Strawberry Jam with Thai Herbs

Strawberry Jam with Thai Herbs

Makes 8 1/4 pint jars

9 C. clean strawberries diced (3 pounds)
1 1/2 C. sugar
3 tsp. fresh + strained or bottled lemon juice
2 tsp. cilantro
1.5 tsp. thai basil
1 tsp. mint (I used chocolate mint; use whatever you have)
1 tsp. lemon zest

Follow a proper recipe for water bath canning unless you know what you’re doing (e.g. sterilizing jars and lids and all that jazz.) There are tons online or you can get a book.

2. Put the strawberries and sugar into a large, ideally wide pot to aid in evaporating all that water. Bring to simmer and stir stir stir. Cook for about 5 minutes. Then pour the mixture into a colander with a bowl underneath it to catch the liquid and separate it from the fruit. Return the liquid to the pot and cook down boiling over high heat for 20 minutes until it reduces to around 1 + 1/2 C.. Something like it cuts in half. Or, if you’re like me, and fear the high heat boil, put it over medium heat and fret and worry that you might be smelling burning, letting a solid hour pass until it seems thickened enough. Put the fruit you set aside back into the pot with your thickened syrup. Add the lemon juice. Bring to a simmer. Stir frequently for about 25 minutes. If you’re lucky, and bold enough with the heat, it will somehow only take 15. You know it’s ready when a chilled plate from the freezer with a dab of jam, after being returned to the freezer for a minute, seems thickened and jam-like. If it’s sliding around post 1-minute freezer, it needs more time. In the meantime, get the boiling water ready for canning. Turn off the heat, add the herbs and lemon zest and stir it all in. Process the jam in the boiling water for 5 minutes, leaving the requisite 1/4 inch space at the top of each jar. Let rest for 12 hours. Make sure they sealed by trying to push down on each lid. But really, get some solid advice on canning if you haven’t done it before — this book is a great place to start. Canning is fun, and worth trying, and infinitely less dangerous than you might assume. Eat the jam, wondering if a single jar will make it to autumn.

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