Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Makin' Strawberry Jam

I am making jam right now. Strawberry jam to be exact. I have been looking forward to this day ever since last spring when my friends Casey and Ned made the most amazing strawberry jam in the whole wide world. They called it spoon jam because you can just eat it right out of the jar. Or if you are more civilized, put it on pancakes and ice cream and, I am sure, the pedestrian peanut butter and jelly more than once. The jam was nothing short of amazing- complex and flavorful and bright and unlike anything I had ever tasted. I knew that as crazy as the spring always is for me, I needed to take some time and learn to make their spoon jam. If I didn't, I knew I would miss the magic and regret it all year. So here we are, eating chinese takeout and boiling, boiling, boiling away.

I wanted to bring you a recipe- I really did. This is not so much how it happens. We started around 5pm culling 6 flats of freshly picked, gorgeous strawberries.

We put the berries in pots on the stove, adding sugar- not very much to start- well, approximately 4 cups of sugar to 10 quarts of strawberries. When the pink foam subsided, (an important detail to remember) we added about 2 tsps of salt, 1 tsp of vanilla and 1 lemon- juice and zest to each pot.
Toward the end of the night, we started adding herbs like lavender and all kinds of mint to the jars for fun. Some jars were given the benefit of cardamom and cloves. A couple have rose water because I am currently a little obsessed with the combination- it might be the shared redness, I am not sure. I have no idea what the end result will be once it comes time to eat- immeasurable for sure- but I know it will be really fun to open the jars and remember this night.


  1. Sounds delicious! I'm currently making strawberry jam too and i'm looking for a good recipe that doesn't use pectin but still comes out with a good thick jelly consistency. I'm curious to know how yours turned out. So far mine have ended up as jam you can eat with a spoon too, but it's mostly because i've mad jam that acts like a soup!

  2. My girlfriend in Germany used to make her own Strawberry marmalade. which she made enough to last her at least 8 months (she loves it!) As far as I know she only used a special type of sugar and I don't know what else. BUt the taste was incredibly delicious and super fresh. I'll call her and ask her the details of making the marmalade.