Got Strawberries? I suggest you make jam!
This post does not include a recipe, but instead a suggestion! If you, like me, start to hyperventilate at the sight of juicy, succulent, bright local berries, then you may, like me, get a bit overzealous in your purchases.
I had such a moment of dizzy overexcitement at the market this Sunday, which resulted in me coming home with enough BC raspberries and strawberries to give a lesser woman a stomach ache to be nursed in the fetal position. But to my dismay, and despite my very best efforts, I couldn’t eat them fast enough! (Must be something to do with my technique; too much breathing between swallows?)
This morning I woke up to admire my berry bounty when I discovered brown spots disgracing my beautiful strawberries. Noooo!
Once I recovered from the initial panic, I took several deep breaths, and asked myself: Jenn, what do you do do when life gives you blemished berries?
You make jam!
I didn’t use a recipe, which is why I don’t have one to share with you. I used the no-pectin, cook for a long time method which involves cooking berries (or any fruit) over low heat for enough time that the natural pectin they contain causes them to thicken up and gel without adding anything else but sugar. I only had about 2 cups of strawberries, to which I added about 3 teaspoons of sugar. You can add much more, if you like – I have seen recipes call for up to 1 cup of sugar per cup of berries. Blech, is my response to that. You can always add more sugar to taste, but you can never take it away.
My beautiful blemished berries, reincarnated as fresh strawberry jam. The jam must be refrigerated if not canned in sterilized jars, and could last for about 2 weeks (but won’t, I promise).