Our Favors, Part II

8:44 AM

Making our favors was definitely one of the most successful and rewarding DIY projects that we've done for the wedding. It was really fun to be able to do this together and it's definitely something we plan on making again in the future!

We faithfully followed the Pioneer Woman's recipe for strawberry jam and she did not fail us. The family that has sampled the jam has told us we need to go into business, so we're taking that as a good sign. For much more detailed directions with awesome photos, see Part I and Part II.

What you'll need:
5 cups hulled mashed strawberries
7 cups sugar
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 49g package powdered fruit pectin

I also highly recommend getting the Ball canning pot and the utensil kit that I talked about in Part I.

The above filled about 24 of the 4 oz. mason jars we used for our favors. If we were making them for ourselves, we would use the 8 oz. jars, and obviously end up with less completely jars. Below are the directions if you were to use the 8 oz.jars. If you were using the 4 oz. jars like we did, you would have to do the canning process twice because there isn't enough room in one pot to can the entire batch at once.

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.

*Before you add the sugar, put in half a pat of butter. This is a tip from the Ball Bible and I highly recommend not skipping this step. It reduced the foam on top and made it much easier to skim off.*
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.

*This was the step that took the longest for us. We have a small, glass top stove and it took forever to heat a pot of this size to boiling.*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.

*This is when you'll hear that glorious "pop" to know that your jars have properly sealed.*
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 finished the jam off with a custom label and some twine, but I'll wait until wedding recaps to post a picture of the final product. We have to save some things for our guests to see first!

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