Strawberries were so plentiful and delicious this year that I found myself arriving home with flats of those glorious berries several times. We enjoyed strawberry shortcake for bedtime snacks, for breakfast, sometimes as an actual dessert and of course, a good amount of strawberry jam was put away for another season!
We had some quartered berries left over after company and didn’t think the berries would be at their best till morning if I simply refrigerated them. So, I weighed them, added some sugar, attached a note to remind me of the weight and how much sugar I’d added and put them in the fridge to macerate.
TIP 1) Using weights is a good way to increase the accuracy of your preserves, and I’ve found it easier to make adjustments when you don’t have exactly the amount of fruit the recipe requires.
TIP 2) If you’re going to use Pomona’s Pectin, be sure to reserve some of the sugar for jam day – when you will need to incorporate the Pectin Powder into it.
The next morning we decided that we’d try using some of the fresh Lavender from our herb patch and a Vanilla bean. Since I adjusted the ingredient amounts based on the weight of berries, the measurements were somewhat wonky, so I’m sharing the basic proportions, following the guidelines on the Pomona’s Universal Pectin. (A pamphlet with recipe guidelines for different sweeteners and processes is included with each packet!)
Yield: 4 – 5 8oz jam jars
This jam got such a wonderful response from the family. Often I’ll get general comments like “Yes, this is really good!”, but the older my taste testers get, the more specific the feedback – which I greatly appreciate. They agreed that the jam was just sweet enough, not so sweet that you can’t really taste the strawberry flavor along the other players. Having tasted Strawberry Vanilla Jam before, they knew this one was different, but couldn’t quickly identify the Lavender. Once they knew, they could taste it. I think I like it that way – not overbearing…just the suggestion of that floral savory element.