/FloatingFruitInJam_WhatToDo.php