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  • Late-Season Strawberry Jam
  • Late-Season Strawberry Jam
  • Late-Season Strawberry Jam
  • Late-Season Strawberry Jam

Late-Season Strawberry Jam

Food | August 22, 2017 | Nik Manojlovich
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This recipe for LATE-SEASON STRAWBERRY JAM is enriched with the flavour of basil, mint and balsamic vinegar. Ready to try your hand at making homemade preserves? Let’s do this, together!

The weather in these parts has been abysmal – there I said it! We’ve had endless days of rain, overcast skies and little sun, and none of that is good for the growth of fruit and vegetables. I can’t imagine what our beloved local farmers must be thinking as they look out onto their fields and orchards.

Thankfully, most of the people I speak with remain resolute. We will make the most of this terrible summer and not let Mother Nature impede our plans of preparing and enjoying delicious food and drink.

This LATE-SEASON STRAWBERRY JAM might well be the answer to making a jam that still captures the essence of this beloved fruit.

Before we begin, a suggestion that you go HERE and review my previous post about home canning. Even first-time canners should feel a bit more confident about the process after reading it. Canning isn’t difficult, but there are some key steps you simply must follow. You can also head to either BERNARDIN or BALL for additional expert advice.

Here are my thoughts on preparing this jam:

STRAWBERRIES – Strawberries had a bum year, poor little things! They grew small, came in late and lack a bit of the mouthwatering flavour we expect this time of year. Don’t worry, this recipe helps them shine, regardless of their seasonal shortcomings!

NO PECTIN – Pectin is a thickening agent, naturally produced in the cell walls of most fruit. Pectin is now produced and sold in both powder and liquid form, and adding it to a recipe speeds up the thickening process, thus reducing cook time. Since strawberries have extremely low levels of natural pectin, I added one apple (high in pectin) to help it thicken. We may have to cook this jam longer, but it still captures the fabulous flavour of this wondrous berry.

BASIL AND MINT – I wanted to experiment a bit, so I added these two aromatic herbs. I love the result of the flavour profile – quite divine.

BALSAMIC VINEGAR – The addition of the balsamic vinegar balances the acidic flavour of the lemon juice and zest. It’s a subtle addition, but you’ll taste it nonetheless.

PLATE TEST – A few years ago my four amazing sisters and I converged on the cottage for a week of canning. Middle sister Dana showed us the “plate test”. Here’s the gist of it: place a plate in the freezer. When you think the jam is ready, grab the plate, drop a dab onto it and wait a moment. Now push your finger into the jam; if the skin of the cooled jam wrinkles, good sign! Then streak your finger through the jam and tilt the plate. If it just hangs there, you’re good to go! If it runs – or if the skin of the jam didn’t wrinkle in the previous step – it needs to cook longer.

DOUBLE TROUBLE – Speaking from experience, NEVER double the recipe for preserves, even if you have bushels of fruit on hand. Doing so will increase the cook time resulting in a dark, bitter preserve and no one will enjoy that.

MANY HANDS – This is a prime example of the old adage “many hands make for light work”. I suggest calling a friend in to help you with this recipe. You’ll prepare the ingredients in record time, plus have an extra set of eyes to determine when the jam is ready.

What else can I say – this jam is fabulous! Using 8oz. jars, you’ll end up with 8 to 9 total. Friends and family will squeal when you hand them a jar as a gift!

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out some of our other home canning recipes like NANCY’S APRICOT JAM and our very popular BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES recipe – both are fabulous!

You CAN do this! LATE-SEASON STRAWBERRY JAM is this summer’s surprise!

Ingredients & Amounts

  • 8 cups of fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and sliced
  • cups of granulated sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of two lemons (about 1/3 to ½ cup)
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Place strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a medium-sized, thick-bottomed pot and cook over medium-low heat until mixture boils slowly. Stir frequently. Once the foam dissipates, add apple, mint, basil, lemon zest and balsamic vinegar and continue to cook for about 30 minutes, or until a small amount of the juice gels on a very cold plate (see how-to above).
  2. Pour carefully into 8oz. canning jars and follow canning guidelines to seal properly. Here are mine for reference:
  3. For home canning:
  4. Submerge jars, funnel and ladle in a large pot of boiling water for at least 10 minutes
  5. Place jar lids and rings into a medium-sized bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 10 minutes. Dip tongs in boiling water for a few moments before using them to carefully remove sterilized jars from hot water.
  6. Place jars onto a clean work surface. Place sterilized funnel on top of the first jar and ladle cooked jam in using the sterilized ladle. Leave ¼-inch of space from the top. Tap jars gently on work surface to remove air bubbles.
  7. Place sterilized lid on top using magnet wand or tongs. Place ring on top and turn just until finger tight. Repeat process until all jars are filled.
  8. Transfer filled jars to boiling water and process for 10 minutes.
  9. Carefully remove jars from pot and place onto work surface. Cool jars for 24 hours before moving to a cupboard, or gifting someone special. Check lids to ensure raised centre has depressed, indicating a secure seal.
  10. Wipe jars clean and store in a cool, dark and dry place.

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Nik Manojlovich

Nik is the creator, host and brains behind Weekend at the Cottage. He loves sharing his wisdom and experience about the things that interest him most.

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