Monday, June 20, 2011

Strawberry Jam

While May is National Strawberry Month, the juicy, red fruits don't hit their prime in the Northeast until June. Strawberries were at peak ripeness last week, so Edith and I went picking.

One of the best ways to ensure you capture a bit of summer is to make Strawberry Jam. The house smelled heavenly all weekend long with the aroma of jam stewing on the stove (something I look forward to all year long). Many people think jam is an overly-complex process. Truth is, you can't really screw it up. If it turns out too thin and runny, it becomes ice cream topping. If too thick, spread it into a parchment-lined 9"x13" pan, cut into 1-inch squares, sprinkle with sugar, and you have jelly candies. Jam does take a little time, and needs to be stirred often to prevent burning (but I just try to catch-up on emails or get through the stack of magazines in the kitchen while the jam is cooking). Here is a simple, all-natural jam recipe I hope you will try.


Strawberry Jam
Makes About 5 Pints*

8 cups strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
5 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups peeled, cored and grated apples (like Granny Smith - about 3 apples)**
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier (or any kind of quality orange liqueur or Triple Sec)***
2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1. In a large pot, combine all ingredients. Cook over medium-high heat until a boil forms. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon.

2. Reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan frequently, until bubbles become larger and slower (about 45 minutes to an hour). Jam should reduce to a little more than half to be considered done, or read at 220 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer.

3. Remove from heat and immediately ladle into hot jars or other containers. The jam can be canned (either in a hot-water bath or pressure canner, just follow manufacturer's recommendations) or refrigerated for about two weeks.

*This recipe can easily by halved to 4 cups strawberries, 2 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup apples, 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier, and 1 teaspoon salt.

**This recipe uses no commercial pectin. Apples are a natural source of pectin and help to thicken the jam.

***Orange or lemon juice is a fine alternative.

Stay tuned for more strawberry recipes (and be warned... June is National Dairy Month, so look out for recipes utilizing my favorite food group!).


Lynn said...

How fun!! I want to take my boys strawberry picking but still haven't gotten used to the growing seasons down here. Everything seems ready so much earlier than I'm used to back up north. Next year for sure we're going to do it. Every kid should sit in a field and pick (and eat) strawberries (and other yummy fruits and veggies!). I so want to try your recipe.

Prippy Handbook said...

I love these pics... so adorable!

While I definitely don't consider myself handy in the kitchen, you just talked me into trying out this recipe.

Hope your summer is super so far! xo

Christine said...

This looks easy enough that I think I could make a jar of freezer jam!

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

Lynn - I bet your boys would love it (at least for the first 15 minutes)! Blueberries are almost ready up here, can't wait!

PH - Definitely give it a try! Use the recipe for the "half batch" towards the bottom. It makes great hostess gifts (if it lasts that long)!

Christine - you're a kitchen wiz. I have no dounts you could do this with utmost success.

Alan Cooke said...

I love strawberry jam and that looks awesome!! That salad is making my mouth water too! It's after midnight and I'm starving =) Wish I had a farm!!

LindsB said...

your blog is like the mother load of canning recipes, I am so excited right now!! So happy you found my blog so that I can take advantage of your amazing cooking skills!!

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

@Alan come North and visit anytime!

@LindsB I'm so glad, too! I LOVE your blog and I hope you'll stop in to see "me" often!