With June comes berries. First the strawberries trickle in, slowly followed by blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and cherries. By mid July we’re practically swimming in berries–certainly not a bad problem to have. But as quickly as they arrive, bursting from every stand at the greenmarket, they soon disappear, leaving us with regret. Wishing we had just one more piece of strawberry shortcake, another bite of that raspberry cobbler or another scoop of blackberry sorbet. We try to fool ourselves with California berries during the winter months, but it’s just not the same. While we might not be able to get fresh local berries year round, we can preserve them. A jar of homemade strawberry jam is beyond perfection. You’ll never glance at those Welch’s jars again.
Over the past few years I’ve mastered the ordinary jams–strawberry, wild blueberry, even sour cherry preserves. I was ready for something a bit more out of the ordinary. I came across a recipe for lavender strawberry jam. As delicious as the floral scented recipe sounded, it had actual lavender flowers in it. I love floral notes, however the thought of crunching on flowers while eating my fresh scones with jam is not an appealing idea. Instead I decided to take things into my own hands, with a lavender simple syrup and a ton of fresh berries. A dash of pectin helps thicken the recipe to perfect spreading consistency.
Lavender Strawberry Jam (Makes about 3 half pint jars)
- 1/2 c water
- 1 c plus 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 c dried lavender petals
- 4 c strawberries, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp pectin
- 2 vanilla beans, scraped
In a small saucepan bring water and 1 cup sugar to a boil. Stir to make sure sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in lavender, cover and steep for 30 minutes.
Strain syrup into a large saucepan or dutch oven. Add strawberries and scraped vanilla seeds and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and continue cooking until fruit completely breaks down, stirring frequently so not to burn, about 15 minutes. Be sure to skim any foam that appears.
In a small bowl, whisk remaining tablespoon of sugar and pectin. Add to strawberry mixture, stirring vigorously until pectin dissolves. Increase heat and boil for an additional 5 minutes to let thicken. Remove from heat. Ladle jam into hot, sterile half pint jars, leaving 1/4″ headspace. Process in boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove from water and let cool untouched for 24 hours. Label and store for up to 1 year.
- So Berry Delicious – Strawberry Vanilla Bean Jam (theinvoluntaryhousewife.com)
- How to make Strawberry Mango Jam …& the idea for the name of my Blog! (happinessinastrawberryfield.wordpress.com)
- Dine with Me: Strawberry Freezer Jam (wildfirekisses.wordpress.com)
- Strawberry Bread (designtimesfour.com)