Nothing embodies the flavour of summer more than fresh, sweet, ripe strawberries. And right now the fields are full of these gorgeous little ruby red gems! So many varieties to choose from and almost as many ways to prepare them – try them on the grill skewered between plump chicken breasts and tangy red onion, as a filling for Strawberry Shortcake, or on vanilla ice-cream with a touch of fresh cracked black pepper and a drizzle of balsamic reduction…oh my! And the best way to keep that sweet summertime flavour all year round is to preserve the little darlings in a delicious home-made jam. This recipe is a low-sugar variety that relies more on the ripeness of the fruit than on an artificial sweetener, and the natural compliment of the vanilla enhances the flavours making it even more strawberry-y. Use fruit that is at its very ripest: farmers markets and berry farms often sell off ‘jam flats’ of imperfect and over-ripe fruit.
There are several different brands of natural pectin, but the Pomona line offers a different mix that achieves gelling with a natural calcium component rather than sugar content, allowing for true low and no sugar preserves. The ingredients below use a full package of pectin: follow the Pomona instructions if varying quantities.
Makes 18 x 1 cup (250 mL) jars
- 9 lbs (4 Kg) ripe strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters (little ones can be dropped in whole)
- 4 lbs (1.8 Kg) organic cane sugar
- 1 cup (250 mL) real vanilla extract
- 1 cup (250 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 pkg. Pomona natural fruit pectin
you may enjoy these too:
- Brandied Eggnog Cookies
- New Potatoes with Caramelized Onions, Golden Raisins, & Pinenuts
- mulled winter nuts
- sun-dried cranberry & hazelnut stuffing
- Minted English Peas & Carrots