PREPPING THE CANNING SUPPLIES
Wash jars and screw bands in hot, soapy water, then rinse with warm water. Meanwhile, fill canning pot with water and bring to a boil (this will be your water bath to sterilize and seal your jars so you’ll need enough water to cover the jars by an inch or two after using some water for sterilizing your lids).
Pour some of the boiling water over the flat lids in a saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. To sterilize jars: Once water bath is boiling, use jar tongs to place jars on an elevated rack or towel in bottom of the pot. Let boil at least 5-10 minutes then turn the heat off. Remove jars one at a time using jar tongs, pouring any water back into the pot as you place the jars on a rimmed baking sheet or counter to fill with jam.
MAKING THE JAM
Stem and slice strawberries, then crush them thoroughly using a potato masher or hands. Peel and mash bananas in the same way. Measure exactly 3¼ cups prepared strawberries and 1½ cups prepared bananas into a wide 6- or 8-quart saucepot. Stir in lemon juice, then pectin. Add butter to reduce foaming, if desired (it really helps).
Stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a full rolling boil on high heat (the bubbles should not stop when stirred). Quickly stir in all sugar, then return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, continuing to stir constantly.
Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with a metal spoon and quickly ladle jam into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops (bottom of the jar threads).Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with domes and screw bands on to fi ngertip tightness. Bring the water bath back to a boil and, using jar tongs, place jars on an elevated rack or towel in bottom of your canning pot (do not let jars touch the bottom of the pot). If water has evaporated and doesn’t cover the jars by 1 to 2 inches, add more boiling water.
Ensure water is at a gentle boil, then cover the pot with jars and let boil for 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on a towel to cool completely (jar tops will make a popping sound as they cool and seal).
After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with fi nger. If a lid springs back, the jar is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.
Find out more about Our Lady of Perpetual PIckles at facebook.com/perpetualpickles.