If you came up with strawberries then you are a clever one! There are in fact about 30 varieties of strawberries grown in Ontario in any given season. Another fact you may not have known, the strawberry plant is actually related to the rose! Who knew? Maybe that’s why the heady smell of fresh strawberries smells almost like perfume.
A twist on the classic strawberry jam is adding herbs you may not think about pairing with strawberries. This one comes from Liana Krissoff’s “Canning for a New Generation”.
Strawberry Jam with Thai Herbs
3 lbs rinsed and hulled strawberries, diced (about 9 cups)
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon minced fresh Thai basil1 tablespoon minced fresh mint
Put strawberries and sugar in a wide preserving pan ( or Dutch oven), bring to a simmer,
stirring frequently, then continue to cook for 5 minutes. Pour into a colander set over a large bowl and stir the berries gently to drain off the juice. Return the juice to the pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally until the syrup is reduced to about 1-1/2 cups (about 20 minutes)
Return strawberries and juice to pan, add lemon juice and bring to simmer, stirring frequently (about 15 minutes), until a small dab of jam spooned onto a chilled plate and placed in freezer becomes firm (not gelled). Skim off foam, remove from heat and stir in herbs.
Ladle hot jam into sterilized warm jars leaving 1/4 headspace at the top. Wipe rims if necessary to clean of excess jam. Put lids on and screw bands so that they are finger tight. Immerse in waterbath, bring to a boil and leave for 5 minutes. Remove and do not disturb jars .
Should make about 4- 250 ml. jars. Any excess you can put in a jar and refrigerate to eat right away!