I love the idea of sending your guests home with a gift they can put to use. Southern in style, strawberry jam is a classic gift and looks great in a mason jar. These jars full of jam would also make great decor in the center of your tables. While canning can be expensive, you can always try less expensive jam holders considering your guests will more than likely put their goodies to use right away. Jars help to keep the jam fresher longer. These gifts would also be great for shower hostess gifts.
Photo Source: The Pioneer Woman
This recipe is Ina Garten's of Barefoot Contessa and the Food Network. When you use her recipe you can be sure it has a pound of sugar and/or butter. It is a real doozy if it has both! Her recipes are always simple and extremely tasty!
3 pints fresh strawberries
3 cups superfine sugar
2 tablespoons orange-flavored liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
1/2 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and small-diced
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1. Place the strawberries in a colander and rinse them under cold running water. Drain and hull the strawberries. Cut the larger berries in half or quarters and leave the small berries whole. Place the strawberries in a deep, heavy-bottomed pot such as heavy Dutch oven and toss them with the sugar and orange-flavored liqueur.
2. Bring the berry mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring often. Add the apple and blueberries and continue to keep the mixture at a rolling boil, stirring occasionally, until the jam reaches 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. This should take 25 to 35 minutes. Skim and discard any foam that rises to the top. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature and then store covered in the refrigerator. It will keep refrigerated for at least 2 weeks. To keep the jam longer, pack and seal in canning jars according to the manufacturer's instructions.
To learn how to prepare your cans, you can check out the Pioneer Woman's tutorial.