8 cups finely chopped, hulled strawberries*
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 box liquid pectin (both packets)
1/4 cup lemon juice
zest from one lemon
5 springs fresh English thyme
Prep jars/lids for canning. Stuff the thyme into a tea ball. Secure it to one side of a large, heavy bottomed pan. Add the strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and zest. Bring to a boil, stirring and breaking up any big chunks with the back of a spoon until it begins to reduce and thicken. Use an immersion blender if necessary (my chunks were so small that this wasn’t needed) to make a smoother jam. Stir in the pectin. Continue cooking at a low (rolling) boil for 2-3 minutes or until it looks jammy. Fill the jars leaving 1/4 inch headroom. Process in the hot water bath for 10 minutes.
Yield: 6-7 8-oz jars.
*About 64 oz of strawberries.
Strawberries mean jam, right? At least these did. We just picked them up yesterday but we are headed out today and have a concert tomorrow night so I know I won’t be using them in time. Finely dicing that many strawberries wasn’t terribly difficult but it was made much easier (and faster!) by this awesome strawberry huller. I know some people are very anti single use gadgets and honestly, I got this for free in some goodie bag but it saved the day! Minimal fruit loss, minimal effort, perfect hulling every time even with the smaller berries. I am a convert. I know people use knives or even this method involving a drinking straw but that always takes forever and maybe I have feeble fingers but I end up wasting too much fruit. Which I don’t mind too much when I am say, making a quick snack but when I am actually making something with them, I want the full berry! We just planted an herb garden so I had plenty of fresh, English thyme on hand. Which the guy selling it to us said was prettier and more fragrant than the French stuff, so that’s what we have on hand. I had made some lovely strawberry-thyme cupcakes a few years back and have been waiting for an excuse to make something with that combination again. Luckily it did just as well in jam form as it did baked into cupcakes. Freshly herbal yet not overpowering. make sure you use the tea ball or you will be fishing out molten bits of leaves. I tossed some lemon juice and zest in for good measure, it isn’t lemon-y tasting exactly but there is a note of tartness there.