Did your strawberry plants produce abundant strawberries this year? Hopefully so! Whether you grow your own, go strawberry picking, or buy them at the store, many people take time to prepare enough strawberry jam to last them through the winter until spring brings revived strawberry plants and another harvest.
While strawberry jam is considered to be a member of the strawberry preserves family, it is not quite the same as a fine wine or expensive cheese. Strawberry jam has a limited shelf life. Eating strawberry jam that is a decade old will likely be hazardous to your health. In fact, I wouldn't recommend eating strawberry jam that has been on the shelf for five years.
But, there is one simple (and a little bit fun) tip that can extend the life of your canned strawberry jam quite a bit. Used with this strawberry jam recipe, your spring strawberries can satisfy your palate for quite while! I'll give you a hint: the strawberry jam tip involves a fiery furnace…
Ok, well, maybe not a fiery furnace, but it does involve fire. So, if you are not capable, trained, experienced, and brave, don't try this at home.
When fire burns, it consumes oxygen as it turns some combustible material into energy (heat). Using fire, one can vacuum seal his jars of strawberry jam. Removing the oxygen inside a sealed jar usually prolongs the shelf life of whatever is in the jar. So, here is the tip:
How to Vacuum Seal Your Jars of Strawberry Jam
Follow whichever recipe you choose for your strawberry jam. Prior to putting the lid on and sealing it, add a tablespoon of a combustible alcoholic beverage (vodka, gin, whiskey, etc.) to the top of the jam. Light the alcohol and quickly close and seal the lid. The fire will consume the alcohol and the oxygen leaving you with a vacuum seal that will help extend the life of the strawberry jam.
Of course, strawberry jam is so delicious, you'll probably not see it still on the shelf after a year anyway! But, just in case you do, a cool and dark shelf will likely keep the preserves preserved for up to five years.