When we bought the strawberries at the farmer’s market for our strawberry caprese salad, we had a pint and a half of strawberries left over. They were so ripe they left juice stains on the pint boxes. I said, “How about we make jam?” And Jon agreed. What else are you going to do with that many strawberries? (I will admit I was tempted to split the spoils with Jon and just sit down and eat them. Jam was a much better idea.) We looked online for a recipe, and found this one from Ina Garten. We love Ina, but there was too much sugar and lemon for us, so we went to Sauvie Island, here in Portland, and determined to get more strawberries (and raspberries!). We ended up with around 7½ pounds of strawberries bursting with sweet juice.
After adapting the jam recipe for our own tastes (like we do), we ended up with our favorite strawberry jam ever. It’s sweet, but not overwhelming. It’s floral and the strawberry flavor is bright, but not cloying. It’s perfect on toast by itself, and it’s even better with a savory element, such as peanut butter or chèvre. We’ll be making this for many summers to come.
- 7 lb (3.2 kg, about 9 pints) ripe strawberries, hulled and halved
- 5 cups (2.2 lb/1 kg) white sugar
- zest of 4 lemons
- juice of 3 lemons
Cook sugar, lemon juice and zest over low heat stirring constantly until sugar is completely melted, about 10 minutes. Add strawberries and stir until combined. Let simmer on low heat for 20–30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Jam is done when the juice gels when you put it on a cold surface (we used a plate in the freezer for this). Remove from heat. If strawberries are too chunky, use an immersion blender to achieve desired consistency. Use a canning funnel to put in pint jars. If not using immediately, you will need to preserve it. If canning see instructions here. If freezing, put into freezer-safe containers (most wide mouth canning jars will work for this, just leave room at the top to account for expansion), and freeze after cooling completely.
Yields a little more than 7 pints.