we still have one or two weeks left of strawberry season here in michigan but i have made myself vow no more canning jam. i have enough to last me the next three years. canning is like therapy to me. i finished my jam after otto had gone to bed and sitting at my kitchen table waiting for the pop of the cooling jar lids brings me immense joy. it’s one of those things that despite the business of the world, keeps me centered and connects me to our farm and community.
i learned to can or preserve as some people call it about 8 or so years ago. i signed up for a free class at williams sonoma and ended up leaving with my $100 canning kit (that I still use to this day) and i have been making all sorts of jam and pickles since then. this year i decided to opt out of my usual freezer jam (we ran out of room and will not have a single ounce of space once the cows at my dads get butchered, so i canned strawberry jam.
while i love the tart and sweet taste of just basic strawberry jam i couldn’t resist combing through my canning book mini library and finding some new recipes.
i’m a huge fan of the book saving the season with kevin west. i made all three of these jams from his book. note: you should never deviate from a recipe you plan to can. they have all been tested for PH and acidity which protects you from harmful and sometimes deadly bacteria. you should always follow safe canning practices and follow the recipe to a T. before you get started canning, it’s a good idea to read up on this article at foodsafety.gov , botulism is rare but you should still practice caution.
i went through two boxes of strawberries to make the following
4 half pints of strawberry rose jam
4 half pints of strawberry jam with elderflower liqueur
4 half pints of strawberry jam with black pepper and balsamic
4 half pints of strawberry jam with pinot noir
the only batch i did not can was the strawberry rose jam. that recipe is meant to be lower sugar and didn’t have enough to make it shelf stable so it should last about 4 months in the fridge. aka it’s going to be the first to be eaten. i wanted to try this recipe out though because it was based on the sunshine jam where in the south people use to let berries macerate under a sheet of glass for a few days in the sun. this one finishes off in the oven instead rather than the stove top. it tastes phenomenal and goes excellent with vanilla yogurt.
the remaining three recipes are practically the same base but with different mix ins. so many people have their own berry strategies but Kevin’s were seamless and simple to follow. not to mention that each batch of jam turned out perfectly.
strawberry with pinot noir
3lbs of ripe strawberries rinsed and hulled
2.5 cups of sugar
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp of lemon zest
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 pod of star anise
3 tbsp of pinot noir. I used a california pinot.
- after you have rinsed and hulled the strawberries, cut in half. combine in a bowl the berries, sugar, lemon juice, zest and spices and set out for 30 minutes.
- pour the fruit mix into a pan and bring to a boil over high heat. stir the pan with a whisk and continue to cook about 6-8 minutes breaking up the berries. add the pinot and continue to cook until it’s reduce the jelly point another 5 minutes or so.
- sift out the spices an whisk again. ladle into half pint jars with 1/4 inch headspace. seal and process for ten minutes.
*i was able to make a tad over the 4 points so i put it in a tiny container to enjoy right away
strawberry elderflower liquor jam
3lbs of strawberries, rinsed and hulled
2.25 cups of sugar
3 tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp of st-germain elderflower liqueur
- rinse and slice the berries. mix with sugar and lemon juice and set aside for an hour.
- bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat. store in the fridge overnight
- the next day strain through a colander and keep the syrup below. i let mine go about 30 minutes. pour the syrup in a pan and bring to a bowl and then simmer 10 minutes or until it reaches the jelly point. add the berries back into the syrup and simmer for a few more minutes. add in the st-germain and pour into 1/2 pint jars and leave 1/4 inch headspace. process 10 minutes.
strawberry and balsamic vinegar and pepper.
3lbs of strawberries rinsed and hulled
2.5 cups of sugar (makes up for no lemon)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp of black pepper.
follow the same recipe as above but omit the lemon juice and st-germain.
*again I was able to fill four full half pint jars and then some extra to eat right away. i love using the little weck jars for the bits of extra jam that didn’t make it into the jar.
i am excited to continue to use saving the season this summer. it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite books. I love kevins stories almost as much as the recipes he shares.2