Strawberry Jalapeno Jam
My Grandma did lots of preserving fruits and vegetables through canning. My favorite was the strawberry jam it was so good! I mean, I don't think anything can compare to home made berry jam. Maybe that is why my Dad always bought strawberry jam when I was little, because his Mom made it for him growing up. My Mom would buy raspberry which is my favorite now as an adult (strawberry a close second). We never had grape jam at my house, so when I had it at a friend's house I thought it was special. I have always wanted to make my own home made jam, and I finally got around to it this week. I guess it kind of intimidated me, the whole canning process. But I read some recipes online and realized it isn't that complicated at all! So I went for it. First I made a mixed berry jam. Something simple to start off with. My problem is sometimes when I am making something for the first time I try to make it too complicated or switch it up too much from the recipes I have read. The first one turned out delicious! I made a low sugar jam using maple syrup instead of the usual cane sugar or white sugar because I prefer to not use lots of processed sugar in things. So I was pleased that it tasted just as good as the jam I have grown up eating without all of the extra sugar. I mean, if your fruit is flavorful and ripe, you should not need much sugar.
I wanted to make another jam since the first one turned out so well, which is the recipe I am sharing with you all today! I decided on a Strawberry Jalapeno Jam! Strawberries were a good price, and I wanted something a little non-traditional so I decided to add the kick of jalapenos as well! Eric is always telling me I should add chilies to things (like desserts not just savory stuff), so I figured he would appreciate me sharing the finished product with him as well!
It wasn't really that complicated to make. Don't let making jam intimidate you like it did me. I don't know why I didn't just try making it 10 years ago! My kitchen smelled amazing while the jam was cooking, like I was baking a strawberry pie or something. I could not wait to try it. But I had to wait until the next day once it cooled to taste the finished product. I know the purpose of canning things isn't to dig into them right away, but I am impatient. It was super delicious! Sweet intense strawberry flavor with just a hint of a kick of the jalapenos but not so much that they overwhelmed it. If you have fresh, ripe strawberries, make your self some of this so that you can enjoy it in the Winter when you are missing fresh berries!
Strawberry Jalapeno Jam
Makes about 4 cups (2 16 oz jars)
- 2 clean 16 oz canning jars
- 5 cups fresh organic strawberries, hulled
- 1 large organic jalapeno, sliced (or diced if you don't like big pieces)
- 2/3 cup apple juice
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Pomona's Universal Pectin (it works with low sugar jams)
- 2 tsp calcium water*
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- Bring a large pot of water with a canning rack at the bottom to a boil for sterilizing the jars. Place the jars on the rack, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the lids to the pot, and let sit until you are ready to use.
- In another pot, combine the berries, jalapeno, apple juice, and lemon juice . Bring to a hard boil, and stir constantly.
- Mix together the pectin, calcium water and maple syrup until pectin is fully dissolved and there are no lumps. Add to the jam, and continue to boil for 2 minutes, still stirring to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom. remove from heat.
- Remove the jars from the water bath, and dry off the outside.
- Spoon the jam into the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of space at the top. Wipe the tops of the jars clean if any fruit spilled on them.
- Top with the lids, and screw on the bands until just tight (or fingertip tight, screwed on with light pressure from your fingers not cranked on to the tightest possible).
- Place jars back in the pot on the rack making sure they are covered by 1 inch of water and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Remove cans from water and let cool. Let sit for 1 day, then check to make sure they sealed properly (you should not be able to push the lid up and down in the center it should stay put if sealed properly).
- Store jam in a cool place out of sunlight (like a basement shelf or cupboard).
*If you buy the pectin I suggest in the recipe, the calcium comes with the pectin in the package. All you need to do to make the water is mix 1/2 tsp white calcium powder with 1/2 cup of water to make the calcium water. I mixed it in a jar and put it in the refrigerator for future batches (you only need 2 tsp for the recipe).