My only experience with making jam at home has been lazily watching my mom doing it. I love the jewel colors of gorgeous jams and the clean flavors of pure ingredients. When I make something at home, I know there are no dubious flavors or ingredients I cannot recognize…its just pure goodness. I love that summer brings with it so many choices of plump juicy fruit waiting to be made into jams, juices, pies or what ever you choose to do with them. So when I hit the jackpot with plenty of magnificent ruby colored strawberries at the farmers market last weekend, my first thought was Jam! So here I chronicle my virgin voyage into the world of jam making….
Strawberry Jam with Cracked Black Pepper
What you need:
4 cups Strawberries, washed, cored and quartered
2 cups Sugar
1 to 1 ½ tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
1 Lemon juiced
Getting down to business:
In a large heavy bottomed pan, add in the strawberries, sugar and lemon. Stir well and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it boils, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer uncovered. (Turn the heat down to medium low). Add in the cracked pepper. Keep stirring occasionally and remove any foam or froth that floats to the top periodically.
Let the mixture reduce to half its volume and has thickened.
You can cool the jam and serve it immediately or pour into clean sterilized bottles and store in a cool place.
The original recipe calls for three cups of sugar but I cut it down to two cups. I feel I could cut it down some more.
Since the recipe made two small bottles of jam, which has been moving quite fast, I prepped the bottles by running them through the dishwasher and heating them right through. I also set them out in the sun to ensure they were dry and heated through.
Don’t make the pepper too fine, as it would add too much heat to the jam. Keep it coarse.
Adapted from The White Barn Inn Cookbook