The fact that they are the first fruit of the season in my garden makes go crazy for strawberries. After having to buy and consume half decent produce from the grocery store all winter, the strawberry and the delicious love it provides my soul is welcome. I must admit here: sometimes I do head out to the patch to have a snack and stay for 20 minutes. It can get a little obsessive.
Obsessions aside, I do pick often and freeze for the winter months as much as I can. I also make jam. Not just any jam, I've scoured the internet and books for the best jam recipes I can find. Here are some things I look for:
1. No pectin, I find a looser more natural jam to be more versatile. If it's a little unrestrained you can put it on cake, ice cream, even dip shortbread cookies into it (which is amazing if you haven't tried it). This means I often stand around the stove stirring for longer than your average bear; leading me to prepare myself with proper podcast listening during the jamming process.
2. Less Sugar I have a really hard time adding 6 cups of sugar to 4 cups of fruit. Don't get me wrong, sugar is awesome, but I want to taste the fruit and it's natural goodness. More sugar than fruit seems like sacrilege.
3. It must taste amazing Often the jams that I create in the summer are additions to gifts throughout the year. I have been known to start all over again if the flavour wasn't what I wanted, or the texture. Life is a game, jam is serious.
Now that you know my harsh criteria, perhaps you'll try some of these AWESOME recipes yourself:
Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
- 2 lbs fresh rhubarb cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 cups)
- 1 lb fresh strawberries, hulled and diced (about 3 cups)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
But most importantly: save a little for yourself so you can have some on toast, for quality check purposes of course (*wink*)
Makes: 4 cups