Strawberry Jam Forever

I think this jam could have stopped the Viet­nam war, but I guess we’ll nev­er know for sure.

  • Ingre­di­ents:
  • 5 cups crushed straw­ber­ries (about 3 lbs.)
  • 14 cup lime or lemon juice
  • 6 tbsp. pectin
  • 6 cups gran­u­lat­ed sugar
    • 1 vanil­la bean or 1 tsp. vanil­la extract
    • Bal­sam­ic vinegar
    • Lemon zest
    • 12 tsp. fresh­ly ground black pepper

Com­bine straw­ber­ries and lemon juice in a 6- or 8‑quart saucepan. Grad­u­al­ly stir in pectin. Bring mix­ture to a full rolling boil that can not be stirred down, over high heat, stir­ring constantly.

Add entire mea­sure of sug­ar, stir­ring to dis­solve. Return mix­ture to a full rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stir­ring con­stant­ly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary.

Ladle the jam into clean jars and refrig­er­ate imme­di­ate­ly. This is also a great can­di­date for canning.

About Those Optional Ingredients:

Vanilla Jam:

Split a vanil­la bean and add it to the crushed or puréed straw­ber­ries. Fish out the pod when you’re done.

Balsamic Jam:

Reduce the lime juice to 1 tbsp. and add 3 tbsp. bal­sam­ic vine­gar. The vine­gar boosts the straw­ber­ry fla­vor and makes the jam more robust.

Lemony Strawberry Jam:

Add zest from one lime or one lemon to the strawberries.

Peppered Jam:

Stir 12 tsp. fresh­ly ground black pep­per into the jam just before putting it in con­tain­ers. The pep­per will accent and com­ple­ment the sweet­ness of the strawberries.