I am willing to bet that most of the readers of my blog don't make jam. Or maybe I am jumping into your head because I have always found it too much trouble--cutting up the fruit, adding gobs of sugar, boiling it forever and then spooning it into clean, sterilized jars. And it never tasted that much better than store bought for all that trouble. And if it tastes like store bought, I never want to make it again.
But when I had a box of strawberries that were almost over the hill and came upon this no-cook strawberry ginger jam recipe in Food & Wine, I was curious.
I seldom follow a recipe exactly, because usually I have a trick or two for saving time. In this case, instead of grating ginger, I process it in the food processor. This works well when you will be using the processor anyway to puree the strawberries. After pulsing the berries until finely chopped, remove them to a bowl and stir in powdered instant pectin. Stir for 5 minutes and the jam is done. And you have probably spent less than 20 minutes making it. Divide the vibrant red jam among clean jars and after they stand on the counter for 30 minutes, you have delicious, fresh tasting jam ready to spread on your toast. The best news is that it tastes fresher than anything you can buy. That is because it is as ripe and fresh tasting as the berries--no cooking required.
Because the jam should be refrigerated for no more than 3 weeks, I like to make it in smaller jars so you can use it up quickly. This recipe will fill four 8 to 10 oz. jars, leaving 3/4-inch space on the top. The jam freezes beautifully for up to one year.
Instant pectin is so easy to use and costs less than $6.00 a jar at Bed Bath & Beyond or Amazon. One jar makes up to 15 half pints of jam. Yesterday I stirred 2 tablespoons into a raspberry sauce that was a little too thin and it thickened it just enough to coat the spoon.
i love this jam so much that I have a dozen jars in my freezer. Most of them I plan to give away during the Christmas holidays. I can either give one jar alone as a small gift or put it into a basket with some home made bread or cookies. I will be sure to label it "Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze." This is the first time in my life I have thought about Christmas in July. But when I think about tasting ripe fresh strawberry jam in December and not having to fight the crowds in the stores, I know I will be congratulating myself.
1½ cups sugar
½ cup less 1 tablespoon Ball RealFruit Instant Pectin
4 slices peeled fresh ginger (2½ tablespoons finely grated) 2 pounds strawberries, hulled and quartered
2½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch kosher salt
- In a large bowl, whisk the sugar with the pectin; set aside.
- In a food processor, process ginger until chopped. Most of it will be against the sides of the work bowl. Scrape sides and repeat process until ginger is minced. Measure 2½ tablespoons and set aside. Scrape out remaining ginger, add strawberries to work bowl and pulse until finely chopped.
- Remove to bowl with sugar. Stir in ginger, lemon juice and salt. Stir for 3 to 5 minutes until sugar is dissolved.
- Spoon the jam into clean glass jars, leaving ¾-inch space at the top. Let the jam stand at room temperature until slightly thickened, 30 minutes. Refrigerate until set, about one hour.
MAKE AHEAD: Jam may be frozen up to one year or refrigerated up to 3 weeks.
Makes 4½ cups. Fills 4 (8 to 10 oz. jars)