Delaware U-pick Strawberries & How to Can Your Own Strawberry Jam

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child picking strawberries

It’s strawberry harvest time! Strawberries are now in season here in Delaware and it’s time to take advantage of all that delicious fruit coming in. Make a family day of it and go pick some local strawberries at these U-pick Farms (See below for our county picks!) and then, make some jam to enjoy!

New Castle County

Middletown has a real gem at 1343 Bunker Hill Road- Filasky’s Produce! U-pick strawberries are usually available from the last week of May through June. The market also sells a variety of seasonal fruits, vegetables, foods, and fresh flowers. You can visit their Facebook Page for more information.

Kent County

Fifer Orchards has a great U-pick strawberries experience! Reservations are required ahead of time. Purchase tickets for the experience on their website.

Sussex

Recently nominated for Coastal Lifestyle Magazine’s “Best in Coastal Style”, Parsons Farms Produce offers several U-Pick experiences, including strawberries. Find out more at: https://parsonsfarmsproduce.com/

How to make and preserve strawberry jam

There is NOTHING quite as good as fresh strawberry jam slathered on a buttered biscuit! And it’s EVEN better in the middle of winter! Strawberry jam is the perfect beginner’s canning recipe. It’s easy and you get to enjoy the results almost right away. A little tip though- plan on making double the amount of what you originally intended because you won’t be able to stop eating it!

I have to hide away jars for the winter because my family loves homemade strawberry jam so much. We use it on toast and biscuits, in thumbprint cookies, and swirl it into yogurt for a yummy treat. On more than one occasion, I’ve caught my kiddos eating it straight out of the jar by the spoonful!

However you like it, this classic recipe will be your go-to strawberry jam recipe.

(For those who do not want to include sugar, please visit Taste of Home for their incredible sugar-free recipe that’s great for diabetics or this chia jam for those who want a more health-conscious jam.)

Classic Strawberry Jam Canning Recipe

**If you plan on canning this recipe, make sure to gather and sterilize all of your supplies prior to beginning. You will need a water bath canner, mason jars, lids, rings, and canning tools. Clean washcloths and kitchen towels, and the ingredients for your jam.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of crushed strawberries
  • ¼ cup of lemon juice
  • 1 box of powdered pectin
  • 6 cups of sugar

To make and can the jam:

  1. Prepare your water bath canner and bring water to a boil. Sterilize your jars and lids and bands (hot soapy water) and keep warm (I usually let them sit in hot water) until you are ready to put the jam in. Lay a towel out on a counter surface that won’t be disturbed for at least 24 hours that you can place processed jars on later.
  2. Put the crushed strawberries and lemon juice in a large pot on the stove and stir the pectin in gradually, stirring to completely combine. Bring the mixture to a full, rolling boil, stirring frequently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom. A rolling boil means that when you stir it with a spoon, it won’t stop boiling. Be careful! The mixture is hot and will boil over if you are not watching it carefully.
  3. Once your mixture has reached a rolling boil, pour in your sugar and bring to a boil again, stirring constantly. Once it is boiling, time it for 1 minute and shut the burner off. Remove from heat and skim off the “foam” from the top. Your jam is now ready to be ladled into jars.
  4. Grab the jars and your canning tools (funnel, tongs, bubble stirrer, etc) and place them on a level work surface. Give your jam a final gentle stir and begin ladling it into the jars, leaving about a ½ inch headspace between the jam and top of the jar. Use the bubble wands to pop any bubbles in the jarred jam, wipe the tops of the jar rims (very important step!)
  5. Place lids and bands on to fingertip tight and place in your water-bath canner (water should already be gently boiling at this point). Place the water-bath canner lid on and process the jars for 10 minutes, turn off the heat, and remove the jars carefully, being careful not to clink them together on the side of the canner.
  6. Place processed jars on the towel on the counter and let them rest for 12-24 hours. You will hear a “pop” as each jar seals. After they have completely cooled, check the center of each lid, it should not pop up and down, but rather remain down. You can now store your strawberry jam in a cool dark cupboard for up to a year!

***If any of your jars did not properly seal, you can either try re-processing them with fresh lids or you can simply store them in a refrigerator for up to a month and use it up.  

When you’re ready, bake some buttermilk biscuits and enjoy your jam with them, you’re welcome!

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