We go every year to a U-Pick orchard down the road from us to pick strawberries as soon as they’re ripe.
They opened for the season this Saturday so Jordan packed up the kids and the harvest buckets and they picked 25 lbs of strawberries in about half an hour.
They came home, washed and hulled all the berries and then I took over. I usually plan to make about 24 pints of strawberry jam – this year I ended up with 30.
We love good old fashioned strawberry jam, but we’re also big fans of jazzed up flavors and so I always make several pints of each of these three flavors:
- Strawberry Vanilla
- Strawberry Balsamic
- Strawberry Lemon (though this year as I didn’t have lemons on hand, I made Strawberry Orange)
The flavors are incredible and so easy to put together (I almost always have these things on hand in the pantry). Next time you’re making strawberry jam, consider jazzing it up a bit!
I use the strawberry jam recipe from the Ball Book of Canning and Preserving. It’s simple, easy to follow, and uses pectin to set the jam. Though I love a natural no-pectin jam, when I’ve got a big batch of strawberries to use up, I like how quickly the pectin jam comes together. I got 30 pints of jars put up in about 3.5 hours.
You can follow nearly any recipe for strawberry jam and just add these flavorings as directed below.
*The ratios mentioned here are for a 4-5 pint batch of jam (using 5 cups of mashed strawberries or about 3.5lbs).
Strawberry Vanilla Jam
There are two ways to infuse your jam with vanilla:
- Split a vanilla bean lengthwise and add it to your mashed strawberries (at the same time you add lemon juice and pectin). Proceed as normal, removing the bean just before ladling the jam into jars.
- If you don’t have a vanilla bean on hand [raises hand], stir a tablespoon of vanilla into the jam after removing from the heat and skimming off the foam, just before ladling it into jars.
Strawberry Balsamic Jam
- Remove the jam from the heat and skim off any foam.
- Stir 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar into your jam before ladling it into jars. The balsamic vinegar will make your jam a lovely rich dark color and the taste is incredible.
Strawberry Lemon or Strawberry Orange Jam
As I mentioned earlier, I usually make Strawberry Lemon (the zing of the lemon is such a lovely complement to the sweet strawberries), but I didn’t have a lemon in the fridge, so I made Strawberry Orange instead.
Here’s what you do:
- Zest one lemon (you should have about 2 tablespoons)
- Add the zest to the mashed strawberries (at the same time you add lemon juice and pectin)
- Proceed as normal with your jam recipe.
Or if you haven’t got the lemon, zest an orange.
And if you haven’t got a whole orange, go ahead and mince the orange peel you’ve been saving in the fridge to make candied orange peels [this is what I did this week!].
Or if you’d already made candied orange peels and are willing to give them up for the sake of a beautifully delicious jam, mince those and add them to the pot [this would be amaaaazing].
How Do You Use Jazzed-Up Strawberry Jam?
Oh friends, the possibilities are endless.
- Slather it thick on toast
- Or english muffins
- Or bagels
- Or biscuits
- Stir it into yogourt
- Add a dollop to vanilla ice cream
- Make jam thumbprint cookies
Any way you use it, it’ll be delicious. Promise.