strawberry jam recipe || the average girl's guide

Mmm, strawberry jam! There’s nothing like fresh jam, be it simply on a hearty piece of toast or biscuit with a cup of joe or, my favoirte: inside a baked brie. #salivating. Since our new food contributor and photographer Libby is a jam-making fanatic, we couldn’t resist asking her to share her secret, stealth ways so us average gals (well, average jam makers!) can come across as jam rockstars. She’s also including variations so you can make a strawberry balsamic, or even a strawberry vanilla jam. This looks so, so good and fresh. I’m already counting down until Sunday brunch! Ps: do the latest dishes on Libby’s site look beyond? Want to take a bite of my screen. {being honest}.

strawberry jam recipe || the average girl's guide

Keep reading for how to make a quick strawberry jam…

{INGREDIENTS}
2 containers (two lb.) fresh, ripe strawberries
1 lemon, cleaned
1/2 small green apple
3 1/2 cups of sugar
{DIRECTIONS}
  1. Wash, hull and quarter the strawberries
  2. Mash strawberries with a potato masher
  3. Zest the lemon with a microplane, then squeeze the juice of the lemon over the strawberries.
  4. Peel and finely chop the apple – you’ll only need half.
  5. Combine the strawberries, lemon zest, lemon juice and apple and put in a heavy bottom pan over the stove and heat on low. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the strawberries release their juices.
  6. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil.
  7. Cook 20-30 minutes more over low, skimming the surface of the bright pink foam that gathers at the top and stirring occasionally.
  8. Ladle into sterilized jars.
  9. Store in the fridge or heat process the jars.
Variation: Strawberry balsamic jam
Toward the end of a batch, ddd about 2 tbsp. high-quality balsamic vinegar (I buy all my balsamics and olive oils from Olive Oils of the World at South Florida Greenmarkets). I cooked it about 30 seconds more and then filled my last jar of jam with this mixture. It smelled (and tasted) amazing! If you know you want the full-batch to be all balsamic, it’s even easier. Omit the lemon and add 2-4 tbsp. balsamic (depending on how crazy you are about it) after you dissolve the sugar and as it cooks, the flavor will continue to deepen.
If you’re not a fan of balsamic, try throwing in a vanilla bean at the beginning to make strawberry vanilla jam.
TIP: Many jams don’t call for the apple; I’ve been canning a long time and have made a lot of batches that never set up properly. Some people (including my mother) solve this by using pectin, but since I never have that around the house, I solve the inevitable feeling of worry that it’s not setting up by throwing in 1/2 a green apple. The taste is pretty subtle and besides, strawberry-apple is a pretty delicious combination.

strawberry jam recipe || the average girl's guide

strawberry jam recipe || the average girl's guide

strawberry jam recipe || the average girl's guide

strawberry jam recipe || the average girl's guide Ready for a spoonful??

strawberry jam recipe || the average girl's guide