As spring flirts with New York City, and crocus errupt with joyful shocks of color amongst the asphalt, it felt like time to start making some test batches of jam! Hot Mess strawberry jam is a deep ruby red color, glowing like a jewel after being cooked down to caramelized perfection.
This is a very simple recipe, and so delicious!
8 cups strawberries, hulled (fresh picked or frozen after being fresh picked is best; small if can get them)
6 cups sugar
Sterilize jars and lids in hot, almost boiling, water to cover until ready to fill.
Crush strawberries lightly (depending upon how chunky you like it). Bring to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes.
Add sugar and lemon juice and simmer, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Bring to a full boil and cook, stirring very frequently, making sure not to let bottom scorch, and skimming off any foam. It's done when it becomes slightly thickened and a teaspoon of jam begins to gel when dropped on a chilled plate, after about 10 to 20 minutes of boiling.
Ladle hot jam into jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of top. Wipe rims with a dampened cloth and seal with lids.
Put jars in a water-bath canner or on a rack set in a deep pot. Add enough hot water to cover jars by 2 inches and bring to a boil. Boil jars, covered, 10 minutes, and transfer with tongs to a rack. Cool completely and make sure they are sealed (you'll hear the loud pop!). Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.