July 7, 2010

Lavender Honey Strawberry Jam

I'm here to sing the praises of Pomona's pectin again. I just love the stuff. So versatile- make a small batch or a big batch, make your own recipe, use honey, use little or no sugar.

When I had a bunch of mashed strawberries, and some whole ones too, leftover from my canning classes, I turned to Pomona's to make a small batch of strawberry jam.

Unlike other pectins, where one box of pectin makes one batch of jam, Pomona's breaks it down for you- for every one cup of fruit, you add 2 teaspoons of pectin. Tada! And since I knew my friend B and I would eat the jam right up, I didn't need to follow a tested recipe with processing times. I just kept it in the fridge to be enjoyed immediately.

Since pretty much every other US blogger has strawberry season before we do in Maine, I had a chance to scope out everybody else's jam recipes. And I saw a lot of great strawberry jams, with black pepper, balsamic vinegar, or rosemary. All of these great recipes percolated in my brain until I thought of mint, lavender, honey, and strawberries.

The mint didn't come through, however, so we'll just shorten the name of this jam to Lavender Honey Strawberry Jam.

I used fresh herbs and didn't want little bits of herb in the jam, so B tied everything up in cheesecloth and added it while we cooked the jam. When we fished it out at the end, the lavender flavor seeped gently through the jam, but the mint was no where to be found. Oh well!

Lavender Honey Strawberry Jam
From Pomona's Pectin

4 cups mashed strawberries (about 2 quarts)
1/2-1 cup honey
2 teaspoons Pectin powder
2 teaspoons calcium water
3/4 cup fresh lavender, chopped and tied in cheesecloth

Wash, hull, and mash berries in a large bowl. Measure out four cups into a non-reactive stockpot and add herbs in cheesecloth. Stir in calcium water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.

While fruit is heating, mix pectin powder into honey and stir until combined. When fruit mixture boils, add pectin-honey mixture and return to a boil. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove jam from heat and ladle into jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace if processing.

To process, boil in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Otherwise, keep jam in the refrigerator and use within two weeks. Jam can also be frozen in freezer-grade containers (plastic or wide-mouth glass canning jars) and used within 1 year.