Strawberries are nearing the end of their season here but you can still pick up these beautiful treats for a great price at LA’s Farmer’s Markets. I grabbed a gorgeous 3 pack yesterday for $5 and felt compelled to break out the mason jars when I got home to cook up some jam.
Making jam is not the monumental task you may envision it to be. Start to finish I think the whole process (for three jars) took me about 35 minutes. Get the right supplies and read through all the ingredients first and it’s a breeze. I have a ton of mason jars around since I’m obsessed with them and have found great deals on them at Smart & Final, Target and Ralph’s. Some stores, like Target, only carry them seasonally but they also tend to carry unique ones (not just your standard Ball pint and half-pint ones) and sometimes they also have canning kits with handy little tools like special tongs to pull your jars out of the boiling water. Having done it with and without I can tell you that these help. A lot.
In keeping with my committment to eat all things local and seasonal, I sweetened my jam with honey from Klausebees that I picked up at the Yamashiro Farmer’s Market last week. The hives my jar of honey came from are located a mere 15 miles from the city and the lovely Erika Decker (owner and manager) told me that their furthest hives are 35 miles outside of LA which is music to my local eating ears. Their yummy honey can be found at www.klausesbees.com. I’ll be doing an Examiner article on them in the next few weeks so look for more info coming soon.
I also wanted to give my jam a little kick so I threw in some freshly grated ginger which was a fantastic idea. I had some this morning and it was just the right blend of flavorful sweetness. I’ve posted the recipe and instructions below, but you can find numerous sites online that will tell you the steps and Pomona’s Pectin (which I HIGHLY recommend using) comes with a great step by step instruction guide.
Strawberry Ginger Honey Jam
4 cups of fresh strawberries
1/2 cup of honey
1 small stub of ginger
Pomona’s Pectin (or any brand you choose to use)
1. Prepare your jars and lids. First wash and rinse them and then sterilize them by placing them in a pot of boiling water and then turn the heat off and let them stand in the hot water for a few minutes. Remove and let cool.
2. If you are using Pomona’s then make your calcium water by taking 1/2 tsp of calcium powder from the small packet and mixing it with 1/2 cup of water. Put this in a little jar with a lid. You can store it in the fridge for several months. Just give it a little shake before you use it.
3. Prepare your fruit: Remove the hulls and mash up your strawberries. I just use a potato masher. Put them in the pot you plan to heat them in. I grated my ginger up really fine (almost liquidy) and threw it in here too.
4. Measure out your honey into a bowl. Add 2 tsp of pectin to the honey and mix.
5. Bring your fruit to a boil on the stove. Once it’s boiling add the pectin/honey mix and stir vigorously for 1-2 minutes to dissolve the pectin. Return to boil and remove from heat.
6. Using a funnel fill your jars up to 1/2 ” from the top. Wipe the rims clean and screw on the 2-piece lids. Put the filled jars into a big pot of boiling water and make sure they are covered. Boil for 5 minutes. Remove them from the water with you nifty tongs and set out to cool. Once cool place in fridge.