I was recently gifted an overload of strawberries: I bought four baskets from a vendor at the market, whose booth I shop at often, and he threw in two extra baskets for free, the equivalent of a carte de fidelité (loyalty card) in Paris. So I’ve spent the past few days washing, hulling, cutting and cooking my unexpected bounty.
I’ve been making a number of things with the gorgeous strawberries. But I also realized that while I have a Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam recipe on the site, I didn’t have a strawberry jam. So here it is.
Although I’m giving you a recipe for the amount of strawberries that I used, you can use the same proportions if you have just a basket…or a bushel. You’ll just need to do a slight amount of math. Only the cooking time will change, so keep an eye on things.
Jam-making is not something you walk away from and you need to rely more on look and feel, rather than exact times. Another thing about jam-making is that fruit and berry jams are always better made in small batches; the shorter the cooking time, the better the flavor. So if you have more than 2-pounds (900g) of strawberries, consider making jam in a couple of batches rather than one big one.
- 2 pounds (900g) strawberries
- 1 1/4 pounds (2 2/3 cups, 580g) sugar
- one lemon, organic or unsprayed
- optional: kirsch (or eau-de-vie, or crème de cassis)
- Wash and hull the strawberries and cut them into quarters. If some are larger or smaller, just make sure the pieces all about the same size.
- 2. Toss them in a large pot, such as a Dutch oven casserole made of a nonreactive material, with the sugar. Cut the lemon in half, squeeze the juice into the pot, and add the lemon halves to the berries. Stir well, cover, and let sit a couple of hours (up to 8 hours) at room temperature, stirring one or two times while they marinate.
- Put a small plate in the freezer. Turn the heat on under the strawberries to medium-high and cook the strawberries, stirring occasionally, as they reduce and the juices thicken. If a lot of foam rises to the surface, skim it away. When the syrup is the consistency of warm maple syrup – it will take about 10 to 15 minutes or so, depending on the pot and berries, turn off the heat and put a spoonful of the jam on the frozen plate and return the plate to the freezer. Check it in a few minutes; if it wrinkles when you nudge it, it’s done. If not, return the plate to the freezer and cook the jam a little more, testing it again. It may take a few times before you get it to the right consistency.
- When the strawberry jam is done, remove the lemon and stir in a few drops of kirsch, if using, then ladle the jam into the prepared jars.
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