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Here we go!

June 1, 2010

For our first jam of the season, we followed Kevin West of Saving the Season‘s two strawberry jam recipes.  An original plan to make his Fancy Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam was derailed by the unavailability of rhubarb in Connecticut.

We made 3 batches of basic strawberry jam.   We used the zest of 1/2 of a regular lemon rather than the meyer lemon recommended (alas, not all of us get to live in California…).  The got more that the estimated yield each time, 3 8-oz. jars and 1 4-oz. jar per batch of 2.5 lbs strawberries.  The recommendation to leave the berries to sit in the sugar works really well when you are making several batches.  By the time you have cut up all of the strawberries, your first batch has been sitting long enough.  You can then cook and jar in short order, even cleaning up a bit in some spare moments between tasks (mostly Jane’s specialty…).

1 batch of strawberry preserves with balsamic vinegar and black pepper was our last effort, which spanned overnight to allow the berries to “stew in their own juices”.   The vinegar and pepper was quite subtle, but the technique of letting the berries sit overnight, then cooking the strained juices first before adding the berries is a technique we will definitely try again.

Many of these jars have already been given away, but I will be trying some soon.  My goal this year is to develop more recipes that use jam to have more options than the toast/ice cream/yogurt uses of jam…


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