When you have perfectly ripe strawberries on hand, this recipe will give you a small batch of the most delicious strawberry jam ever!
|2 1⁄2 lb||strawberries (rinsed under cool water, gently dried, hulled)|
|3 3⁄4 c||granulated sugar|
|1||lemon (juice of)|
|5||mint leaves (fresh)|
|5||black peppercorns (freshly ground)|
Place the strawberries in a ceramic bowl, then toss with the lemon juice and sugar. Cover with a sheet of parchment paper and let macerate overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day, pour the strawberry mixture into a non-reactive stockpot (copper is ideal for jam-making). Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Pour it back into the ceramic bowl, cover with parchment again, and refrigerate overnight.
The third day, set a mesh sieve over your stockpot. Pour the mixture into the sieve, and bring the syrup to a boil over high heat. (Reserve the contents of the sieve and set aside.) Skim any foam from the top of the syrup, and continue coking over high heat until a candy thermometer reaches 221˚F. Add the strawberries from the sieve, and stir in the fresh mint and black pepper. Return to a boil over high heat. Skim again, and bring back to a boil, stirring it with a long-handled wooden spoon, for 5 minutes. At this point, the strawberries will be somewhat translusent.
Using a small ladle and a funnel, pour the jam into sterilized jars (see note). Fill the jars right up to the top. Seal with sterilized lids while the jam is hot, then turn the jars upside down and wipe them off with a clean, damp towel. Allow to cool before labeling, and store in a cool, dark place.
The strawberries need to macerate a couple of nights in the refrigerator, so plan ahead!
To sterilize jars, submerge them right-side up in boiling water for 10 minutes.