There is nothing quite like a homemade strawberry jam that highlights the sweet cloying taste of freshly picked, sun-ripen strawberries in every bite. Freshly picked, sun-ripen strawberries that can’t be found in half-frozen Vermont during the month of April. Therein lies my dilemma. The berries available to me, at this time of year, are fresh berries that have been picked and shipped before they were allowed to fully ripen or frozen berries. I have tried making this jam before with the fresh grocery store berries, and was sorely disappointed with the results. Sure the jam was sweet, slightly tart, and tasted like strawberries but it lacked that deeper, slightly mellowed flavor of a plump, juicy red strawberry picked on a bright June day. This time around I tried the frozen berries. I was pleasantly surprised. Not only were they easier to deal with, but the bright strawberry flavors really came through in the resulting jam.
You could even smell the difference. My entire house was filled with that joyous scent of a warm sweet berries. I could close my eyes, and be transported to a sunny June day spent decimating my Grandparent’s strawberry patch – one bright juicy berry at a time. It was never, of course, my fault. There are opossums around, or what about the coons? Maybe the chickens got loose? and if all else fails, there is always the little brother to take the wrap. After all, he was always right alongside of me for these adventures.
Recipe makes about 1 quart of jam.
- 1.5 lb hulled Strawberries
- 2 cups Sugar
- Place the strawberries and sugar in a high sided pot, and give them a quick mash with a potato masher or the like.
- Place the pot on the stovetop and bring it to a boil.
- Cook the jam for 15-20 minutes. You may want to use a candy thermometer to insure that it gets to the proper jelling temperature.
- Transfer into the jam into a jar that has been sterilized with boiling water, and seal with an equally sterile lid.
- Allow your jam to cool for a few hours before storing it in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks.
- It should take the jam about 24 hours to fully set up, so refrain from serving and shaking it about until then.
I jumped the gun on this one! I could not resist digging into the jam, and I didn’t wait the required 24 hour to let it cool and jell properly.