Friday, April 23, 2010

More Strawberries, Different State

I've waxed poetic about Florida strawberries, but in hindsight, I have to confess that it's simply because they weren't apples or oranges or lemons!  Winter is a long time for a preservationist, and this one, with its monotonous gray skies and frequent snow has been especially long.  I drove by a produce market Tuesday that had "SC STRAWBS" on its sign, and I squealed with delight.  The Florida strawberries had a weird vegetable aftertaste, I imagine from being so travel-worthy.  The jam wasn't bad, mind you!  I ate 3 jars in as many weeks!  It's flying off the gift shop shelves!  But it was lacking.
  I bought 20 buckets of South Carolina strawberries yesterday at Horn of Plenty, about 100 pounds worth.  I hulled them all and tossed them with sugar and lemon juice and left them to stew in their own juices overnight.  Today, they will be jam, and I'll stop by HoP for 20 more buckets to make a batch for tomorrow.  These strawberries are delicious.  I ate a few from each bucket as I hulled, and they are so superior to the FL's!
  I'll also make some pickled beets and strawberries, always exciting and cheerful, if I can find some beets that aren't so over-wintered, they have splinters.  Ooooh!  Maybe some baby beets!  I'll look and see.  Meanwhile, here's my strawberry jam recipe, so you can make some, too, and taste strawberries next winter when you're wondering where all that global warming went when you need it!
STRAWBERRY JAM   makes 10 12 ounce jars
10 pounds strawberries, washed and hulled
5 pounds Golden Cane Sugar
5 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice

Toss strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice and cover.  Let sit overnight, either refrigerated or at about 65 degrees F.  Wash jars in the dishwasher to achieve a temperature of at least 150 degrees F.  Rinse lids in soapy water and clear water.
Hold jars in the oven at 250 degrees F while you make the jam.  Pour all ingredients into a heavy bottomed stock pot and, stirring frequently, cook over high to medium-high heat, bringing to a boil and keeping at a good boil.  Stir frequently, being sure to keep the berries and sugar from sticking on the bottom of the pan.  Cook until strawberries are broken down and jam is thick enough to drip off the spoon in clumps.  If you have a Refractometer, the sugar concentration will be 65%.  The jam should reach 218 degrees F.  Pour immediately into clean, hot jars, to within 1/4 inch of the top of the jar.  Seal with lids immediately and flip jars over.  Turn jars right side up after 3 minutes, and wait for the sound of the PING when the jars have sealed.  Jam will keep for 12-18 months, unopened in a cool, dark place.  Once opened, jam should be refrigerated.


Tina said...

I think this is one recipe I must try! Love strawberries, in fact I planted some this year. Thanks Maggie!

Theresa said...

Oh god YUM! This recipe looks simple enough I might try too. And Oregon strawberries when they finally come into season at the local farmer's market...the best. ;-)

LA said...

OK...I've copied the recipe to my file, and I'll keep my eyes open for 10# of strawberries. Maybe I should start a patch for next year!

Bonnie said...

Sounds good. Maybe I will try and make some. I have never made jam.