I’m not going to explain why you should bother to make this jam now. Just make it, and trust me – you’ll never like strawberry store-bought jam again. For me, it was the other way around. I never really liked strawberry jam until I tasted homemade strawberry jam. Homemade strawberry jam is something everyone must eat in order to understand that the store-bought ones just don’t taste like strawberries. You get the point. Make it, and tell me if I am wrong. And I am never wrong when it comes to jams. My favorite jam was always apricot, but when I lick the strawberry jam off the spoon, I start to reconsider.
Lucky us! In California, strawberry season is pretty long – from the end of Winter until the beginning of Summer.
It’s better to let the strawberries and sugar sit together in the fridge first for a few hours, or even overnight, to accelerate the process of softening the fruit.
Eat with butter, nut butter, or seed butter, on toast. Or mixed into yogurt.
- 4 cups strawberries
- 1½ cups cane sugar
- 5 – 10 pepper corns
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 teaspoon brandy or whiskey (optional)
- Put a saucer in the freezer. You will use it later to test if the jam is ready when the cooking time is up.
- Wash the strawberries, remove stem and cut into half.
- Put the strawberries, sugar and black pepper corns into a heavy-bottom saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 30 minutes, giving it a quick stir every now and again with a wooden spoon. While the liquid gradually thickens, the strawberries will soften.
- Add lemon juice and brandy and continue to cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Be careful to not let the jam burn in the bottom of the pot! Take the saucer out of the freezer and drop a teaspoon of jam onto it. If the texture is sort of rubbery then the jam is ready! If it is not, continue to cook it. Test every few minutes. I am always tempted to taste it straight from the pot, and end up burning my tongue, so make sure you blow on it for at least twenty second before you put the spoon in your mouth!
- When the jam is ready, let it cool for 10 minutes, then carefully spoon it into a jar and cover with the lid straight away. Let it cool for 10 minutes, then store in the fridge.