Greens, peas and strawberries, Oh My! 'Tis the season for farm bounty and beauty in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. For the next two days, I will feature two of my favorite summer recipes. Today, I offer up Classic Strawberry Jam and tomorrow's post will be for Summery Chicken and Rice, a fab one pot dinner perfect for outside dining.
These recipes are also being used in a program sponsored by the Le Creuset Outlet in Kittery, Maine that promotes local farms and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I was honored to be asked to participate in this program; it seemed like I natural fit since I love my Le Creuset cookware and because I love farmer's markets.
Marco and Lollie with beautiful Maine strawberries ready to be turned into jam. I did not even plan the red shirts, cute eh?
Classic Strawberry Jam
Makes about 8 cups of jam (or 8 (8-oz.) jam jars)
Nothing marks the beginning of summer better than a big pot of ruby red jam that fills the kitchen with strawberry perfume. My recipe is based on the one provided in pink, Sure-Jell Pectin box. I prefer the pectin made for reduced sugar preparations because you can use less sugar and more fruit, delivering a more intense strawberry flavor.
1 (1.75 oz.) box Sure-Jell Pectin for Reduced Sugar recipes (pink box)
4 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl, divided
7 cups hulled and sliced strawberries
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
generous pinch kosher salt
1/2 tsp. butter or canola oil (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together pectin and 1/4 cup of the pre-measured sugar. Set aside remaining sugar.
Add pectin/sugar mixture and strawberries to a 5.5-qt. Le Creuset Dutch Oven (or another large, heavy-bottomed pot). Stir well. Over medium-high heat, bring mixture to a full rolling boil, this means that the mixture will keep boiling even when you stir.
Add lemon juice, salt and butter, if using. The butter (or oil) is helpful in keeping foam down. Stir reserved sugar into strawberries. Stirring constantly, bring mixture back to a full rolling boil. Cook and stir for 1 more minute. Turn off heat.
Skim and discard any foam. Ladle jam into clean jars. Wipe rims and cover. Allow jam to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Jam will keep for 4-6 weeks in the refrigerator.
Alternative Method for True Canning:
Follow rice to step 5. Ladle jam into sterilized jars, wipe rims, seal with 2-piece lids. Screw tightly.
Lower jars into a canner, bring water to a gentle boil. Process jars for 10 minutes.
Cool jars overnight at room temperature. Check seals. Any unsealed jars should be refrigerated.