Organic Strawberry Jam
Oh, the strawberries this year. While the cool wet weather this May and June kept many of the strawberries watery and bland, somewhere in California an organic grower got it right : the berries, just at the peak of ripeness, were deep red with a rich sweetness that reminded me of strawberry molasses. Given that my berries, as lovely as they were, were affected by the raincoast weather, I picked up a steal on 27 pints of those organic berries from Cali.
What does one do with 27 pints of strawberries? Well, first I made up the Strawberry Coconut Torte I just posted and served it with champagne and strawberries. I froze a bunch in freezer bags for future berry goodness and made some into Perfect No-Cook Strawberry Ice Cream and Strawberry Rhubarb Compote. And then I made jam two ways: Strawberry Jam and Strawberry Balsamic & Black Pepper Preserves.
Organic Strawberry Jam
I started with a basic recipe for light jam:
- 6 cups crushed strawberries
- 4 cups sugar
- 1 box Certo Light Pectin
- Hull berries and process in a food processor – pulse only 3 times per batch so it is the consistency of fresh salsa not mush.
- In a large stock pot heat strawberries until they start to release juices – add water is you need some.
- Combine fruit pectin crystals with 1/4 cup (50 mL) of measured sugar and add pectin mixture into fruit on the stove.
- Stir over high heat until mixture comes to a full boil. Add remaining sugar (I know, it’s a lot of sugar but it does really need it to bring out the bright strawberry flavour). Continue to cook and stir over high heat until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly. Wipe off hot spatters from boiling jam off your arms, the stove, the floor, etc. Prevent burns by keeping a wet cloth near you this is dangerous stuff, folks.
- Remove from heat and keep stirring. You can skim off the foam now as well.
- At this point I canned 2/3 of my batch as strawberry jam—ladle into warm, sterilized jars filling up to 1/4 inch (0.5 cm) from rim and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes / pint or as required for your altitude. Use the remaining 1/3 of the batch for Strawberry Balsamic & Black Pepper Preserves in Part 2.