I don’t eat a lot of jam, so when I eat jam, I eat strawberry. And because I don’t eat it very often, I also don’t reduce the sugar. It’s jam, for the love of all things holy, the point isn’t for it to be healthy.
I make this jam once a year with fresh strawberries from Seedling Orchard. The farmer, Peter Klein, is pretty meticulous about picking his fruit ripe, so that it is actually yummily sweet. And when you are making strawberry jam, it is important that your strawberries are yummily sweet and not gross from a plastic Driscoll plastic clamshell — even a Driscoll plastic clamshell from Whole Foods in the height of the season.
Strawberries are one of the sadder victims of industrialized food and I really encourage anyone, as a first step in getting control of the amount of crap in your diet, to just plain old don’t buy crappy strawberries. That includes Driscoll strawberries. They just don’t taste the way they are supposed to and most are grown in the most horrifically toxic environments. Since no one needs strawberries to live, it is a really great first step.
if when you get your hands on awesome strawberries grown by someone like Peter Klein, I recommend you make this jam. I would argue that this jam actually makes the berries taste better. Though when I say that, I am of course not counting fresh strawberries macerated in brown sugar and served atop perfect biscuits with freshly whipped fresh cream.
This recipe isn’t really a recipe. It is more a method for producing awesome jam of any sort.
5 pounds strawberries
1/2 cup lemon juice
5 pounds sugar
- Place fruit in a heavy saucepan and mash with potato masher.
- Bring to a rolling boil, stirring frequently. Boil for 10 minutes.
- Add lemon juice and sugar, heat again to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar.
- Remove from heat, cover with parchment and place in fridge overnight.
- Next morning, strain out the liquid and bring to a boil, reduce until gel stage (you can do the plate trick, the spoon trick, or just heat to 215F, which is what I do because it is the easiest way to not fuss with learning tricks and just cook).
- Turn off heat, add the strawberries, the temperature will rise to 220F, don’t worry.
- Ladle in jars, cap and place upside down on a towel to seal. (This is method of not putting jam in BWB is illegal in the eyes of the canning police but trust me, you don’t want to overcook your jam, it will taste much, much, oh so much better.)
- On toast or a perfect biscuit with sweet butter.
- In a jellyroll cake, so it is uncooked.
- I am sure you could dollop it on thumbprint cookies but I don’t make enough jam to have to deal with that kind of fuss and anyway, you’d have to cook it if you added it to the cookies. Don’t cook your jam!