It’s June and officially strawberry season! Hooray!
Last year I made several batches of strawberry jam in June. Filled my pantry, gave them away as gifts and currently have a jar of this very same jam open in my fridge at this very moment. I took pictures of the process, documented the recipe but somewhere in the middle of all that June jam-making a lovely event occurred.
And by the time I had a free moment to even think of posting strawberry jam recipes, the season had ended. So, this year, armed with last year’s photo’s I am determined to share my strawberry lemon marmalade recipe while it is still useful to you when you’re in the heart of strawberry season! I’ve waited a whole year for this, and I do hope that you will try them!
Keep in mind that this recipe is a two-day recipe. The first day you prepare your fruit and let it macerate with sugar, the following day you make the jam. This is a technique that I picked up from Mes Confitures: The Jams and Jellies of Christine Ferber. Christine does not use packaged pectin in her jams, in fact, she gives you a recipe for a green apple jelly that you can use as homemade, all-natural pectin for the fruits that require pectin to gel (and which I’m thinking of trying with our crabapples that literally go to the birds each year. . . Tigress in a Jam also has a great green apple jelly recipe . . . . ) I think that this overnight maceration technique both sets the color of the fruit beautifully and pulls the natural pectins from the fruit to allow it to gel on it’s own.
Strawberry Lemon Marmalade
makes 8 to 9 half-pints
- 5 lbs strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
- 2 lbs, 12 ounces lemons (I used six large ones, but weighed them to help you get an accurate measure, regardless of the size of yours!)
- One extra lemon (separate from those mentioned above)
- 1 quart of filtered or distilled water
- 3 lbs all natural, cane sugar, divided
Wash lemons then, using a sharp knife, cut off the peels, then slice the peels very thinly into slivers. Make them look like a julienned herb. Then slice the lemons, thinly, into rounds. Remove seeds. If you have a Lemon Zester and would rather use that then slicing the peel, go ahead and zest the lemon first, then slice into rounds.
If your lemons have a particularly thick layer of pith between the peel and the pulp (as was the case with my extra large lemons), remove and discard the pith first before slicing into rounds. If you remove the peel and pretty much immediately get to the “meat” of the lemons, don’t bother with this step.
Place peels and rounds in a large saucepan and cover with filtered or distilled water (I have very hard, minerally water so use the filtered water from my fridge dispenser for this step.) and bring to a boil. Boil for five minutes, then cover, remove from heat and allow to cool before storing in a cool place for 12-24 hours.
Note: Do you see the GINORMOUS pieces of lemon peel in this (and the following) picture? Didn’t I just tell you to julienne the suckers, or zest them? I did. That is because this picture is from last year’s strawberry lemon marmalade batch and I am sharing with you my wisdom from experience. Do not do what I did. The peels do not simmer down and disintegrate like the pulp does. You will end up with giant pieces of peel in your dainty little jelly jars, or you will have to try to remove pieces of boiling hot peel from the jars before you seal them. Neither of these is an ideal situation. Please heed my words. Slice those peels into teensy tiny strips. Thank you very much.
Meanwhile (that same day), wash, hull and quarter strawberries and mix with sugar and the juice of one more lemon along with 2 lbs of sugar in a glass or ceramic bowl. Cover with parchment paper and allow to macerate in the fridge for 24 hours until you’re ready to make the jam.
The next day, when ready to make the jam, combine strawberries and lemon mixture in a large saucepan. Add remaining sugar and bring to a simmer. Skim, then cook until it reaches 220 degrees, stirring frequently. Skim again, if necessary, and decant into clean, sterilized jars.
I sterilize mine by putting clean, glass jars in a 225 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10 minutes. Sterilize jar rings in a pot of boiling water and lids in a bowl of just-boiled water (I use my electric kettle for this).
I use the inverted method for sealing jars of jam rather than water bath canning. I fill the sterilized jars to the top, wipe the rim with a damp paper towel, then top with a sterilized lid, pressing down around the edges with my fingers, before putting on a sterilized ring, turning to finger tightness, then flipping over on top of a red towel. After about twenty minutes or so, I flip them back and, when cool, check the seal.
You could also use a water bath method, processing for 10 minutes, if you prefer.
This jam is delicious spooned on toast, a biscuit or a scone, or a dollop swirled into yogurt. You could also use it, thinned down a bit, brushed on to grilled or roasted pork or chicken. The possibilities are endless!