I had bought 3lbs of strawberries on sale last week with sorbet in mind but for some reason, jam was all I could think of when I got home. A pound was eaten straight out of the container with a drizzle of honey, but I was torn on what to do with the rest. So I took to my Facebook page
and created a poll - to my surprise, jam received the most votes! Perhaps everyone's getting tired of seeing ice pops and sorbet like I was... even though we could really use it this week here in New York.
Homemade jam was something I've always wanted to tackle in the kitchen, but the whole sterilizing/canning process intimidated me. Thankfully, I recently discovered "refrigerator jam" - which is basically just the term given for jam that has not gone through the canning process. It's a quick and simple alternative to creating luscious jam at home using any seasonal fruit.
I'm thinking plums or peaches next... what kind of jam do you like?
Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
Yield: 2 1/4 cups of jam
2 lbs strawberries, rinsed and hulled (about 3 cups chopped)
1/2 cup sugar, divided
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons honey
In a large, non-aluminum bowl, toss the chopped strawberries with 1/4 cup of the sugar and the lemon juice. Cover and allow to macerate overnight in the refrigerator. This will bring out the natural juices of the strawberries.
The next day, heat the macerated strawberries in a medium sauce pan with the rest of the sugar as well as the honey. Bring to a rolling boil and turn the heat down to low-medium. Use a potato masher or wooden spoon to mash down the fruit in the pan while cooking.
(For a smoother jam, take berries off of heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Then, carefully pour into blender or food processor and pulse until desired consistency.)
Stirring occasionally, continue to cook berries on low for about 45 minutes or until mixture has thickened. To check if the jam is ready, drop a spoonful of jam onto a plate and tilt slightly - it should slowly glide down the plate and not be runny.
Spoon jam into glass jars to refrigerate or plastic containers to freeze. If refrigerating, jam can be enjoyed up to two weeks.
Sources: The recipes I used as guides for making this jam were from Leite's Culinaria and the kitchn, however I ended up winging it since I wanted a chunkier, tart jam. You may adjust the amount of sugar/honey and lemon juice to your taste.