Easy and delicious, no pectin, small-batch strawberry jam, with a few raspberries, for extra flavour, some balsamic vinegar and a bit of black pepper.
12oz.strawberriesfresh, hulled and halved
2cups + 2 Tbspgranulated white sugar
Juice of 1/2 a small lemon
10oz.raspberriesfresh or frozen
2 1/2tsp.balsamic vinegar
4peppercornsfreshly ground (I used my mortar and pestle)
Select small, evenly sized strawberries and hull. If they are really small, leave them whole, otherwise, halve or quarter them.
In a bowl, combine the prepared strawberries with the sugar and lemon juice. Stir to combine then cover loosely with plastic wrap and let them sit at room temperature for several hours. (To draw out the juices).
When ready to cook, place the raspberries into a saucepan with 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil and boil for a few minutes until the berries break down. Strain this mixture through a fine sieve, pressing the fruit lightly with the back of a spoon to extract all the juice. Add the collected raspberry juice to a large saucepan and discard the raspberry pulp and seeds. Pour the strawberries into the sieve and collect the juice, reserving the strawberries to add later. Add the strawberry juice to the raspberry juice in the saucepan and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam, as needed, and continue cooking over high heat. Cook until the juice reaches 220° F. on a candy thermometer.
Add the reserved, strawberries to the pot, along with the black pepper, and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a boil once more. Skim, return to a boil, cooking for about 5 – 8 minutes while stirring gently. Check the set using a candy thermometer (or alternately, a cold plate – see tip below). The strawberries should be translucent and the temperature should have reached 220° F. on a candy thermometer.
*Testing for set with a cold plate: Set a dinner plate into your freezer before you start to make your jam. As your jam is coming close to setting, remove the plate from the freezer and drop a small puddle of hot jam onto the plate. Let stand a few second, then run your finger through the middle of the puddle. If the puddle runs back together, it is not set and you need to cook longer. If the path remains and doesn’t run back together, your jam is done.
Be sure to read the “Ingredient and Cook's Notes" included with this recipe’s post, where I share more detailed tips, variations and substitution suggestions for this recipe!