..or what to do with too many strawberries…again!
In my defense…it has been a long and bitterly cold winter and the strawberries are so fresh and new (and not soggy!) and there are so many farmers selling them at the Collingswood Farmers’ Market (Buzby Farm, Fruitwood Farm, Muth Farm, Springdale Farm!!!!) and they smell wonderful when strolling through the market. Resistance, for me, is futile.
My husband and I started eating strawberries when I returned home from the market. We hadn’t had breakfast so I rinsed and sliced a quart and a pint box. And we enjoyed them. Me in my vanilla Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon. My husband plain in the bowl. A big bowl.
We had more at lunch. With ice cream this time.
And even more at dinner. Plain. (well, a little whipped cream..).
When I put all my other purchases away (cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, asparagus, green onions, snap peas) I still had a counter full of strawberries in those innocent blue paper boxes. I called my daughter and asked if she was missing some. Had I taken a few of her quarts by mistake? No. They were all mine. And after all we had eaten there were still four quarts of lovely, luscious strawberries left for me to clean and for husband and I to eat.
Enter refrigerated strawberry jam. No canning required. Simply cook down the berries until they are thickened, put the jam in jars, and refrigerate. And my research tells me this jam will be good for two weeks in the fridge.
8 cups of strawberries (rinsed, hulled, and mashed)
3 cups sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1. Rinse, hull, and mash your berries. You can use a potato masher or an immersion blender…how chunky do you want your jam?
2. Put the berries, sugar, and lemon juice into a large pot. Stir until well combined.
3. Bring the berries to a boil. (I started on medium high…and stirred very frequently so the sugar wouldn’t burn). This should take 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Boil the berries for about 15 minutes more. Continue stirring to keep things from burning but not as frequently as when you started the jam mixture.
5. While the jam is boiling, put a stainless steel spoon in the freezer. When the jam mixture has reduced by 1/3 you can test for doneness by putting the cold spoon in the hot jam. If the jam drips off the spoon in lots of individual drops, it is not ready. If the jam drops off the spoon in big goops, it is almost ready. If the jam comes off the spoon in a sheet or doesn’t drop off at all, it’s ready.
6. Take the pot off the heat.
7. The jam will set more as it cools.
8. Ladle the jam into clean jars. When the jars are cool enough to touch, put lids on the jars and put the jars in the refrigerator.
This jam is very fresh and chemical free. It will not be as thick as commercial jam, but it will be thick enough to put on pancakes and waffles and ice cream and cake and toast and…
By now there is a silly tune running around inside your head. But not that version…click the youtube link (apologies for whatever preview you see) here Richard Thompson singing That Song….