I started making jam somewhat by accident. I originally bought a canner and associated tools so that I could get chicken stock out of the freezer and into jars. Last summer I decided to branch out and try my hand at making jam.
Making jam in southern California is more relaxed. There, strawberries are available virtually year round (I like to tell the story of asking in November when the last strawberries would be available and being told by the farmer that it was just the beginning of the winter crop). On the east coast, there’s a much tighter time period where fruit is available and it turns out that I almost ran out of strawberry season in which to make jam.
My mom used to make lots of jams and other canned goods when I was much younger but had gotten busy and fallen out of the habit. Given we were on the same side of the country now and that we were coming up to visit for father’s day anyway, we decided to do some strawberry jam making together.
So, this morning, we drove to a couple of farm stands. Mason-Dixon Farms was out of berries for the year (but did have some of the first eastern shore corn of the year) and Brown’s Orchards didn’t open for another 45 minutes. We decided to drive on for a bit because it was a beautiful morning and came across a sign proclaiming strawberries and pointing down a long driveway. At first we drove past, but a u-turn later, we followed the road long enough that we thought we might have passed it. But sitting in the back of a truck were several quarts of strawberries and a box to place money in. After we almost bought them out of strawberries, we headed back to Brown’s to pick up some of the blueberries that their sign promised.
We first made strawberry jam from a very simple recipe. Then we moved on to the strawberry lemon marmalade. I first stumbled across this last year as I bought more strawberries than the jam recipe I was using called for. Knowing Angela’s penchant for lemons, I decided to try my hand at marmalade. The fact that I made it again is description enough of how it turned out last year.
Credit to my wonderful wife for the photographs.
Strawberry Lemon Marmalade
Adapted from Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
1/4 cup thinly sliced lemon peel
4 cups hulled and crushed strawberries (from about 2 quarts of whole strawberries)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 package regular powdered fruit pectin
6 cups granulated sugar
- Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
- In a sauce pan, place the lemon peel and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and then boil for 5 minutes. Drain the lemon peel, discarding the water and reserving the peel.
- Place the crushed strawberries, lemon peel, and lemon juice in a large non-reactive pan. Stir in the pectin until it is well dissolved.
- Measure the sugar into a bowl.
- Bring the strawberry mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar all at once. While stirring constantly, bring the mixture to a boil that can’t be stirred down. Continue stirring and boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Skim any foam off the top of the marmalade mixture.
- Carefully transfer the marmalade into the prepared jars, leaving a 1/4″ head room. Wipe the rims, add the lids, then screw it in place. Put the jars into the canner.
- Bring the canner to a full boil, then process for 10 minutes. Remove the canner from the heat, allow to set for 5 minutes, then open the lid and remove the jars. Allow the jars to cool overnight.
Makes about 8 jars.