Those of you who've seen my earlier "double" fruit jams (like Double Blueberry) know this nifty trick of turning up the wattage of an already-delicious jam recipe. Unlike a standard combination of fruits, (Peach Melon Pignoli, Zesty Strawberry Blueberry , where the ingredients commingle their flavors, a jam gets dubbed double when the fruits stand apart.
How you ask? Stir in dried fruit after the base jam has come to a full boil, just before you go in for the kill with the one minute furious boil with liquid pectin. In the case of Double Blueberry, you don't see the dried pieces but the chewy little dried berries with their intensified flavor make their welcome presence known. In this recipe for Pear Strawberry jam, the dried berries keep their sweet flavor separate while adding their spots of brilliant red suspended in the golden mass.
Pears are great for winter jamming. Inevitablye firm (but I do try to avoid rock hard) they're easy to peel. That firmness carries through so you get more recognizable pieces.
Knowing that both pears and dried berries are available year 'round, I ordered up a big batch of multi-purpose "Bits of Berry" labels from My Own Labels . So I can use up any dried blues, rasps and even crans left over from other endeavors. This pear jam was just begging for a bright counterpart and these slices of candied dried strawberries did just the trick. They were a thank you sample in my big mustard seed order from Nuts Online. Voilá — this festive beauty.
It's always open season on dried fruits added to fresh for your own unique combos. Here's how this one went down:
PEAR AND STRAWBERRY BITS JAM
3 lbs. firm pears (I used Bartletts) peeled, cored and chopped
juice of 2 lemons (@ 1/4 c.)
1 c. dried strawberries, thinly slice long way so you the pieces keep the distinctive heart shape
7 1/2 c. sugar
1 pouch Certo
When peeled, cored and chopped, you should have 4 c. of fruit. Get an extra pear or two just in case — as always, the proper ratio of fruit to sugar is essential for a good set.
In your heavy jamming pot or confiture pan, combine the pears, sugar and lemon juice. Stir together and keep stirring as you bring the mixture to a boil. When you achieve a good rolling boil, stir in the dried strawberries.
Add the Certo and give it a good and hard one minute boil.
Fill jars following standard sanitary protocol, and process in a boiling water bath for 5 minutes.
While the jam cools, invert before it comes to a full set. This way the strawberry pieces that have congregated at the bottom of the jars will drift down, so when you turn them right-side up again, the bits are evenly distributed.Print This Post