PENULTIMATE STRAWBERRY JAM
The window of opportunity for this recipe for Ultimate Strawberry Jams is rather narrow — the tiny wild strawberries are an early summer phenomenon, and prime local strawberry season only runs to mid-summer as well. This is when the farm stands of just-picked beauties are at their best. And for an ultimate jam, only the best will do.
And what better way to enjoy a jam so regal than upon a piece of toasted pound cake?
First, that tiny secret ingredient: For these past few weeks, itty-bitty wild strawberries have been growing low to the ground around the the house. About the size of a Mardi Gras bead, they have only the smallest trace of sweetness and a pleasingly firm texture with very pronounced seeds. Their contributions to the Ultimate Strawberry are both textural and decorative. These little red pearls are firmer than the rest of the abrosial lumps of tumescent fruit.
When it comes to removing the leaves and hulls of the strawberries, the clever little Stem Gem strawberry stem and hull remover is the way to go. Said it before, will say it again. Get your StemGem here.
The Ball FreshTECH Jam Maker is daddy’s little helper when it comes to boutique batches of jam and is employed to great effect here.
Sugar: I’m sure you have a vanilla bean buried in the bottom of your sugar bin, and if you don’t, do.
Sort your strawberries. Why? As a general rule jam recipes call for crushing the fruit into a rough mush for an even thickness. Which is a good thing, generally. But a homogeneous consistency isn’t going to get people to sit up and take notice. Sorting the large from small provides an abundance of those aforementioned tumescnent lumps of berries.
For an this ultimate strawberry jam, set aside the smallest berries before you get down to the squishing the larger strawberries. The remaining tender you beauties need only a pinch of the fingers.
Click here for my recipe for the Ultimate Strawberry Jam.