Red Red Strawberry (Vanilla) Jam

 

We live in the Pacific Northwest, so we take strawberry season very seriously. After a long, dark, rainy winter there is nothing more fortifying and life-affirming than strawberry season. It’s impossible to resist them, and this jam is one thing we make every year to preserve some of that audaciously fragrant and sweet strawberry flavor for the next long winter. 

 

When you have a flat of perfectly ripe berries, there is almost nothing that can “improve” them, so we keep it pretty simple, but a vanilla bean adds just a little something without detracting from the flavor of the fruit.

 

Red Red Strawberry Jam

 

About 4 half-pint jars

 

Place a small plate in the freezer. Wash 4 half-pint jars, rings, and lids with hot soapy water and rinse them well. Place a round wire rack, silicone trivet, or a folded dish towel in the bottom of a large pot. Place the jars in the pot, fill the pot with water to cover the jars by 2 inches, and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes at altitudes of 1,000 feet or less. At higher elevations, boil 1 additional minute for each 1,000 feet.

 

Combine in a wide heavy pot or Dutch oven:

5 cups sugar

3½ pounds strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped

¼ cup bottled lemon juice

(1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise)

Stir the mixture very gently with a wooden spoon over low heat until it has “juiced up.” Increase the heat to medium-high and stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Boil rapidly, stirring frequently, until it reaches the jelling point: The jam should be visibly thickened and fall in heavy, slow drops from the spoon. 

 

If you aren’t sure, test the jam by spooning a small amount onto the chilled plate. Take the jam off the heat, wait 3 minutes, then take the plate out of the freezer. Pull a finger through the center of the chilled preserves. For a soft set, the sides should glide back together slowly. For a tender-firm set, the sides should not move and the surface should wrinkle when gently pushed.

 

If the jam has not reached the jelling point, place it back on the heat and continue to cook, testing it frequently, until it reaches the jelling point.

 

Take the pot off the heat. If using the vanilla bean, remove the pod, scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add them back to the pot, then discard the pod.

 

Ladle the jam into the prepared jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Wipe the jar rims. Place lids on the jars and screw on the rings until fingertip-tight. Place in the water bath, bring the water to a boil, and boil for 10 minutes.

 

Remove the jars from the water bath and let them cool completely. Test the seals: The lids should be depressed. Remove the rings from the jars and store the jars in a cool, dark place for up to 2 years.

 

After opening a jar, refrigerate it and use within 2 months.

A New Generation of JOY

 

In the nearly ninety years since Irma Rombauer self-published the first Joy of Cooking, it has become the kitchen bible, with more than 20 million copies in print. This new edition of Joy has been thoroughly revised and expanded by Irma’s great-grandson John Becker and his wife, Megan Scott. They developed more than six hundred new recipes for this edition, tested and tweaked thousands of classic recipes, and updated every section of every chapter to reflect the latest ingredients and techniques available to today’s home cooks. Their strategy for revising this edition was the same one Irma and Marion employed: Vet, research, and improve Joy’s coverage of legacy recipes while introducing new dishes, modern cooking techniques, and comprehensive information on ingredients now available at farmers’ markets and grocery stores. Joy is and has been the essential and trusted guide for home cooks for almost a century. This new edition continues that legacy.

 

On Sale November 12, 2019

Hardcover

List Price $40.00 (price may vary by retailer)

eBook

List Price $19.99 (price may vary by retailer)