I went picking strawberries with my friend Sara. (Sara’s my new convert to the world of canning, and she’s taken off like a shot!) We took 5 of the 6 children between the two of us and they helped to pick…right until they got bored and went to go play tag! Aren’t they pretty berries?
So we picked on our own after about the half-way point. Then we went home and hulled the berries.
After that, it was on to our respective kitchens to make jam. I made two different jams. The first was this one, strawberry margarita…ooo…YUM is the only word I can say for it.
(Yep, it does have all that booze in it. It’s what makes the thing taste so darn good!!!)
Then, I went on a mission to make some jam for my oldest, “the paper boy”, who decided that he didn’t like the strawberry ginger jam I’d made last year. So, we experimented I was going for a Neapolitan theme, but the vanilla didn’t come thru. Instead, we got Strawberry Chocolate jam.
Now, I’m going to warn you up front about two separate things with this jam. 1) It’s a runny jam; I think this is due to the chocolate, because I put in enough pectin to firm up a battleship! Though it has set more with time, the first couple of days were like syrup. 2) It needs time to infuse and get the flavors set. (Read as, it doesn’t taste that great straight out of the pot – tastes kinda chaulky.) The next day, it really tasted awesome. It’s also a jam for kids, as some of the adults who’ve tasted it, went “That was just too sweet!”, even though there’s not an enormous amount of sugar in it…for jam. All in all, this is a jam that just needs time to get to the goodness.
One last word; most recipes don’t make enough quantity for me. I can in very large batches, mostly because I don’t want to can the same thing year after year, I’m easily bored, I want to do it every two years. Anyway, I’m the only person I’ve found who cans jam in quart jars, because we WILL go thru it.
So here’s the recipe for a large batch of strawberry chocolate jam. If you wanted to reduce size, I’d divide by 4. That should get you a more standard jam size.
- 24 cups strawberries, hulled
- 28 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
Cook down and stir so the sugar doesn’t burn. When it’s steaming and starting to bubble, add
- 2 cups baking cocoa
- 1 ½ cups homemade vanilla extract
Get out your immersion blender and puree. Then add
- 2 vanilla beans, butterflied and scraped out
- 1 TBSP salt
Cook until a slow bubbling boil. Then add
- 9 Six oz packets of Certo
Follow instructions on box for foaming and setting.
Hot pack and water bathe for 15 minutes for pints. Let it sit. The longer the better. Put it away for a couple of weeks/months and then come back to it. You’ll thank yourself!