Friday, June 25, 2010

strawberry extravaganza

As I so often do, I ended up going a little overboard with the canning this weekend. This month's can jam is everything berries, and I'm thinking I should pick just one of the following recipes for my entry... it's so hard to decide, though! They all turned out wonderfully, but I think that the "oven-roasted strawberry jam with rosemary" is my favorite.

Two weeks ago, we went to our usual Sunday market, sampled strawberries from all the organic vendors, and found only one place with truly flavorful ones. (It's been so wet here that the berries are a little watery, I think.) Typically, they were also the most expensive strawberries at the market. I asked if they had any seconds, and it turns out that they bring all their seconds to the Saturday market and sell them by the bucket. With no idea what size that bucket was, we tentatively decided to go to the Saturday market the following weekend.

Here is what we ended up with on Saturday:

It wasn't labeled (other than with price - it was $20), and I neglected to weigh it or otherwise figure out precisely how much was in that big bucket. It took us about 3 hours to hull and quarter all the berries, enough to make 20 half-pint jars of jam, plus however many berries we ended up eating as we worked.

We spontaneously decided to break in our new pasta maker, so partway through the hulling process, Aaron came over and he and Victor made linguine:
(why didn't we cover the chairs? no idea)

Meanwhile, I divided the strawberries for different recipes and let them macerate. We ended up with:
For all but the oven-roasted jam, I used some Pomona's Pectin to thicken the liquid slightly. It still has a "European-style" lightly-gelled set, but I didn't need to fuss with it as much to get there. Because I hadn't originally intended to use the pectin, I ended up mixing the pectin power with just a few tablespoons of sugar and blending that in for the last few minutes of boiling. In a few cases that led to some clumping, so I think that in the future I'll try harder to remember to add it when I add the bulk of the sugar (prior to letting the strawberries macerate).

Lazy Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam
adapted from Saving the Season

My adaptations mostly had to do with forgetting to keep the rhubarb and strawberries separated during the maceration (hence the "lazy" in the recipe title).

  • 1 lb rhubarb, sliced
  • 1.5 lb strawberries, hulled and quartered lenthwise
  • 2 C sugar (if using Pomona's Pectin, mix with 2 tsp pectin powder)
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • optional: 2 Tbsp Kirschwasser
  • optional: 2 tsp calcium water (only if you're using Pomona's Pectin - if you are, this comes with the pectin powder)
Toss prepared rhubarb and strawberries with sugar, zest, and juice. Allow to macerate at least an hour (mine sat for maybe 5 hours - overnight would be fine, too).

In a large sauce pan, cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring to prevent scorching. If you want a little fruity kick, add the Kirschwasser, too. (If you're using Pomona's Pectin, add the calcium water early in the cooking process.) During the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, stir with a whisk to break up the fruit into a sauce, if desired.

Ladle into hot prepared jars, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
yield: 5 8-oz jars

Oven-Roasted Strawberry Jam with Rosemary
adapted from Complete Book of Small-Batch Preserving

  • 8 C strawberries, hulled and quartered lengthwise
  • 4 C sugar
  • 1/4 C lemon juice
  • 4 sprigs clean fresh rosemary
Combine berries and sugar and allow to macerate, two hours (up to a day or so). Stir to mix in the sugar occasionally.

In a large saucepan, add lemon juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat a simmer, and continue cooking for 10 minutes.

Pour into two 13" x 9" pans, add two sprigs rosemary to each pan, and bake in a warm oven for 10-12 hours. (The directions say to use a 150F oven - the lowest my oven will do is 170F, so that's what I used. It worked fine. If using a convection oven, apparently the process only takes 2-4 hours.) Stir occasionally. Keep baking until the mixture has thickened and will form a gel.

Ladle into hot jars, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
yield: 4 8-oz jars


  1. I'll HAVE to try the Key Lime Strawberry Jam - sounds yummy!

  2. Wow - that's a boat load of strawberries you've got there! I'll have to try the roasted jam with rosemary (which I have a ton of in my garden). I got 8 more baskets of strawberries from my CSA yesterday and am considering options! I'm following the can jam but unofficial since I signed up late. Here's my recipe!

  3. Paige, that strawberry-lemonade sounds great! I'm so jealous that you have your own lemon tree, too. Yum!

  4. I'm assuming you remove the rosemary before canning it?
    PS its been in convection oven for 2.5 hours and it still looks like it has a lonnnng way to go...I turned up the was on 170, like yours its the lowest it can at 200 now...

    1. Hi Renee! The rosemary basically fell apart, so although I did remove the stems, there were definitely rosemary leaves in the finished product.