I love jam. There is nothing more satisfying and smile-inducing than having a muffin or piece of toast spread with your own preserves. It’s comforting and delicious, and the fact that you know what ingredients are in it makes it all the more delectable.
I grew up a grape jelly girl. Now, though, I’m opening up to other possibilities for use in various dishes and more importantly, I’m enjoying crafting my own flavors!
This particular recipe is suitable for the refrigerator or freezer without going through the canning process. Because it gets expensive for me since I don’t live in an area known for its fruit-growing possibilities, I’ve only made small batches before and never felt the need to can, but do as you please!*
Roasted Strawberry Refrigerator Jam
4 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
½ cup sugar, scant
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or balsamic syrup
1 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds removed, or 1 splash of vanilla extract
⅛ - ¼ teasp ground cardamom
Toss the strawberries in a bowl with the sugar, balsamic, vanilla, and cardamom. Let stand 10 minutes so the flavors can marry. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 250°.
Transfer the strawberries to a rimmed baking sheet or small roasting pan.
Roast for about 2 hours, until the berries are very soft and shriveled. Mix around once or twice as they cook.
Let the syrupy berries cool slightly. Pulse in a food processor or mash by hand with a potato masher to a chunky consistency. You ought to let the jam set up in the fridge, but there is no reason you can’t dip your little finger in now for a taste and bask in the glory that is this homemade goodness. Store in a closed jar or container for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.
PS. Homemade jam makes for a lovely holiday gift especially when paired with some homemade bread or muffins!
*Ironically after I began brainstorming this post, I was introduced to canning by one of my dear friends. She lives just outside of Vancouver with access to farm-fresh flats of berries and vegetables and when I went to visit the other weekend she and I made an afternoon of canning. We sent our boys out to go see Star Trek and us girls stayed home to make jam! She taught me the process and I must admit there is something wonderful about making jars upon jars of one recipe. Miss you, Kristine!!
|Working on some ginger-rhubarb marmalade|
|The boys infiltrated our kitchen upon their return!|